Measuring the yield of your solar cell

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by ocsid, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. ocsid

    ocsid Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have wished for some easily usable indication of the yield of my solar cell at various times, conditions and locations without the Heath Robinson use of my multi meter or the expense of a proper meter.
    I have found a neat relatively cheap solution for directly measuring the current charging your battery from your solar cell.
    It requires the purchase of an “Automotive current Tester” from Maplins for £10; here is a link to the unit. You are likely to need the N48CY model as that suits our normal size blade fuses:

    Automotive Current Tester > Maplin

    This unit’s probe fits into a normal fuse holder; the removed fuse then fits into the side of the probe thus retaining the protection. In that state it retains the function of a fused supply and can be left indefinitely in place even with the unit “off”.
    When you switch it “on” it then displays the current to one hundredth of an Amp on the digital display, fluctuating with passing clouds and even settling flies.
    You probably would not leave it displaying as it uses a little power from its replaceable photo type 12 volt battery, £1.50. As I pointed out it can be left in place even switched “off” it will still allow the solar cell to continue charging.
    Used prudently to eek out battery life it gives you an accurate indication of the yield in the conditions at that time, sun cloud rain evening or morning.

    In most cases there ought to be a fuse in line between the solar regulator and the battery positive and if this is a blade type you can locate the probe there. If not then like me you can get a single fuse holder from Halfords, £1.90

    Halfords Blade Fuse Holder from Halfords Was £1.99 Save £0.10 Price £1.89
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,478
    Likes Received:
    16,962
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    thanks for the link Ocsid,

    looks a useful piece of kit to have, whatever you use it for.:thumb:

    ideal for checking individual circuits for current usage as well as your suggestion. :thumb:

    i use a clamp type ammeter but it means dragging it out of a cupboard and clipping it to the wire to be checked.
     
  3. ocsid

    ocsid Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did exactly that with it, checking out the user loads of all the kit in a new unit.
    The result of that was buying £100's worth of LEDs! So not saved much money in the end.

    Cheers Ocsid
     
  4. Gonewiththewind

    Gonewiththewind Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Thats a hell of a lot of LED's:Rofl1:
     
  5. ocsid

    ocsid Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    With 6 at £12 and 4 at £8 each for good SMD's its only 10 LEDs in all; not what I would call a lot.
    However they are exceptionally good on lighting with about a third of the power drain.
     
Loading...

Share This Page