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Is There An Easy Way To Test A Solar Panel


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I was wondering if there's a way of testing a solar panel without a multimeter? Would attaching the clamps to a certain size lightbulb work?

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This is the one I've got

 

http://vi. raptor. ebaydesc. com/ws/eBayISAPI. dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=271998008586&category=41981&pm=1&ds=0&t=1496059870925

 

I've had no probs with it but just wondered if there is a quick test, I don't have a multi meter and you can bet your bottom dollar the batteries would be flat in it when I want to use it!

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I would suggest you buy one of these.

 

http://cpc. farnell. com/tenma/ten01046/current-tester-automotive-std/dp/IN04874

 

or pay a lot more for it at Maplins.

 

This fits into a blade fuse port that hopefully is part of the solar panel kit, the removed fuse being placed in the side of the plug of this unit.

To measure the current simply switch the unit on when you want to read off the value, otherwise simply leave it in place as the solar unit will not be affected by it being there.

 

It has a battery inside it but if you switch the unit on and off only when needing a reading it will last years and years.

 

Looking at your photo of the panel, the very evident observation I make is with it down in the grass blades, its output will be a fraction of what it could be; set it on a piece of plywood or anything to stop these grass blade shadows.

 

Edit: if the unit is unfused then definitely put one in close to the positive crocodile clip, though it is a poor show if this basic protection is not there.

If a "mini" blade fuse is used there is a version of this meter for those, from the same two sources.

Edited by JTQ
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You could use a standard 12v test lamp, it will show the difference in output by how bright the bulb shines, as in, facing away from the sun will give a duller light than one facing the sun

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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You could use a standard 12v test lamp, it will show the difference in output by how bright the bulb shines, as in, facing away from the sun will give a duller light than one facing the sun

 

It could be challenging to source a 100 watt 12 VDC bulb?

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It could be challenging to source a 100 watt 12 VDC bulb?

 

The controller is stuck on the back of the panel so a. ... well my test lamp would be ok but I see what you mean

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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If you're trying to test the panel directly, the output voltage will be considerably higher than 12v. Some are over 30v in sunshine and rely on the regulator to reduce in charging the battery. You don't really need to test to 100W if it's just a go-nogo check you're making. A 24v bulb such as a stop/tail should do.

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I would suggest you buy one of these.

 

http://cpc. farnell. com/tenma/ten01046/current-tester-automotive-std/dp/IN04874

 

or pay a lot more for it at Maplins.

 

This fits into a blade fuse port that hopefully is part of the solar panel kit, the removed fuse being placed in the side of the plug of this unit.

To measure the current simply switch the unit on when you want to read off the value, otherwise simply leave it in place as the solar unit will not be affected by it being there.

 

It has a battery inside it but if you switch the unit on and off only when needing a reading it will last years and years.

 

Looking at your photo of the panel, the very evident observation I make is with it down in the grass blades, its output will be a fraction of what it could be; set it on a piece of plywood or anything to stop these grass blade shadows.

 

Edit: if the unit is unfused then definitely put one in close to the positive crocodile clip, though it is a poor show if this basic protection is not there.

If a "mini" blade fuse is used there is a version of this meter for those, from the same two sources.

Thanks for that JTQ, found your comments interesting, just ordered one for my panel.

Škoda Octavia Estate 2. 0TDi 4x4 towing a Compass Omega 482.

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