Mono vs Poly vs Flexible Solar Panel + Series vs Parallel Wiring

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When it comes to choosing a solar panel that will work best for your needs, there are lots of variables that you need to consider: monocrystalline vs polycrystalline, hard panels vs flexible panels, wiring the solar panels in series vs parallel or a combination of the two. This video will help bring clarity to these decisions you will need to make.
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Hi! We are Michael + Jenny Justus. We post videos on our life of alternative + sustainable + healthy living. Our desire to live a more meaningful life led us to concoct a crazy plan: Downsize our belongings, ditch the “9-5,” and move full-time into a solar-powered, self-sustainable tiny home on wheels with our two dogs, Chase + Roni. Taking this leap into the unknown has completely transformed our future, so be sure to hit that SUBSCRIBE button, join the Justus League, and follow along to see where the journey take us!



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42 thoughts on “Mono vs Poly vs Flexible Solar Panel + Series vs Parallel Wiring

  1. Id like to know what benefit do you get from putting panels in series as opposed to parallel aside from having to use thinner wire? It seems the drawbacks outweight the positives. Does series give a quicker charge? I dont understand

  2. Can you run two charge controller to the same bank of batteries Lie if you have two 100 watt systems and you want to use a controller for each 100 watts system, and not buy a larger controller ?

  3. Why doesn't solar technology have it so that in a series hookup, if one panel has less than some threshold of sunlight, there is some internal automatic switch that engages and just passes thru the current of the other non shaded panels? That is, the shaded panel would temporarily just become like a wire to pass current.

  4. Another major reason for connecting panels in series, which wasn't mentioned in the video is this; Solar panel controllers (MPPTs) typically require Battery voltage + ~2 volts to function. Let's say you've a 12 V system you're charging at 13.8 V. That means that the MPPT must be fed with at least 15.8 V. If you've panels that output 18V but it's an overcast day, they could easily drop to, let's say, 15V. As 15V is below the 15.8V needed you won't get any charging at all. However, if you string two panels together, then you get 30V on that same overcast day, and the MPPT will happily charge your battery.

  5. and btw mono crystalne panels only charge and work on one wave length of light .. and start working later than poly crystaline… which are designed to work with 2 to 4 different wave lengths of light and run at lower lumens …. and last longer …
    silcone .. is not photovolatic … silicon is … silicone .. is like caulking and fake boobs … silicon is what the make solar panels out of and ic's etc … so hate to say it .. when you havent even got the right info down everything you talk about is wrong from then on

  6. silicone … or silicon …. they arent the same thing … first is generally a liquid or fluid … and the other is a solid …. and both have different process' to create them

  7. Got my system in a kit, and it works great. Only comes in series. Now I have done my research and I will say you have put things out very direct and simple. The visual aids really helped. Excellent work.

  8. i have a problem with my tracer 40a 4215 bn/mt50 monitor and 4x100w panels wired in series. then i wire them in series, the monitor will show the accumulative voltage fora few min, say 30v, but then that will go down to 13.4-14v, and im only ettign around 1-1.5a on a sunny day.

  9. I'm a science teacher and I completely agree with the previous comment by Will James, that's a very clear and easily understood explanation of this topic. I might even use it for some of my classes. All the best from England.

  10. I have a question and ive looked all over online today including amazon and cannot find what im supposed to do.. in this video you talk about 4x 150w panels.. I have the same setup.. 4×150
    I want to make my panels the 3rd option you spoke of making them both series and parallel.. but in the diagram you made it confuses me because I cant figure out what kind of MC4 connector is supposed to be purchased ive linked one before but not sure if this is correct

  11. Uhhhh…

    The flexible panels come "naked" without tempered glass.

    But it's not a design flaw.

    If you put a mono crystalline cell on your roof without protection it would be ruined in months.

    So shouldn't you compare Flexible panels with glass cases?

    The ideal is popping these things into a 3×4 foot frame and clipping the connector on.

  12. Very informative… because it helps me the concept on solar panel installation that is far from the line of my work… in an example, I am not an electrician as I don't know either on installation load requirement??? I only knew is plug and play only that may cause me an accidental fire… Thank you. Duet for sharing of your knowledge…

  13. Really, really like that vid, good work with ur explanations. I'm just begining to learn abvout solar and wind power, in order to built my own installation. Could you lead me through your vids from in a sens to begin with the basics & to end with final explanations. Thank you very much!

  14. Just one question.. My panels are wired in parallel formation.. Can you wire panels for 24 volts, even though you have a 12 volt system (12 volt batteries, and inverter ) or do you have to also change the battery formation to 24 volts, and the inverter as well?

  15. You seem to be using "flexible" and "thin film" interchangeably.
    Flexible crystalline panels are Silicon based, while Thin Film panels are usually made of non-silicon based materials.
    The panels I decided to use on my RV are thin film CIGS panels. These panels have many advantages over Crystalline panels. They perform very well in high temperature, they are more resistant to shading, adhere to the RV roof directly (no fasteners). But hey do cost a bit more.
    See here for more info

  16. Thank you for this video. I understand everything you described and as a result, I feel much more confident about selecting components that work well for my needs.

  17. You can't talk about series vs parallel without talking about optimizers. There is a reason why everyone is installing optimizers if they don't use micro inverters.

  18. your series math is wrong @ 9:55 and 15:10 , at 9:55 the voltage is correct but the 600 watts is wrong. you would only have 150 watts not 600, so you would have around 2 amps not 8 amps. at 15:10 you would have a 300 watt 24v 12.5amp system not 600 only voltage is doubled in a series. everything else was accurate . just remember parallel = same voltage and double amps/watts and means thicker wire to carry the current.series = double the voltage only not the amps/watts which means thinner cheaper wire. there's a reason why electric companies send voltage ranging from 5,000-120,000 volts to the stepdown transformers to your house look at the thin whips ( approximately a 0000 wire) feeding the transformer, then look at the heavy thick wires that feed high amps (around 200a per home) low voltage (120v 2 legs = 240v) to all the homes close by. in the end whether you have high volts and low amps or low volts and high amps the wattage will be the same, which is why you electric meter records wattage and not amps or volts. the final wattage on a 12v bank would be close to the same even if wired two different ways, i.e. (2) 12v 200 watt panels in parallel = 12v @ 33.33amps with a wattage of 399.96 watts and the same panels in a series = 24v @ 8.33 amps with a wattage of 199.92 watts (x 2) to step back down to 12v = 399.84

  19. what about Micro Inverters? Then you could use smaller wires and have the same benefits eh? Also, I've heard one type of panel micro vs poly have better shading and low light properties tho… I looked around and get different answers … probably because the technology is always advancing on the panels.

    So maybe sticking with mono and micro inverters is the best solution, that is if you want 3 smaller panels vs one larger one.

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