RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Boondocking
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-09-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
Desertman's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 42
Can you connect different voltage PV panels?

I have one 240w 36v solar panel running through a Morningstar 45 MPPT controller. I have just acquired a 130w 17v panel that I would like to add to my 36v panel. Does anyone see a problem with this?

2011 Newmar BayStar 2901
2008 Jeep Wrangler
Desertman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #2
Senior Member
757driver's Avatar

Entegra Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Posts: 4,022
Hmm....dont think that you can mix two different voltage panels. It would be like connecting a 6 volt and a 12 volt battery together.

757driver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
Senior Member
bluepill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 2,457
Morningstar or one of their dealers should have the answer for that.
2008 Itasca 37H
2011 & 2012 Len & Pat's "One lap of America"
27K miles & 41 states in 13 months
Yellowstone Lake 6-1-2012
bluepill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
Senior Member
FlyingDiver's Avatar
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Somewhere....
Posts: 4,030
I think you would have to get another controller for that one panel, and then you could connect the outputs together at the battery bank.

2008 King Aire 4562, Spartan K3(GT) w/ Cummins ISX 600
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 5.7L V8 Hemi w/ Blue Ox Aventa LX Tow Bar and baseplate, SMI Air Force One brake
FlyingDiver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
Senior Member
wa8yxm's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 24,023
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
I think you would have to get another controller for that one panel, and then you could connect the outputs together at the battery bank.

Two answers: Answer 1: Ditto (Joe got it)

Answer 2... You would need protective diodes to make sure the higher voltage panel did not back current the lower voltage, and the lower voltage panel would never actually output current save for the very odd case where it is in full sun and the higher voltage panel is not.

Suggestion: use Joe's suggestion (2nd controller) and hook it to the CHASSIS battery.
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Buxton, North Dakota
Posts: 3,774
You can wire them in series. You have to make sure the controller can handle the higher voltage, which it probably can. You would have the current capacity of the smaller amperage panel.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G F53/ V10 605 watts of Solar
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C F53V10 Handicap Equipped
1999 Jeep Cherokee, 1991 Jeep Wrangler Renegade and 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel
John Hilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
Senior Member
Shadowcatche's Avatar
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,290
There is a good discussion on Solar Electric Power Discussion Forum by Northern Arizona Wind & Sun
I have two panels with a similar difference in voltage and for the lower voltage panel I went with a separate PWM Steca controller, and it plays well with the Morningstar MPPT. One of the Morningstar Sunsaver PWM would also be a very good choice, (I got a real steal on the Steca)
Shadowcatche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: somewhere in the west
Posts: 1,168
I say yes, if in series, and the controller will allow it and probably will as it's MPPT. Consider this - I have a 24 volt battery bank, and get this by series wiring 4 6 volt battery's. At each interconnection the voltage is different, being 6,12 18, and 24 volts, and each stage does not know if the stages prior to it is from 1,2, or however many battery's, it only knows the voltage. Same thing with panels, you wire them the same as battery's! Say you use the higher voltage leading into the lower voltage panel, the lower voltage does not know how many panels, or of what voltage is prior to it, and adds it's voltage. Done. It may not be the best producing string overall, but it can be done. I'd do it, and test the results because electrically, it's fine! IMHO Ed

Ed-Sommers is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.