How to Reduce Solar Panel Voltage So you have your solar panel. But you found out that its voltage is greater than your battery. And that would cause problems. So can you reduce your solar panel voltage? The easiest way you can reduce your Solar Panel’s Voltage is by using either an MPPT Charge Controller or a Step-Down Converter (aka Buck Converter).
Other solutions are to use resistors or modify the solar cells’ connections via the junction box. Before we embark on how you can reduce your solar panel’s voltage, we have to know how much voltage your average solar panel produces. Then how to properly test how much voltage your panel is producing. Then learn in-depth about each possible way to reduce the voltage.
Though you can effectively reduce solar panel voltage by following the article, in some cases the most cost-effective and time-saving solution is to buy a compatible solar panel. Anyway, let us dive in on how you can make your panel compatible.
- 0.1 How do you drop solar voltage?
- 0.2 How can I reduce the wattage of my solar panel?
- 1 Why is my solar panel over voltage?
- 2 How do you keep a solar panel from overcharging a battery?
- 2.1 How does a solar panel voltage regulator work?
- 2.2 What causes voltage rise?
- 2.3 Why is grid voltage high?
- 2.4 Why is minimizing voltage drop in a photovoltaic system design important?
- 2.5 What is the angle of solar panels?
How do you drop solar voltage?
How to Minimize Voltage Drop – The current NEC (National Electric Code) recommends systems should be designed with less than 2% voltage drop. In most cases, a properly-designed solar system should come in well under that mark. Here are some tips to help you reduce voltage drop and get the most out of your array:
Put your components close together to minimize the length of the wiring run. Longer wires = more resistance, which translates to higher voltage drop.Use a bigger wire size. Larger wire = less resistance.If a long wiring run is necessary, design your system to overcome resistance. Use high-voltage products and large panel strings (if you’re using a string inverter).
Feeling stuck on system design? Request a free consultation with our design team, or call us up at 1-800-472-1142 to connect with us immediately. Every system we sell includes an electrical wiring diagram designed to minimize voltage drop and ensure your system is up to code.
How can I reduce the wattage of my solar panel?
Important to summarize: – Both in series and parallel connection, plugging a panel of a lower power rating to the array drags the whole output power down. The lower the rating, the higher the loss of solar generated power. This, however, is much more crucial for panels connected in parallel.
Can I use a voltage regulator on a solar panel?
Solar Panel Voltage Regulator – Model 5310-00 The Solar Panel Voltage Regulator – Model 5310-00 is intended for float charging of lead acid batteries. The Solar Panel Voltage Regulators are compatible with solar arrays having a current output less than or equal to 3 Amperes.
The Solar Panel Voltage Regulators may be used with any size lead-acid battery. Unlike some other regulators, the 5310-00 Solar Panel Voltage Regulator will not damage your battery due to overcharging. The Solar Panel Voltage Regulator will act as a blocking diode when the battery voltage is greater than the solar array voltage.
There will be no reverse current flow. The Solar Panel Voltage Regulator draws no current from the battery. The Solar Panel Voltage Regulators include a thermal switch which will momentarily interrupt the current flow when the 5310 is dissipating too much heat.
|Operation Voltage||12 to 20 VDC|
|Output Voltage||13.7 VDC|
|Output Current Limit||3 Amps|
|Operation Temperature||-40° to 140° F (-40° to 60° C)|
|Max/Min Wire Size||12 AWG/24 AWG|
|Mounting Holes||2 Each – 3/16 in Holes, 2.5 in (6.35 cm) Apart|
|Dimensions||1.5 x 1.5 x 3 in (3.8 x 3.8 x 7.6 cm)|
|Weight||4 oz (113.4 g)|
|Shipping Weight||1 lb (0.5 kg)|
Solar Panel Voltage Regulator – Model 5310-00
Why is my solar panel over voltage?
Overvoltage is impacting your Solar Systems Recently exposing the grid voltage rate in Australia which is affecting homes with solar systems and the results they found weren’t good. You might be wondering what voltage is, simply put, it’s the force that moves electrical current through power lines to homes.
