PV200 Panel Series + parallel connect to AC200max

Hi all,
New to the community and to solar generators. I am very experienced in solar for off the grid RV camping. I am aware that when it comes to my RV setup which is a BlueSky with 600 watts of solar panels charging 400 amps of Lithium LifePO4 batteries, amps are what you pay attention to on speed of charge. The BlueSky monitors the charge rate in amps, which averages about 35amps at high noon. Why does Bluetti not have this also in their menu. Watts is just another way of showing the intensity of the Sun. I am more concerned with how fast my 2 B230 and AC200max is charging, like my system in my camper. I am not experienced at hooking up 3 PV200 panels together, I did do as Bluetti suggested and hooked them up in series. Don’t get me wrong at this point, I am very aware of the concept of hooking batteries up in Series vs Parallel.

Researching online there is the concept of using the combination of Series + Parallel which makes since to me. The point I am getting to now is that this works great with equal amounts of panels.
I have 3 panels.

The configuration I came with is hook up 2 panels in series, then hook up a pos cable of one to a 2 connection parallel Y adapter and the neg cable to another 2 connection Y adapter. Now on the 3rd panel, I connect the pos cable to the open connection of the pos Y adapter. Connect the neg of the 3rd panel to the open connection of the neg Y adapter. Then connect the Pos and neg to the XT90-MC4 to the the XT-90-Aviation to the AC200max.

This setup I would think would increase my amps to 19.4, yes the AC200 would only accept 15amps which is fine increasing it to 5.3 more amps then hooking up the 3 panels in series. I am more interested in charging the batteries faster then total wattage.

My question is here, does this hookup work to increase the amp input since the AC 200 only shows a little over 200 watts intake on the screen ( my theory is it shows that because it ony sees the one paralell panel)? This is where I am confused. Since I have hooked 2 panels in series 200 watt total and one in Paralell 200 watt total, why does it not show 400 watts on the AC200 screen?

Has anybody else tried this? Can this configuration of only 3 panels work with a series+paraellel work?

Thanks for any replies, sorry for a lengthy post.

Watts are actually the indicator of charging rate not the solar intensity.

Thanks for the reply Scott. So basically what you are saying this hookup is only delivering 2amps since I am only getting about 240 watts or am I, since Buetti does not show amps in their settings… The panels in series with optimal solar condition would deliver 600 watts = 5 amps. Pretty slow charging as compared to my BlueSky in my camper with the same 600watt panels on it.

Not sure where you are coming up with the 2 amp figure. I think you are still confused with volts, watts and amps. Watts are the indication of amount of charging. Watts = amps X volts. If you want maximum solar input you need to connect all the panels in series to increase the voltage while the amperage stays the same. You are thinking that the more amps, the higher the charge rate and that is not accurate. The higher the watts, the higher the charge rate. You want to increase the voltage. You do not want parallel panels, you want them connected in series .

If you have 3x PV200 panels and want to charge the AC200, you will want to hook all 3 of them up in series.

If you do 2 in series and then parallel the 3rd, you will lower the voltage below the minimum required to charge the AC200.

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Hey thanks for responding to my post snowstorm

Yesterday I experimented with the setup I posted. Grant you this is still winter and I am not going to get sun exposure that I will get in the summer.

At 10:00am with no clouds I setup all 3 PVs in series : AC200max w/ 2 B230 PPS connected.
SOC was 83%
I monitored every 1/2 hour and 30 watt increase every 30 min.
Once it was about 1:00pm sun was overhead
I now was at about 90% SOC a appx 6% increase.
I now wired my series+parallel setup.
Increase was very notable!
Within the 3 hours the system was charged 100% a 10% increase which is 4% increase from series only setup!

According to the AC200max solar input specs MPPT Voltage Range is 10-145VDC.
If you do the calculations of a series + parallel on the PV200 solar panels, voc =26.1v.
According to my hookup: 2 PV200 in series calculates out to 52.2VOC 9.7amps.
1 PV200 in parallel calculates to 26.1VOC 9.7amps. Both = 78.3VOC and 19.4amps.
The voltage is well within the 10-145VDC requirement of the AC200max. Not trying to disagree with you on that point but if you are correct about my setup, according to the AC200max manual I would have a error. Bluetti claims that the AC200max is plug & play. Per Bluetti : AC200max will be activated when solar charging system built up successfully.

I think that is why I saw the increase of speed of recharging this system after I went to this setup. I did not come up with this out of my head, but I do believe that my experience with solar setups on my RV is important on understanding how to make a system like this more efficient. When it comes to RVs like most people my solar panels are on the roof. I could get up there and angle them correctly as the sun moves thru the horizon, but that would be a PITA.

There are many online sites to research about wiring solar panels when on the move out on the grid. Most agree that a Series+Parallel is the best option. Which I totally agree with. That is what my post is about. I basically was looking for input about that.

I just wanted to know if anybody here had tried this setup with 3 panels, I do not intend to spend anymore money on a 4th PV200 to fit within the typical equal amount 4 panel setup for a Series+Parallel Panel setup.

I do appreciate the input both you and Scott contributed.

Added note: at 10:00am I was getting about 420 to 430watt input with the series hookup. At 1:00pm after my setup it was 220watt input?? Like I stated before increase of charge was notably increased even though the angle of the sun was reducing.

Were any portions of your panels shaded when you were connected in series?

