Our Guide To Understanding Series vs Parallel Solar Panel Wiring

When installing and connecting solar panels, two different kinds of wire configurations are common—series and parallel. It is crucial to understand the difference between the two as they are an important component in the efficiency of your solar system.

In this guide, our team at Solar Bear Orlando explains the difference between these configurations, how they work, and which one might be right for your system.

What is a “Series” Configuration?

When solar panels are connected in a series it means that they are linked end to end. The positive terminal of one panel is linked to the following panel’s negative terminal in this arrangement.

Since the current remains the same as that of a single panel, this connection is most often used when there is a need for a higher voltage, especially if the system is grid-tied.


  • More efficient in low-light conditions
  • Can reduce power loss due to a higher voltage rate


  • The performance is affected by the worst-performing panel in the series. If one panel is not working efficiently, the output of the entire system will be impacted.
  • A high-voltage inverter is required

Parallel Configurations

In a parallel setup, solar panels are connected side by side with the positive terminals connected to each other, as well as the negative terminals. This configuration increases the overall current of the system.

Parallel systems are recommended for systems that need higher currents such as battery charging setups and off-grid applications.


  • Best for charging batteries or off-grid usage


  • Reduced system efficiency can occur if the panels that are connected are not the same. The stronger panel will overcompensate for weaker panels.
  • Installation can be complex and requires more wiring

Power Output

Let’s talk about power output for a moment. The configuration you choose will largely depend on your overall power needs.

  • Series connections deliver higher voltage, equalling a greater overall power output.
  • Parallel connections offer a higher current and a more consistent power output.

Read More > Our Guide to Basic Solar Panel Specifications

Do You Need to Charge Batteries?

If you are planning to charge solar batteries with your panels, the connection configuration you choose is quite important. The battery charging setup you include will influence your choice.

Which Configuration Should You Choose?

When deciding between series or parallel wiring configurations, it is important to consider your power requirements and the location of your solar system.

The choice depends on:

  • Voltage and current needs
  • Power output requirements
  • Available space
  • Component compatibility

If your location is bright and shade-free, a series configuration will likely be more efficient. If trees or buildings obscure your system, a parallel configuration may be optimal.

Also, your electrical system might work better with one configuration over the other. Our technicians at Solar Bear Orlando can help you decide which would be best for your home or business.

Related > How Do I Know if My Solar Panels Are Underperforming?

Go Solar With Solar Bear Orlando

Not sure what kind of wiring configuration you need? That’s ok! Our team at Solar Bear Orlando is here to do all the calculating and deciding for you based on your location’s requirements and needs.

We’ll ensure your system is the right size and configuration for your energy requirements, and we warranty all of our work!

Get started today by calling us for a quote at (727) 471-7442 anywhere in Central Florida today!