So all that AC your inverter generates requires voltage in order for it to move around your home and also for it to move to the grid. The tricky thing is that voltage is never a constant variable and depending on the demand for power will depend on the voltage reading. A healthy voltage rating is between 216.2 to 235 volts, this allows for a +10% rise and a -6% decrease.
The voltage on the grid is meant to be around about 230volts at all times. If the voltage is too low, the power supply in your house will be poor and may also cut out and if it’s too high, power will be wasted and power bills may increase. Overvoltage is one of the most common issues that impact your panels’ performance, it happens when the grid voltage exceeds 258 volts and it when more solar is generated than power being used.
If grid voltage is already too high your inverter is no longer able to overcome it and instead shuts itself off. For example, if your solars are producing lots of power constantly for 10 minutes, then the grid will go over 255volts, causing an overvoltage reaction. Newer inverters ramp down power going to the grid before they reach the 258volt limit. Ways to fix this is by changing your inverter settings to a lower voltage setting in order for your system to not experience overvoltage shuts off.
There’s a lot of talk in the media and with power providers that solar destabilises the grid as your inverter increases voltage by 2 volts when it’s producing power. Now, this wouldn’t be an issue if the grid voltage was at a lower reading as it would be able to handle 2 volts extra. Over 12,000 homes were monitored during the UNSW study and 29.5% of tests conducted happened in South Australia.
Out of the 12,000 homes, tests showed that 53% of those tested experienced power overvoltage. Each time the solars go over into overvoltage they disconnect for 2 seconds and once they reach over the 258volts they disconnect for 15 seconds. Each time your inverter disconnects, it shuts down and doesn’t generate any power nor will it move any power to your home or to the grid. Those that experienced the most overvoltage cut-outs lost up to $225-900 of revenue p.a. Those that were only mildly impacted lost between $3-12 p.a.
UNSW researchers believe that the only way for this issue to truly be resolved is if the voltage on the grid gets increased. Ways to improve overvoltage cutouts:
Installing a 3 phase inverter is the best way as the current being sent into the grid is divided into three different cables opposed to just one with a single-phase inverter. The lower you can make the current the lower the voltage will be.
Upgrades to the grid, replacing powerlines with fatter ones as thicker cables contribute less to voltage rise. Increasing the voltage allowance on the grid to handle the higher voltage that solar is creating.
Your local distribution network service provider (DNSP) ours is SA Power Networks, legally have to fix the voltage if it’s higher than the standard range (mentioned above). You can make a claim to them and they will set up a voltage monitoring system in your area.
- It will take roughly around 3 months to complete the monitoring process and if the verdict comes back that the voltage is in fact too high then SA Power Networks will fix the issue.
- However, it may take up to 12 weeks to do so.
- All graph data shown comes from the UNSW study results and not from SA Regional Solar.
: Overvoltage is impacting your Solar Systems
Can you change the voltage of solar panels?
Solar panels can be wired in series or in parallel to increase voltage or current respectively. The rated terminal voltage of a 12 Volt solar panel is usually around 17.0 Volts, but through the use of a regulator, this voltage is reduced to around 13 to 15 Volts as required for battery charging.
How do you reduce grid voltage?
Upgrading The Grid – One simple way to decrease grid over voltage problems is to replace existing power lines with fatter ones as thicker cables contribute less to voltage rise 8, This includes street power lines as well as those from the street to the switchboards of homes and businesses.
- Unfortunately, like many things that are worthwhile in life (such as chocolate), this costs money.
- Another way to improve the situation is to adjust the voltage of existing street transformers.
- The drawback is, a vast number can’t have their voltage lowered any further.
- As I mentioned, changing from the old 240 volt standard towards our aspirational target of 230 volts consumed a lot of the existing flexibility in the system.
These old street transformers can be replaced with ones that can be adjusted lower or, better yet, replaced with ones that are quite happy to adjust themselves, but again this will be a considerable expense. Personally I think would often be worthwhile if all costs were correctly accounted for.
