Install Solar Bypass Diodes
Bypass diodes for solar cells reduce the risk of damage to the photovoltaic system. If solar cells are connected in series, and a panel of the series produces less power than others, it is forced full power of other panels made to wear. This can lead to overheating and failure.
shading the disc, dirt on disc or mechanical damage can all result in the panel producing less energy. Bypass diode current through various panels to bad disk and prevent further damage produced. Check maximum output voltages, output of solar cells and whether they have already installed bypass diodes.
Install Solar Bypass Diodes
Small solar panels with output voltages less than 18V and panels that produce less than 10 watts don’t need bypass diodes since there is not enough power available to cause damage, and voltage drop for each diode would reduce system’s efficiency greatly. For larger panels and higher voltages, commercially available panels usually have bypass diodes already installed. Check current output of each solar panel.
Select bypass diodes that can carry output current at high temperatures at which solar panels typically operate. rated current of diode at high temperatures may be only half of normal rated current. Check diodes forward voltage drop and reverse leakage.
Both should be as low as possible, and will reduce efficiency of solar panels if forward voltage drop is more than 0.5Vs and reverse leakage is more than 20 milliamps at 200 degrees F. Install bypass diodes across solar panels or within larger solar panels. For smaller panels, positive lead of diode must be connected to positive output terminal of solar panel and negative lead to negative output terminal.
This is usually done in solar panel junction box. If solar panel generates output voltage over 24V, more than one bypass diode will be required for each panel, and diode must be connected across each series of solar cells generating maximum of 18V. This is normally about 36 cells.
Look for two vertical tabs running across fronts and backs of solar cells. Check that cells are connected in series by verifying that positive front tabs of first cell are connected to negative back tabs of next cell. Connect negative lead of bypass diode to negative output terminal of solar panel and solder wire to positive lead.
Count about 36 cells from first cell, and solder positive diode lead wire to one of front tabs of solar cell. Solder negative lead of second diode to same front tab. Repeat procedure until negative diode lead of final diode is connected to negative output terminal of solar panel.
exact number of cells being bridged by each diode is not important, but all cells must be included in one of diode circuits.
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