After making the wise decision of installing solar panels in your house or in your office, it is essential to have proper knowledge about how the solar system works. You want to make sure your solar panels are working at the maximum efficiency with proper functioning and safety.
As you know installing solar panels is a cost-efficient and low-maintenance way to generate electricity, the system usually works perfectly other than requiring occasional testing and cleaning. After the first use on the panel, it is always better to test it to demonstrate its readiness and safety to operate.
This blog is complete guide for you to understand ways to test solar panels for efficiency and safety. Check it out.
Facts to Know Before Testing
Here are some important things you should know before you start the testing of the solar panels:
- There are two classes of electrical current namely Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC).
- Direct Current flows in only one direction and is used for low voltage devices such as Your Panels.
- Almost all power appliances are measured in terms of watts, which applies on the solar panel testing as well.
- Wattage = Voltage
- You need to calculate wattage or voltage in order to measure solar panel’s production.
5 Ways to Test Solar Panels
Check out these few steps and ways to measure and test solar panel systems at your house or business.
Step 1: Measure Solar Panel Amperage
To measure the amperage, you need to have an amp meter in order to assess the amp output of the solar panel. The meter is connected to the positive and negative terminals and once you panel system faces the sun directly, it is ready to be tested.
Make sure you get an amp meter which has readings higher than the amp output of your solar panels for accurate measurement.
Step 2: Measure Current
You require a multimeter and resistors in order to measure the current of the solar panels. It measures the output in terms of DV voltage. This measurement leads to the formula which makes the current equals to the DV voltage measured by the multimeter and resistors.
Step 3: Test Solar Panel Using Multimeter
In case your multimeter is not perfectly functioning, it might damage your panel. You need to have proper knowledge as to how to use a multimeter and not compromise by buying a cheap product.
Here are easy steps you need to follow in order to test your solar panel using a multimeter.
- Converter Box Location
In almost all cases the converter box is located at the back of the solar panel. You need to remove the cover successfully, in order to locate the converter box. Once you remove it, you can see several wires and connections inside the panel.
- Note Off Connections
This step has to be done with complete precision and focus. You need to carefully note off the positive and negative connections inside the converter box. Once you note which connections are positive and which ones are negative, make sure your solar panel is under the sunlight for an accurate reading.
For a precise reading, keep your solar panel tilted under the sunlight.
Step 4: Testing a 12 Volt Solar Panel
You must be wondering, why do we need to test the 12-volt solar panel and not any other voltage panel? The answer is simple, 12-volt solar panels are the most popularly used panels at homes and office spaces.
The testing of a 12-volt solar panel is the same, that is, you need to connect the positive to positive and negative to negative connections while you connect your multimeter at the back of the solar panel.
You need to set the multimeter to above 200 VCD. Now the question is, why 200 VCD? Because setting the multimeter to 200 VCD ensures accurate and precise reading. In case of an overload on the meter, it means your VCD setting is low and you need to increase it.
Ensure purchasing a good quality multimeter, because as long as you have a perfectly functioning meter, your readings will be accurate. You will see a variety of meters available in the market ranging from high to low prices, but the more expensive the meter, the better the quality.
Step 5: Testing Solar Panel Charge Controller
Before the testing process, let’s understand what a solar panel charge controller is? Well, a charge controller manages or controls the power into the battery from the solar array. In easy words, it ensures proper regulation of energy flow within the solar array and sends it directly to the batteries. You must ensure that the batteries do not get overcharged and the filled power in the batteries does not return back.
If you wish to test your solar panel accurately and precisely, you require an accurate charge controller since it is significant and essential in the case of Solar Plus Storage.
Here is the testing process of solar panel charge controller:
- You need to set the meter in order to measure DC Amps by putting leads into the port of the meter
- Now set the meter to 10 amps
- You need to connect the solar panel to the charge controller and the controller of the battery
- Next step is to disconnect the positive cable that runs from the battery to the controller
- Now you need to link the positive lead from the meter to the positive cable in order to measure the current on the panel
- Lastly, you need to link the negative lead from the meter to the positive terminal on the battery
These simple steps ensure accurate and precise measurement of the solar panel charge controller.
Testing your solar panels can be crucial in order to optimize the performance and maximize the efficiency of the panel. After installation, you need to make sure the solar panels perform in the desired way at their installation location before turning them on for power production.
In order to achieve the highest capacity factor, get the best equipment for testing. Are you ready to begin with the testing?