Low Amp on Solar panel

ouelloouello Registered Users Posts: 21
I received my 235w solar panel yesterday and wanted to test it right away to make sure everything was alright...(not plugged into anything...) It was sunny and around 3PM and I live in Canada. I got a 36.1V reading, but Amp were around 4.*A ?!?! I also saw somewhere that solar panel usually keep full Amp, and it's only the Voltage that goes up and down... Is my meter off, or everything looks in order?

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Low Amp on Solar panel

    Much depends on how you test it.
    For most people the only Voltage they could read would be Voc: Voltage open circuit. This is pretty much useless as even a defective panel can produce that with a moderate amount of light on it.
    The current you need to measure is the Isc: Amps at short circuit. This needs two things; an Ammeter capable of measuring the current when the panel's output is shorted (either in-line or clamp-on) and strong, direct sun. You'd be amazed how much difference panel angle makes. You're reading is about half what would be expected, and it's entirely possible this is due to angle and/or actual sun intensity.

    New panels are very rarely defective, and if they are it's usually a complete zero not low current.
  • ouelloouello Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Low Amp on Solar panel

    I'm not going to the cottage this week-end, but I have an old Xantrex power pack (60Ah, the 1000W model...)
    Do you think I could plug battery to cc and solar to cc and play with the system a little... I know, I'm like a kid with candy!:p
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Low Amp on Solar panel
    ouello wrote: »
    I'm not going to the cottage this week-end, but I have an old Xantrex power pack (60Ah, the 1000W model...)
    Do you think I could plug battery to cc and solar to cc and play with the system a little... I know, I'm like a kid with candy!:p

    It won't tell you much. If a battery doesn't need charging it doesn't take charging, so just because you connect a panel to a battery doesn't mean you'll see full power from the panel. Chances are that Xantrex power pack isn't meant to be connected to a 30 Volt panel either - you'd have to check the specs on it.

    Patience is a virtue. When I put my "big system" in I had to wait for weeks for one last part that hadn't arrived. For some reason it had got shipped to the local fire department! Never did figure that out. :confused:
  • ouelloouello Registered Users Posts: 21
    Re: Low Amp on Solar panel

    I'm still waiting for battery cables/fuses/connectors/and a new aluminum frame... I guess it will be my Christmas present this year! Thanks for your wisdom!
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