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solar panel- gives volts but no amps

Hi,

I am trying if my about 50W solar panel is okay, but I can not get the Amps reading.

(Edit: I made a short video showing the 0 amps and my solar set up https://youtu.be/kSG391DN8dg (it gives 12V at the moment on he video))

It gives 20V, but shows 0 on Amps reading.

I dod that exactly as on this video, but got no readings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hey1QZkY...

Any suggestions?

PS: I have 2 of these panels, and both shows the same!

PS2: I am sure the multimeter set up is correct and there is no wires failure.

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Hi, Can only suggest that you check your multimeter setup. Ensure that the meter is set for AMPS / DC and the range is set for 10A. Check that the leads are in the 'Common' terminal and the 10A terminal. If you can read Voltage correctly then there has to be current. What model multimeter do you have?

Thank you Jayeff for suggestion. Actually I think it is not in the multimeter set up. I just made a short video describing the set up, I would appreciate if you would have a look, maybe you would find something.

Thank you!

https://youtu.be/kSG391DN8dg

What? You might as well have written that in chinese...

@Another Campervan Channel and that is why we made the Spam disappear ;-)

Hi . i think amp can only check when you have provided load to panel without putting load on it ,it is not possible to creat amp.

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Hi Dalibor,

Looking at your video, (very good by the way) I think that the problem is that your Solar Panel 'controller' is probably doing what it has been designed to do. It probably has what is known as 'short circuit output protection. That means that when there is a short circuit across the output it will shut down to protect the solar panel, the equipment that it is supplying from further damage and itself.

A multimeter set up to read current (A) is effectively a short circuit, but when it is set up to read Voltage (V) it is a high resistance.

In the 'How to test Solar Panels ' video that you posted, there is no controller connected to the panel. They tested directly from the panel output itself. This is OK if you want to check the panel is capable of supplying maximum current, if you think that it is faulty but it is not how it works in real situations. You need to protect the panels and the equipment that they are connected to. That is why there are controllers in between the panel and the output.

Note: If your solar panel controller also has a regulated Voltage output (Voltage is never more than 12-13V DC) then the current supplied to the battery may depend on the voltage that the battery has.e.g if the solar output is 12.3V and the battery is 12V then the battery is only being charged by 0.3V and the charging current will be small.

First make sure that both solar panels are connected from +ve panel output lead to +ve controller input terminal and -ve panel output lead to -ve controller input terminal (as you probably have)

The way to test the output current that is charging your battery is as follows:

1. Measure the solar panel controller output Voltage - try to get maximum voltage by angling the panels. It may be that you can never get more than 12 -13V

2. Measure the battery voltage. - hopefully it is less than the solar panel controller output voltage.

3. If it is proceed.

4. Connect the -ve solar controller output lead to the -ve battery terminal.

5. Connect the +ve solar controller output lead to one lead of your multimeter. (the meter should be set up to read Amps/DC range 10A, the leads in common and 10A terminal - as you did correctly in the video)

6. Connect the other lead of your multimeter to the +ve terminal of the battery

Your meter is in series with one output lead from the solar controller i.e solar controller +ve output - meter in - meter out - battery +ve terminal.

7. If your reading is less than 0.2A (<0.2A) change your meter range to the Amp/DC 200mA range and change the lead from the 10A terminal to the other terminal on the meter to get a more accurate reading.

If you do not get a reading this way, (check the solar output voltage again to make sure it is more than the battery) perhaps then your multimeter may be faulty when reading current. Check the user guide of the meter in case there is a fuse (in the meter) on the 10A range. In most meters the 0-200mA ranges have a fuse in the meter (to protect it in case of higher current flow) but the 10A range does not. Maybe though yours has. Just a point to check.

Check to see if you have an adjustable voltage output option in the controller. If not and it is a fixed 12 - 13V output, the charging current will always be small as long as the battery that you are charging has a voltage close to the output of the controller. The charging voltage always has to be higher than the voltage of what is being charged otherwise the current will want to flow back the other way. Most controllers also have 'reverse voltage protection' which stops current flowing back from a battery into the controller if the battery voltage is higher than the controller output voltage. This may occur if a cloud obscures the sun for instance, and the solar voltage output falls.

