Answered

hi, old timer dabbling with solar

Converting a Kaufman 7X16 Utility Trailer to  overnighter so I added a 40 Amp Commander and two 100 Watt 12 volt slimline Monocrystalline panels, can I add two 160 Watt Polycristalline panels for a total of 520 Watts at 12 volts the max rating of the commander however my main concern is combining the Mono and Polycrystalline to the same charge controller.

  • No. You can have panels of different "wattages" connected in parallel to the same controller.  As long as the voltages on the panels are equivalent, all is good.

    For example: I currently run two 12V, 100 watt panels. If I wanted to throw a 12V, 50 watt panel into the mix, that wouldn't present a problem.

    As long as the controller can handle the TOTAL current/power output of the panels, you don't need additional controllers. 


    in series a 160w panel with 100w and your yield would be limited to the lowest amp panel, in short the 160w would be knocked down to 100w.
    if 160w = 8.8A and 100w = 5.5 they would combine in series to 5.5A @ 36v = 200w vs 260w.
    100/160 X 100 = 62.5%

    in parallel there would be little to no power loss.

    "In a series circuit, the current through each of the components is the same, and the voltage across the circuit is the sum of the voltages across each component. In a parallel circuit, the voltage across each of the components is the same, and the total current is the sum of the currents through each component."

    this is why shading of series panels can be an issue (without bypass diodes).

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