What is the maximum voltage of a solar panel?
Solar Array Voltage – When solar panels are connected in series into what are called strings, their voltages are added together. When they are connected in parallel, the voltage stays the same. The total voltage of a string must not go over the maximum voltage allowed at the input of the inverter or charge controller being used. The solar panels themselves also have a maximum system voltage that must not be exceeded. Typically the maximum voltage of the system is either 600V or 1000V (or 1500V in utility-scale systems).
How do you keep a solar panel from overcharging a battery?
What are the steps to prevent overcharging in batteries? – Higher charging voltage from the solar panels leads to higher Ah being delivered to the battery and ultimately leading to overcharging. The easiest way to control over charging of the batteries is to control the output voltage of the solar panel. Goodwe Hybrid Inverter The DC cables from the solar panels are connected to the PV terminals of the hybrid inverter, similarly the battery is connected to the battery terminals of the hybrid inverter. Using maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology, the hybrid inverter optimizes solar production.
How does a solar panel voltage regulator work?
A solar regulator (or charge controller) works in conjunction with a stand alone (off grid) system, or a grid connect solar power system that incorporates a backup battery bank. For a grid connect solar power system that doesn’t use batteries, a solar regulator is unnecessary. A solar regulator is a small box consisting of solid state circuitry that is placed between a solar panel and a battery. Its function is to regulate the amount of charge coming from the panel that flows into the deep cycle battery bank in order to avoid the batteries being overcharged.
What causes voltage rise?
If the generator power export is larger than the feeder load, power flows from the generator to the primary substation and this causes a voltage rise along the feeder.
Why is grid voltage high?
In addition to the load fluctuation and type which has been mentioned above, when you have lots of small generators connected to the same LV the voltage will raise. In modern networks in which there are several PV arrays connected to the same LV, this case may also raise the voltage in the last mile of the grid.
Why is inverter output voltage so high?
The AC voltage overrange is the most common failure of the solar inverter connected with the PV grid system. This is because the grid voltage is not constant and it will change with the changing of the load and current. At the same time, the output voltage of the inverter will be affected by the grid voltage.
- When the grid encounters abnormal situation, the inverter power supply shall be stopped to avoid more serious damage on the grid.
- Based on the national standard, the protection range of the under-voltage and over-voltage at the AC output side is the 85%-110% of the rated voltage.
- The solar inverter operation shall be stopped when it exceeds this range.
The rated voltage of the single-phase grid is 230V. when the grid voltage is lower than 195.5V or is higher than 253V, principally the inverter shall be stopped. The rated voltage of the three-phase grid is 400V. When the grid voltage is lower than 340V or is higher than 440V, principally, the inverter shall be stopped.1.
- Overvoltage caused by rising of power grid voltage The grid voltage will be relatively high at two places.
- The first one is the place close to the step-down transformer.
- To ensure the normal voltage of the place close to the transformer and considering the voltage loss of the wire, normally the transformer output voltage will be increased.
The second factor is that as the PV power generation terminal user can not accept it, it is necessary to improve the voltage when power is delivered to remote place. Thus, the output voltage of the solar inverter will be high, which will trigger the inverter protection function and the inverter working will be stopped. Under this situation, there are three methods to keep the solar inverter working continuously.
The first method is to increase the output cable diameter. This is because when the cable is thick, the resistance can be decreased. The second method is to move the inverter to a place close to the grid connection point because the short cable distance can help reduce the resistance. The third method is to adjust the inverter voltage range manually. But the voltage can not be adjusted to a very high level. If the voltage exceeds 270V, other electrical appliances may be damaged.
2. Overvoltage caused by wrong connection of AC wire If the AC wire of the solar inverter is connected in a wrong way, the AC voltage overrange failure may be caused. If the phase wire and zero wire are connected wrongly, then the inverter A phase will show that the line voltage is 380V and the B, C will show that the phase voltage is 220V. As shown in the above photo, the system reminds that the AC voltage exceeds the required range. It can be seen from the monitor APP that the phase voltage of AC1 is normal but AC2 and AC3 are relatively low. After the site inspection, it is found that this is because the phase line L1 and the zero line N are connected in an opposite way.
