4 Kyocera Panels in Series = 80 volts?

2 Posts
Mar 1, 2010 03:04 pm
4 Kyocera Panels in Series = 80 volts?

I have just installed 4 Kyocera 135w solar panels on my Sprinter van and am curious as to the output from the solar array.  The 4 are wired in series.  My Outback Flex 60 charge controller is showing as high as 85 volts from the solar array.  Is that possible, or is there something wrong?  If I understand, these panels are 17 volts, so how can I be getting more than the expected 68 volts?  I've double-checked the wiring and am quite certain the series is wired up correctly.

I'm also showing pretty low amps - only up to about 1.5 amps for a total of ~120 watts.  It was quite sunny while I was testing (near noon), but the panels aren't aligned to the sun (they face directly up) - this seems low for a 540w system.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

578 Posts
Mar 1, 2010 03:40 pm
Re: 4 Kyocera Panels in Series = 80 volts?

in the winter, with modules flat, that is not abnormal.  anything from 60 to 90v on the input would be pretty normal. 

also, depending on the battery bank state of charge, and the irradiance, 1.5a of current from that array is not outlandish in winter.

remember, current is direction proportional to irradiance, so without a tool like this


it is hard to know at any given moment what the potential for current is. 

even in good conditions in the summer, it is not unusual to see 70-80% of nameplate ratings at any given moment.

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26 Posts
Mar 4, 2010 07:56 pm
Re: 4 Kyocera Panels in Series = 80 volts?

That seems just about right.  The nominal voltage is not the same as the charging voltage.  Something in the neighborhood of 25% higher than nominal voltage is expected.  Otherwise, you could never charge a nominally-rated battery bank if the voltage weren't higher.  There would be no pressure to send electricity into the batteries. 

I usually get 50% of the rated wattage out of my panels pointed at 60 degrees in the winter.  Pointed straight up, 25% or so wouldn't be unexpected.

In other words, everything seems to be working as it should.  If you must keep your panels at zero degrees (dead flat), then maybe putting a diffuser of some kind over top might help.  Or put them on a tiltable frame that you can move up to the appropriate angle when you're not moving.
2 Posts
Mar 5, 2010 01:49 am
Re: 4 Kyocera Panels in Series = 80 volts?

Thanks for the great replies.  Looks like I'm setup fine then.  I'd like to think I would use the adjustable racks for aiming the panels correctly, but on my last van I had them installed and never once used them, so these are mounted directly up.  Should still net me enough power for my needs.  Thanks for the help...


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