connecting ac ammeter to grid tie inverter output

moesoomoesoo Registered Users Posts: 10
another i was wondering question. is it possible and easy to connect your generic ac ammeter to the output of your grid tie inverter to monitor amps being produced by pv system? if so --how to wire ammeter into system. thanks jer


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,641 admin
    Re: connecting ac ammeter to grid tie inverter output

    Yes, you can. There are two types several types of current meters.

    Direct--Current flows through the meter.
    Shunt--You break the power wire, and put a precision resistor in the circuit. Then a "millivolt" meter measures the voltage drop (i.e., 0.001 volt drop = 1 amp).
    Current Transformer--You clip a donut shaped transformer on the wire and connect it to the meter

    The "safest" and easiest is the Current Transformer plus remote meter (that is what "The Energy Detective" and many others use.

    Here is an example of one: (don't know anything about vendor)

    Getting a home energy monitor (like the TED or similar) would probably be easier/cheaper.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: connecting ac ammeter to grid tie inverter output

    And if you instead want to meter on a DC circuit, you have the same three options, except that it will be hard to find direct meters for high current and the Current Transformer has to be replaced with the Hall Effect sensor which is more expensive and has problems with stability of the zero current reading. Transformers do not work on DC, but devices that sense the magnetic field directly work on both AC and DC.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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