Can you Mix Different Wattage Solar Panels

Can you mix different wattage solar panels? It’s something that a lot of people in South Africa and elsewhere have been asking about. With the country experiencing rolling blackouts, many have turned to solar as a solution.

There are many advantages of going solar. Energy from the sun is renewable, meaning by the joining the trend, you will be doing your party in preserving the environment. It’s also a great investment in terms of cost. After the initial investment, you will be getting much of your power virtually free.

You are here because you have discovered a great deal on solar panels. However, they are different from the ones that you already have. It’s something that happened to us while trying to upgrade our system. Initially, we had 4 * 370 watt panels on a grid tied system.

The challenge, when we were trying to add more panels was that we could not find similar ones. The ones that we found were 365 watt. So, we started asking ourselves, could we mix the 365 watt panels with our original 370 watt panels? What would be the effects of doing so?

Yes, you can mix different wattage solar panels, but…

Yes, you can mix different wattage solar panels, but doing so reduces the efficiency of the entire system. It will not damage your system, but you will end up not getting the maximum in terms of power from the mixed setup. That’s because when you mix a higher wattage solar panel to a lower wattage solar panel, the wattage on the higher wattage panel becomes no more than that of the lower wattage panels.

What do we mean? In our case, we had a 370 watt solar panel setup. If we added a couple of 365 watt panels to the system, it would mean our original 370 watt panels would be limited to operating at 365 watts each. So, we will improve the performance of our system overall, but we won’t get the best in terms of power.

In the above scenario we were talking about wattage. The same principle applies to voltage. Here is an article that tells you what happens when you mix different voltage solar panels in a system. Again, it’s recommended to buy all your panels at once to avoid the potential pitfalls.

Another example

Let’s assume you have 330 watt + 340 watt + 340 watt + 340 watt solar panels connected in series. In that setup, the total wattage would not be 330 + 340+ 340+ 340 watts = 1350 watts. The total would actually be 330 watts * 4 which is 1320 watts. So, you would end up losing 30 watts from the other panels because the system will be forced to operate at the level of the lowest wattage solar panels.

Buy all your panels at once

That’s the answer to the question, can you mix different wattage solar panels. The answer is yes you can, but you will lose power because each of the panels will only be as good as the weakest panels.

In our case, we ended up opting to buy the 365 watt panels and adding them to our system. Yes, it means our 370 watt panels are being dragged down to some degree, but the overall benefit is still great.

We have already noted that our system was initially set up to be grid tied. It then turned out that the grid could not be relied upon on most days. So, we ended up having to add more panels to ensure that our system was providing the amount of power that we needed for our appliances.

The solution to this problem is to make sure that when you are setting up your system, you buy all the panels that you need at once. That will ensure that all of them are from the same manufacturer and that they have the same wattage and voltage.


This post was dedicated to answering the question, can you mix different wattage solar panels. It was noted that this is something that can be done without harm. However, you will end up losing some power from your system.

That’s because your panels will operate at the level of the lowest panel. It means if you combine a 300 watt panel with a 100 watt panel, you will get 200 watts from the system and not 400 watts, because the bigger panel will be reduced to operating at the level of the smaller panel.

Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline solar panels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *