Can you run different solar panels together? How do you do it?

I often see people online saying that you can’t run two different solar panels connected in parallel into one battery, and this couldn’t be further than the truth.

If you have an 80W solar blanket, you can absolutely hook it together with a 200W panel and feed it into your battery, providing you do a couple of checks beforehand.

You will likely suffer some losses, but it works (and some solar controllers are much better at it than others), and I’ve been doing it for years without any negative side affects.

Different solar panels
Can you run different solar panels together? We have, for a long time

If you really want to keep them separate, you can run each panel through its own regulator, and then feed both regulators into the same battery, but that’s another story.

We often run a 120W solar panel on the roof of our camper trailer, with a 200W kings solar blanket through our Enerdrive DCDC charger to the batteries, and it works perfectly fine.

On occasion, I’ve even hooked our 200W Low Energy Developments Solar Panel on our Isuzu Dmax into the mix, so we’ve got 3 different panels all feeding into the same solar controller.

Now, there are a couple of things that you want to check before doing this, but for the most part you shouldn’t have any issues.

Check the voltage

Before you do this, you should check the open circuit voltage of the panels, and make sure that they are somewhat similar.

Our Renogy Solar Panels for example, are 27V, and pairing them with a normal 12V solar panel wouldn’t work very well. We also have the new Renogy 400W Folding solar panel which has an open circuit voltage of 47V, which is even more unusual for a 12V setup.

Renogy solar panel sticker
Measure, or check the open circuit voltage of your panels before hooking them together

Is your solar controller suitable?

Next up, you need to ensure that the solar controller that is controlling what power actually goes into your batteries is suitable.

If you had a cheap 10 amp PWM regulator, hooking multiple panels that exceed the 10 amps output would be a recipe for disaster. To give you an idea, our Enerdrive DC2DC is good for 500W of solar, and a maximum of 600W if you are OK with it shaving some off in peak sun.

Enerdrive DC2DC
Our Enerdrive DC2DC is happy doing 3 different panels

As a result of this, connecting two 200W panels and a 120W panel together is no issue, and I ran our setup for about a week like this in Shark Bay Caravan Park whilst we ran the induction cooktop for our primary food cooking setup.

In short, yes, its possible to run different solar panels together, but you need to check that they aren’t vastly different, and that your regulator can take the power correctly.

200W solar blanket by Kings
Using a Kings 200W solar blanket and the 120W original glass panel on the roof together

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  1. Hey Jarrad,

    I’ve just got the Anderson double adaptors, and they’re running in parallel. You want the voltages to be similar; we wouldn’t connect our 27V Renogy ones up with anything else as they are vastly different.

    It’s not perfect, but it works fine and gives us extra generation when needed

    All the best

  2. Hi Aaron, love your work! I’m thinking of doing a similar thing. I’m curious as to how you have it all wired up. Are you just using branching solar connectors with an Anderson adaptor for the solar blanket? And are you running them series or parallel? Cheers Jarrad

  3. Hi Lucas,

    It works, and I like the fact that I can leave it at camp without having to worry about a hugely expensive blanket going missing.

    It is not great quality, and does not do anywhere near 200W, but it works OK for a backup and we use it occasionally.


  4. Hi! How is the 200W kings solar blanket working?