How to Test A Solar Panel?
Renewable Energy

How to Test A Solar Panel?

Testing a solar panel is essential. This is because you want to ensure that it works the way that it is supposed to be. It does not matter if it is new or not but the most important thing is you must know how to test a solar panel.

Why should you test it?

Aside from checking its efficiency, testing is the best for you to know if the solar panel is still safe to use. There are instances wherein harsh weather conditions can destroy the panel such as heavy rain, snow, or even rain. Those factors are responsible for the cracking of the panels themselves.

Also, long-term exposure to extreme heat can be a factor that is why the manufacturers of solar panels suggest that there must be a shade to ensure that direct exposure will not happen.

The good thing about testing your solar panel from time to time is you can prevent those problems from worsening. Thus you can implement a strategy that will make sure that your solar panel is in good working condition.

How to test it?

It is super easy to test a solar panel. Every solar panel, depending on its size has its own methodology in testing but most commonly the standard way is used.

Here are the procedures that you should follow when testing your solar panel.

  • Before loading the solar panels with your appliances or vehicles, you must check every detail of the panel and its components. Make sure that there are no unusual things is going on the equipment.
  • When everything is good, it’s time to check it out. The most popular device used in testing a solar panel is a multi-meter. Nothing beats it when it comes to checking various electronic components to know if they are getting the right voltage.
  • Having an auto-range multimeter is much preferred and a variable resistance box may come handy. It is better if you will check all the resistance settings. They are mostly lower or exactly 5 percent of the values given.
  • After checking the short wires, you can now check the 12-volt solar panel. Most solar panels have this rating for the voltage.
  • Turn on the multi-meter then connect the black clip to the negative part while the red one to the positive.
  • Put the value to 200 VCD for accuracy. Just adjust it accordingly if a function overload happens.
  • If you get great results from the panel, might as well test the charge controller. But be sure that before you test it, the battery is not fully charged for you to get an accurate reading.
  • The multimeter must be set to DC amperes then put 10 amps on the settings.
  • Put the link between the solar panel and controller then to the batteries.
  • Remove the positive cable between the charge controller and battery.
  • To determine the current, you have to link the plus cable that you just have taken out, to the alligator clips that are coming from the multi-meter.
  • Then you have to put the negative clip to the battery’s positive terminal.

Kinds of Multi-Meter Testers

Although I have suggested that you must use an auto-range multi-meter in testing a solar panel, there are other kinds of multi-meter testers that you can use. In this part of this article, we will try to enumerate the two of the most popular multi-meter tester of its kind.

  • Auto range multimeter: This is the most common and efficient type of multi-meter tester that you can have. They perform their functions in an automated way such as measuring the current and voltage in a pre-determined range.
  • Switched multi-meter – this type is one of the first kinds of models that have been made. Since it is manual, it is perfect for beginners, if you want to know how multi-meter works then this one is the one that you should be using.

Enjoying the Results of Efficient Solar Panel

After testing the solar panel and you found that it is in good working condition, you’ll enjoy the following benefits.

  • You will get sufficient power supply that will let you become independent from grid power for much longer periods.
  • It will allow you and your family to be safe at all times as you’ll have a working solar panel that is completely safe to use.
  • You can avoid experiencing underpowered appliances in your home.

Why testing a solar panel is essential?

Just like any other gadgets or equipment, testing is important. Most especially in a super delicate item such as solar panel, we must consider having it tested regularly. We have put a significant amount of investment on it that is why we must make sure that it is in good working condition.

Furthermore, testing it will only take a few of your time that is why you should make sure that your solar panel gets tested.

Can a beginner test a solar panel without getting help from a professional?

Yes, as long as you follow the methodologies carefully and will not do anything that can damage the solar panel itself, you should be fine. Testing is an easy task and does not involve any hard to understand methodologies. This is why you should not be afraid of testing out your solar panel from time to time. Aside from saving costs, you can know how a solar panel performs giving you an insight into what’s going on in a solar panel while it functions.

Conclusion

Now you know how to test a solar panel, you have the power to know the current that is flowing on your solar panel and its components, you don’t have to worry anymore if your solar panel is efficient or not. In this way, you’ll get the most optimum performance that you are expecting for your solar panels to have. As a result, better efficiency will be reached thus lessening your costs from off-grid electricity.

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