When they are exchanged back, the solar inverter works normally.3. Overvoltage caused by poor contact or damage of AC switch The poor contact or the damage of the AC switch will also lead to the AC voltage overrange failure of the solar inverter. The AC switch behind the inverter will work for long time.
If the cable end is not well pressed and connected or if the switch quality is not good, high resistance will be caused in the connection place and then the voltage will be decreased. As shown in the above photo, the AC voltage overrange alarm is generated by the power station. It can be found from the monitor APP that the phase voltage of AC1 is 10.1V, of AC 2 and AC3 is separately 126.2V and 128.9V. However, based on the site measurement, the grid voltage is normal and the switch is not turned off.
Firstly, the multimeter can be used to detect the grid voltage. If the voltage is abnormal, it means the problem is caused by the grid. Secondly, the AC switch can be tested. Normally, when the switch is turned on, the switch conducting the current from upward to downward direction normally and there is no voltage between the input wire and the output wire. However, if it is found that the voltage is over 5V, it means the switch has problem. Thirdly, if it is confirmed that the problem is not caused by the AC switch. The AC wire output terminal of the solar inverter shall be inspected. The multimeter can be used to detect the voltage among the phases of the wire terminal and the detected voltage shall be consistent with the grid voltage. If it is not consistent, the problem may be caused by the cable between the switch and the inverter or may be caused by the inverter output terminal. Finally, if it is confirmed that the AC wire output terminal voltage is normal but the inverter AC voltage failure alarm still exists, the alarm may be caused by the internal sampling system of the solar inverter and users shall contact the inverter manufacturer to solve the problem.
Can I use a buck converter on a solar panel?
The buck-boost converter can work with any input voltage and the solar panel can work at different output voltage.
Why is minimizing voltage drop in a photovoltaic system design important?
Mitigating voltage drop PV designers have two good reasons to minimize voltage drop: to avoid wasting energy and to ensure that inverters always work according to electrical specifications. In project bidding, designers are often asked to keep voltage drop below 2 percent on DC input circuits, 2 percent on AC output circuits and 3 percent overall.
- These values are not mandated by code, but they do generally indicate whether a system is designed to operate in a reasonably efficient manner.
- One simple way to reduce voltage drop is to use current-carrying conductors that are larger than necessary for the project.
- A larger conductor decreases electrical resistance, thereby reducing voltage drop on the line.
Reducing conductor length would have the same effect, but options for the designer to do so are limited based on the placement of equipment and the grid interconnection point. It’s important to consider the cost of using larger conductors; depending on the system design, it can be less expensive to install a larger system than to use larger conductors.
- Another piece of conventional wisdom is that to minimize voltage drops, systems are better off with long runs of DC wiring than long runs of AC wiring.
- This is not always the case.
- Again, it’s important to consider the system design, particularly the voltage of the DC and AC wiring.
- If the array has a 1,000-volt DC nominal rating and the inverter feeds into the grid at 240 volt AC, then certainly it’s better to have a long DC run.
If you have a 600-volt DC system and a 480-volt AC tie-in, you are better off with long AC runs and short DC runs. *** Claudia Eyzaguirre and Daniel Sherwood are co-founders of, a solar design platform that generates fast and accurate project design both on the web and in a seamlessly integrated AutoCAD environment.
What is an MPPT solar charge controller?
An MPPT charge controller is a DC-DC converter that maximizes the efficiency of a solar system. It does this by optimizing the voltage match between the solar panel array and the batteries.
What is the angle of solar panels?
Why is the tilt of the panels so important? – The tilt of the panels is important because your panels will produce a maximum of energy when the sun is directly perpendicular to them. During the winter in the northern hemisphere, for example, the sun is low in relation to the horizon.