Author Options:

Is there any reason two small solar panels could not be connected in series? Answered

I recently purchased two 6v panels from Radio Shack, and was hoping to do some experiments/learning with them wired together, but I can seem to generate any readings when they are connected. Positive of one, to the negative of the other. Any help is appreciated.


Commercial Solar Panels are Expensive!
Fact: It will take you more than 10 years to pay back
Solution: Using Surplus Solar Cells You can get pay back in 1-2 years
There is an Engineer from Chicago his name is John Sommer
He explain it All in his diy solar panels Blog Search for him using Google
Type "top diy solar panels" Open the first Result.
Note: Ignore the adds at the top.

Assuming the panels aren't dead.... and there is sunlight.... and assuming you are measuring from the left over wires (the positive and negative side) then there is no reason why you shouldn't be getting some sort of reading. If this is the solar cell from radioshack with the plastic cover over it, I know that doesn't seem to generate much. Also if it is the very thin one that comes in a plastic case, check to make sure you're wires have a good connection there isn't much material there.

Individually, each of the panels registers 6V on the multimeter - as the package states. I can get a small pc fan to spin (albeit slowly), so I know each panel 'works'. I may have to hack into the little holders to check the connections. :-) Thanks to both of you for responding.


8 years ago

Put each one under a bright light and check what voltage you are getting with a multimeter. Check the polarity of the wiring is correct! each panel under the same light will give a similar output voltage. Series connection will double the voltage output, but the current remains the same. Parallel connection will increase the available current but the voltage will remain the same. Some panels have an internal diode to prevent batteries discharging back through the panel. Should you wish to connect several PV's in series then you can remove all but the last diode and save some voltage drop across each internal diode ...0.3v-0.7v depending on type. Have fun. Regards