How to test the output of a solar panel
Volts x Amp = Watts.
Therefore, in order to calculate the output of the the solar panel, the voltage and amperage should be measured. Solar panels consists of solar photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight into electricity. The cells are mostly made of semi-conductor material silicon. The electric current produced by a solar panel usually goes into an inverter. In order to find out the amperage of the solar panel, a device called an amp meter is required. This device is used to attach to the solar panel to measure output.
In order to get an accurate result of the output, the solar panel should be tested under direct sunlight. The amp meter should always be higher than the output of solar panel. Get a hold of resisters and a multi meter to determine the current. A multi meter is used to determine voltage, amperage, and other values. The most common type of multi meters are digital, which is more advanced than an analog one. The settings of the multi meter should be higher than the voltage of the solar panel. Multi meter has to be set a reading higher for 12v. Such a reading will provide an accurate measurement.
Clip the red lead of your alligator clips on the positive side and the black on the negative. The multi meter will give you a reading to show the output of your panel. Expect a strong reading from new solar panels. However, if solar panels have been in use before, the reading will be lower. The alligator clips should not be removed before switching off the multi meter.
Testing a 12 Volt solar panel:
As most of solar panels come with a 12v rating, they are the most common to test. It is basically testing a 12v solar panel like other voltages. The meter should be set at 200 volts DC before starting. An overload means, it is required to turn up the DC voltages. When everything will go right, proper reading will be displayed in the meter.
How to test a solar charge controller:
- In order to measure DC current, it is required to put the leads in the right positive-positive and negative-negative slots.
- With the meter at -10A, connect everything as follows: Solar panel – controller – battery.
- Remove the positive cable used to connect the controller to the battery. After then, it is required to connect the positive from the meter to the positive cable.
- Finally, hook the negative lead of the meter to the positive terminal of the battery.