I have 325 watts of solar installed in 25 panels spread throughout my boat. I have 60 watts in the form of 4 15 watt canvas foldable panels strapped to my dodger, I have 4 15 watt flexible walkable panels on my cabin top in seldom transgressed areas, I have 60 watts on my companion way hatch
, 10 watts on my cabin hatch
and 40 watts on my forward scoop hatch
. I also have 50 watts strapped to the top of my life raft
and two 5 watt panels on my head scoop vent box. I have a cluster of 6 5 watt panels on my foredeck. Some of these are permanent notably the hatches
, the walkable and the dodger panels. The ones on the foredeck need to be tucked away somewhere while underway. I have quite the collection of wires. I find around 1pm or so my max output is 12 Amps as read by my charge controller - that was the record peak. Normally it reads more like 6 amps. I have decided that the output is less then expected taking shading into consideration. I wonder if the batteries are full and the morningstar charge controller is only allowing as much current as required into the system or if I should somehow consolidate my wiring. I wired all the panels in parallel as they all have a useful charging voltage for lead acid batteries. I was contemplating shortening up the wires but that would only yield a 5 percent or so gain no? I have a feeling there is a lot of efficiency to be gained by rethinking and rewiring. Is it better to say wire everything up to 8 AWG wire and run that straight to the charge controller in the shortest amount of copper possible or to run independent parallel wires? There may be more seaworthiness/ redundancy in more wires. I feel like I should have seen a lot more amps from 325 watts then I have but that may be the nature of the beast...