Ideally to effectively charge a battery such as you have in the video, the output from the solar controller needs to be in the range 13.5 - 14V. Once the battery is charged, having what is known as a 'trickle' charge ( solar output just above battery voltage) will maintain battery at peak level, if it is not being used for long periods of time.

Hopefully this is of some help.

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Hi, I have a solar panel 175 watts, I has volt but when I connect to battery it's taken long time fully charge the battery.

The meter shows high voltage about 50volt but when I connet to battery the voltage comes down or lower. What is the problem?

Please help me.

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Dalibor, I think you are over complicating your issue. In order to measure the amperage of your solar panel, you will have to measure it with a load connected. Your multimeter is not enough of a load to measure the output. Connect one cable from your panel to the battery. Then connect the other lead from the panel to one lead of the multimeter. Connect the last lead to the battery. your meter should now read the load as amperage. Check on here for more of a visual.

Block Image

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two issues: 1. battery voltage is greater than solar voltage. Current flow is from highest potential to lowest Solar has reverse flow (diode) protection. Ergo, no battery charging going on. Also, blown fuses in current meter (multimeter) mean no circuit, also no current flow.

Cheers

KC8KK

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Thank you guys for your help!

I did try all the suggestions, even later I connect it with 12V motor (to be exact as on the pict. above) but still got 0Amps.

On the end I dispart my multimeter and find 2 fuses (250mA , 10A), 10A is burned. Today is Sunday, so n way to buy it here. Tomorrow I will exchange it and see if this was that problem.

Thank you!

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check the diodes on the panels- sounds like they may be shorted

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Hi guys

I have just had the same problem on my array. While testing for voltage drop, i noticed one 22v 200w panel made no difference to the current inflow. I checked it voltage which was good!. Had me stumped!. I setup a test reg and battery plus load using that panel and it worked fine! Closer inspection of the connectors on the bus rail revealed when i built the connectors, one had not been pushed all the way home! Simple problem, simple fix!. Always eliminate the simple things first

Cheers

Andy

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I have a similar problem and it has me stumped. I have a snap-on multimeter it measures amps through a clamp on the end model# eedm570. I was checking my 24v solar array and was getting anywhere from 6-8 amps from each panel except one. I immediately disconnected it from the others and I was getting 36V open circuit. But no amps. It was the only one out of 10 24V panels that was not producing amperage. Any ideas?

I have a solar array for a motor that circulates water through a panel to heat the water. I discovered that when I connect the motor the voltage drops to barely 1 volt from +15 volts depending on the sun. I'm sure the meter I'm using is accurate. This arry has been in operation 10+ years. Do they fail at some point? Maybe it's the controller? Any advice what my problem is?

I'm currently facing a similar problem with my array setup. I have 2 47V solar panels that are connected to a Mppt controller that feeds to a solar pump but when I measure the voltage it's gives me 81 to 85 volts but then the controller Cutts off due to "low power". When I measure the current it gives me 0.195A and the solar rated current is 9 Amps. What could be the problem?

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You do not need to limit the power losses to 2%-3%, you have to first calculate the smallest cable size that can safely carry the current without overheating, then you have to make sure that the voltage loss does not drop the voltage so much that equipment you are running or batteries you are charging have enough voltage to work or charge properly, the third and last criteria is the economic cost of the losses.

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I did face the same problem and resolved the issue myself no one over the internet could help me.

As per my personal experience it is due to CARBON which stocks in joints or loose connetions of wire. Refresh the joints or remove loose connections, the problem will be solved.

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There would be no current if the battery was fully charged.

Connect it to a known load of about the specified wattage; a car headlamp bulb is best........... if you're doing it without a regulator, I'd recommend a truck bulb (24volts).

Even with the panel oriented for maximum performance, the maximum current should be about 1.7 amps (32/18.8) in the winter in England. I'd guess you're getting about 1 to 1.2 amps based on my experience. This is a same phenomena with work truck power inverter So, 1.2 amps multiplied by 18.8 volts equals 22.5 watts. A bulb with a voltage of 24 volts and a power of about 25 watts will be suitable. Connect this in line with the ammeter (10 amp range) throughout the panel output.

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Hi! My inverter has a built in MPPT controller. I do not get readings on battery volts, battery amps etc. Is it ok to connect a PWM regulator between the panels and the inverter ?

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