How to wire two solar panels in parallel with couplers

Hi, this is Amy at the altE Store. I'm going
to give you a quick demo of how to wire up two solar panels together in parallel, using
couplers. Now these are a real nice easy way to wire up two panels, and you're just going
to be using it for a system that's got 2 panels, you're not going to use this for a big system.
This will be able to handle up to about 30A for this particular model, so if you do get
couplers, double check that they can handle the amount of current you are going to be
putting through them, and you don't want to wire more than 2 in parallel using couplers,
because this does not give you overcurrent protection between the two panels.

So the
panels are usually designed that they can handle being backfed from one panel, but if
you have a whole bunch, you do run the risk of ruining your solar panel. So, this is again
for a small system. It's really really nice if you are wiring up for a little cabin or
a boat or an RV. It's a really nice easy solution. So the first thing you need to do is figure
out what kind of connectors you've got on your solar panel. Now here I've got an MC4
compatible locking connector. Now this is a newer panel, so if you have an older panel,
maybe 2008 or older, it might have a non-locking connector, such as the MC connector.

Now this
is important because these are not inter-connectable, so you want to make sure you know what kind
you've got, either check the datasheet or check it might have it stamped right on the
connector. So you are going to get couplers that match that type of connector. And you'll
get 2, you have to have a pair. You have one that's got 2 females and one male, and one
with 2 males and one female. A quick little thing about how they actually decide which
is which.

Now you would look at this and a lot of people think that this is in fact a
female connector. It's not, this is a male connector. They base the sex of the connector
of them on the pin that's on the inside, and this has got a male pin on the inside. This
one here, again, looks like a male, but it's actually a female connector when you look
at the inside. So it's very important that you understand how they sex these so that
you can get the right ones. But you are going to have one of each. One that's one female,
2 males, and one that's one male and 2 females. OK? So you are going to take the female from one,
and plug it into the connector, you're going to take the female from the other panel, <click>
and you click that in together, you hear it's got a nice click with that locking connector.
The you are going to do the same, so that wired your positives together.

Now I'm going
to take my negatives and I'm going to put it in the connector, so I now have my two
males wired together and my 2 females wired together. So what this did is it took my two
panels and it kept the voltage the same, but it doubled the current, because when you wire
in parallel, you're going to be doubling your current. So this is important if you want
to keep things at the same voltage but increase the current. So, now I end up with these solar
connectors at the ends. So what do I do with that? Now I'm going to get an extension cable
that's going to go the distance between here and the breaker that I'm going to, whether
I'm going into a DC Load Center or a charge controller that's got a breaker built in.
So you are going to need to know the distance that you are going, and you would get connector
cable, an extension cable that is 2x longer than what you need the distance to be, because
what you are going to do is you are actually going to cut it into two.

And so that will
give you one cable for your negative and one cable for your positive. You are going to
cut and strip each of them, so you'll end up with a female on one end and cut and stripped
on the other. And a male on one end and cut and stripped on the other. So now we are just
going to very simply, take these two cables and connect them to the output of my couplers.
So I now have two solar panels, wired in parallel, and they are now able to go the distance back
to the rest of my system to my breaker and my charge controller.

I hope this video was
helpful, if you liked it, give us a like and a share. And in the comments of the video,
write down what other questions you've got, if you have any other videos you'd like
us to do, we'd be happy to do them. And subscribe to our video channel, altestore so that you'll
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been making renewable do-able since 1999..

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