Testing Your Solar Panels

How to test solar panels to
make sure they're working properly.

Procedure For Testing Solar Panels

Solar panel testing procedure explained step by step.Properly testing your solar panels is a very important but often overlooked procedure. You wouldn't believe how many people completely skip testing solar panels and forget to confirm their solar power output before installing them.

By learning how to test solar panels you can insure that you don't waste your time installing panels that you'll have to take down and fix.

How To Test Solar Panel Output

Testing solar panels is easy. You can test your completed 63 watt solar panel, by using your multi-meter (like you did before with your solar cells and your stringers).

Use a multi meter to test your solar panel for a volt reading.Testing Solar Panels For Volts

To test solar panel voltage output, put your solar panel in direct sunlight, set your multi-meter to the "volts" setting and...

  1. touch the multi-meter's (red) positive lead to your solar panel's positive wire.
  2. Then touch, the multi-meter's (black) negative lead to your solar panel's negative wire.

The volt reading on your multi-meter should be close to (or just under) 60 volts. If it's not, there is a problem with your solar panel output. Go back and check all the connections of your solar cells and all your stringers or check for cracks in the solar cells themselves.

How to test solar panels amp output by using a multimeter.Solar Panel Testing For AmpsBefore you go to use them, you must test solar panels.

To test solar panel amperage output, put your solar panel in direct sunlight, set your multi-meter to the "amps" setting and...
 

  1. touch the multi-meter's (red) positive lead to your solar panel's positive wire.
  2. Then touch, the multi-meter's (black) negative lead to your solar panel's negative wire.

    The amp reading on your multi-meter should be close to (or just under) 3.5 amps. 3 amps is about normal since your panel may not be currently getting maximum sunlight. If the amps are much lower there is a problem with your solar panel output. Go back and check all the connections of your solar cells and all your stringers or check for cracks in the solar cells themselves.

The diy solar panel we build should produce 18 volts & 3.5 amps.That's all there is to testing solar panels and making sure they work right!

After doing your solar panel testing, you should find that the solar panel output (for the pv panel you built on the Make Solar Panels page) is about 18 volts and 3.5 amps.

Whenever you have these two values you can figure out the wattage by multiplying them together.

Volts x Amps  =  Watts

So... 18 Volts x 3.5 Amps = 63 Watts

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