Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Photovoltaic Question

A few weeks back, the solar panel was providing enough current to the inverter to flicker a CFL light.  Now, with the battery installed, there is not enough current coming from the battery to do anything.  Nor does the solar panel and inverter flicker anything.  I have direct sunlight on the panel.  When I take a DMM to the outputs of the panel, I show 22 VDC and 0.00 amps.  This is even when I have the panel connected to a battery tender intended for use with a solar panel, which I suspect roughly equivalent to being under load.

Does this indicate the solar panel has failed?

2 comments:

macweave said...

most common failure points are panel connections or ones subject to flexing. Panels usually fail gradually with decreasing voltage. 0 amps is a sign og an open circuit if taken in line with load. If taken before load it may mean a failed battery cell.

Mauser said...

You can't just hook up a DMM to something like a battery or a solar panel and read amps. An ammeter is effectively a dead short. If you're lucky, it has a replaceable fuse you just blew. (Usually ampere readings require a different hookup of the test leads and are limited to 10 amps). You have to put the meter in series with a load, and then the current is dependent on what kind of current the load draws.