How To Test Solar Panels?

In order to test solar panels, you’ll need a multimeter. This product provides two unique readings on its display panel. After you have this tool, you can conduct energy tests. 

Voltage Tests 

Begin this test by finding the converter box, which is usually mount on the back of a solar system panel. If the panel is secured with screws, you’ll need to remove them in order to detach the cover. After the cover is removed, you’ll see various connections with different energy setups. Grab a pen and a sheet of paper, and make a diagram that highlights this setup. You’ll need to remember the location of each negative and positive connection. 

At this point, power up the multimeter, and configure the hardware so that it will measure DC volts. The energy level that the device measures must be higher than your solar panel’s maximum voltage level. For example, if a solar panel system has a 20-volt rating, you must adjust a multimeter to a setting that reads 200 volts. This strategy is effective because it provides a more accurate reading. After you conduct a test, place a label that has the voltage rating somewhere on the converter box so that you can easily compare data during future tests. 

Amp Tests 

When you test a solar system’s amps, you’ll need to implement procedures that are similar to voltage testing procedures. However, the major difference is that the preparation process is done while the sun isn’t shining on the panel. In order to get accurate results while conducting amp tests, you must run tests with a multimeter while the converter box in the shade. 

After the multimeter is wired to the converter box, let sunlight shine on the unit. As the system absorbs heat, the multimeter provide an accurate reading. 

Amps tests can be dangerous if improper steps are taken during the testing process. For example, you should never use an alligator clip when energy is moving through panels. If you attach a clip on energized hardware, the metal components will produce sparks, and the currents could shock you or damage the multimeter. 

Other Considerations 

Besides energy tests, you should also conduct a strength test and perform inspections. During a strength test, apply pressure to the frame while the panels are mounted on a roof. If the panels wobble, tighten the frame with a screwdriver. Inspections should be done following each severe weather event. Whenever a panel is cracked or damaged, you’ll need to replace or repair the hardware.