Nope. Had total sun all day. I think lack of watts were due to a slightly overcast and angle of the sun due to this time of year here in Northern Nevada. I am testing the AC200 and the 2 B230s right now to see how long I can run my Frig. We should have a day here soon without overcast this week. I plan on charging the AC200 and B230s all day on the series setup and run them down and then charge them another day on my series+parallel setup. I should be able get a good comparison of the two charge rates. I’ll post my results next week.

I would still like to know why the AC200 screen showed I was getting only 220watts on my setup? Does it default to only the parallel and ignoring the series. Even if only the parallel panel is delivering 26.1VOC 9.7amps 200watts the charging would have taken well over 2 times slower to charge to 100% the way I would see it.

The AC200 screen displayed the watts that were incoming to your AC200. No defaulting of series or parallel is occurring.

If you have 3 panels each at 26V 9A, then 3 in series will get you 78V 9A. If you have 2 in series you get 52V 9A. Now if you take the 2 series and wire it with the single panel in parallel, it will pull the voltage down to the single one at only 26V but add the current to 18A. That is not what you want, as the AC200 can only accept 12A, the extra is wasted and your max potential is no better than wiring 2 panels is parallel.

For 3 panels, use 3S

If you have 4 panels, then it is still better to do a 4S (104V 9A), but 2S2P (52V 18A) would be workable though less ideal.

If you have 6 panels, then 6S will over voltage so 3S2P would be the best bet.

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I concur. Series is the setup that will achieve the highest charging rate. The OP seems to be confused about a few issues and is feeling that the parallel setup is yielding a higher charge rate based on his observations of the display panel state of charge increasing. The correct way to determine the incoming charging power would be to simply look at the watts of charging power on the display screen with the series vs parallel setup mentioned. This would show the true charging power entering the AC200. The term “watts” appears to be misunderstood in this case.

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Apparently, my last response was taken off this community. I’m done with this community. this is my only and last post here. Bye all.

The issue you have is that you are quoting information from an article that is not accurate and you are stating that you completely understand the inaacurate information.

Below is your quoted misinformation:
“Here is a quote from a article about charging which I understand fully:
Amperage is the strength of an electric current often used to measure charging. In fact, amperage is the difference between a lightning quick full charge and an all-day trickle. Amperage is the defining factor of how quickly your device will charge.”

Wattage is the defining factor of how quickly your device will charge. Wattage is a factor of amperage X voltage. You can get a rapid charge by increasing the voltage while keeping the amperage the same. This is the concept that you seem to be failing to understand. Your Sogen is limited to a certain amount of amperage input. When you have reached that limit you must increase the voltage in order to increase the charge rate.

It is possible you are thinking in terms of a fixed voltage to charge a 12 volt battery. In that case, the amperage would determine the charge rate. The sogens are neither 12 volt or have a fixed voltage range. As such, the higher the voltage you can get (connecting panels in series) the higher your charge rate wil be while the amps remain the same.

Really! Scott, this sounds like the mainstream media. regardless, I’m out of here. Thanks for nuthin.

Wait a minute, are referring to the LifePO4 batteries in the AC200Max and B230s as sogen??? I have 4 LifePO4 lithium batteries in my RV. They are 12volt batteries. Are these sogen LifePO4 a different breed of battery, enlighten me??

Thank you Scott, yes I was not realizing that these were a different animal of LifePO4 that I was not familiar with. I did go and research about these 58V batteries later today. I must admit that there is very little info out there on how to effectively charge these beast with Panels. I take your word for explaining more in depth. Just wished it would not had got to this point, if you would have understood early on of where I was coming from when I kept referring to RV solar (12V) you could have explained it earlier to me and we could definitely saved myself a lot of time and energy. Now I totally understand the what you and snowstorm were trying explain, please forgive me for anything I said that offended you and vice-versa from what you implied to me

The LifePO4 batteries in the AC200 Max operate at around 58 volts so they are in no way comparable to your RV 12 volt or 6 volt batteries. Same thing on the B230. LifePO4 batteries are a type and depending on how you combine the cells you will get different voltages in each product. I still maintain that you are confused with amperage because you are equating the electrical charging as it specifically applies to 12 volt RV batteries and that is simply not the case for these higher voltage batteries. There is a 15 amp input limit for charging on the AC200 max and once you have reached that 15 amp limit, the only way to increase the charging power (watts) is to increase the voltage. Connecting panels together in series increases the voltage without increasing the amperage which is exactly what you want.

It appears that you are frustrated or offended by my explanations or comments but that does not change the physics of the issue. And no, I do not work for Bluetti but we have a good relationship based on my clear explanations to members that have difficulty in understanding some of the concepts.

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I find it helpful to use a water pipe analogy to understand wattage, amp and voltage.

Voltage is like pressure, how hard the water / electricity is pushing. You can have really high pressure but pressure alone won’t tell you how fast you will fill you bucket.

Amps is like the size of the hose. A 1/4 inch hose is low current, a 1 inch hose has larger current (not a perfect analogy, but keep following)

When you combine both together you get full rate (gal/min) or Wattage. And that’s what will determine how fast you fill you bucket or charge your battery. In real life wattage = voltage X current

So high pressure (high voltage) with large hose (high current) will lead to high flow rate (wattage) and fill bucket or battery fastest. If you have low pressure/voltage or small hose/low current, then bucket won’t fill fast. The AC200 has a max current of 12A, so it can’t fit any larger current (hose size). Once you reach 12A, you will have to increase voltage or pressure to fill it faster.

Hope that helps.

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