I don't know who to ask about this. I know it works, but don't know if it's a good idea or a safe idea.

I have 3 solar panels, 240W each.

I have a need for 720W max and 60V.

I thought. hmmmmm, put 2 panels in parallel, and then put that "parallel group of 2 panels" in series with the 3rd panel.

This gives me my required voltage, and watts but is this a really bad idea or is it perfectly safe.

All panels are the same type, model manufacturer etc.


2 Answers 2


You will be current-limited by the 3rd panel (that doesn't have a series twin). Your maximum output would be 2x 240W, the same as two series panels.

I'd recommend buying a 4th panel to run 2 series - 2 parallel or finding a way to run the 3 panels in series while still meeting the needs of your load.


@Deanb is correct - the maximum current that a PV panel will pass is proportional to its illumination level. So, you can't make one panel pass the current from two panels if all are identical and equally illuminated.

A MPPT controller (in this case effectively a buck converter) will allow you to put 3 panels in series and to output some lower voltage.

1 or 2 or 3 grid tie inverters will allow you to make "mains" voltages and then to convert that to 60V.


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