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?


  1. 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.

  2. 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.