Solar Panel

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Figaro, May 25, 2015.

  1. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    I have a solar panel on the roof but I`ve no idea if it is working or what it is doing !
    There does not seem to be any panel or controller I can see.
    Is this usual or should there be one somewhere ?
    Is there any way of telling if the solar is working
    I`ve looked at the panel on the roof and can`t see a rating plate to tell me watts or anything else.
    Thanks
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    the rating panel will be underneath. All solar panels of any size require a controller, however some vans have a shault electrablock that can include a solar controller. Other vans may have a solar connection built in. What van do you have. Do you have a multimeter to check the voltage, if so check it with and without the panel covered.
     
  3. andy63

    andy63 Funster

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    loads of posts on solar today, and im no expert :), but depending on the size of your panel, it may be connected straight to a battery.. ive seen that done with the smaller panels . think you need to trace the wiring if you can and look at your batteries for connections that may be from panel.. if you can identify them you can ckeck the voltage on them... also have a good look for a controller somewhere , but if the panel is small you may not have one..
    ta andy
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    It`s a 2003 Hymer B544. The panel is about 100 cm x 50 cm although I didn`t measure it so thats a guess.
    I traced the wiring down and it seems to go into a box / relay thingy maybe, next to the ELB in the sliding hatch cabinet by the driver.
    I have a multimeter but I`m not very confident that I know how to use it !
    I downloaded some instructions off wiki something or other but forgotten what I read now. I still have it so can dig it out to refer to it.
     
  5. Phill D

    Phill D

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    if its a Schaudt EBL you may have one of these to the side of it, its a Schaudt solar regulator..
    solar.jpg
    there is also a solar fuse in the EBL worth a check
     
  6. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    No it doesn`t look as complex as that it`s just a box about the size of a fag packet, two cables in and two out which go to the ELB, no readouts or buttons / switches. I could go and have a look if there is a name on it if it`ll help ?
     
  7. Phill D

    Phill D

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    thats your solar regulator i believe. no need to look at a name as i probably would not be able to identify it. but you should be able to google the name / number and get some info.

    you are unlikely to see any charge coming from your solar panel unless its a very sunny day (assuming you are in the UK ) and your leisure battery needs some charging input.

    the way i checked my Schault EBL was to put lots of 12v demand on ( no hook up ) with the panel covered in a piece of cardboard, then after a short while uncovered the panel and noted a positive charge on the control panel. check the fuse in the EBL first.
    good hunting(y)
     
  8. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Is that the hymer panel above the door where I can select either vehicle or leisure battery ?
    So I`d compare the volts readout before load being put on and then look for volts with load ?
    What would a positive charge you noted look like - sorry for the numpty question !
     
  9. Phill D

    Phill D

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    my panel is above the hab door and it will read both liesure and cab battery voltage and more importantly when on 12v only the rate of charge or discharge from the battery. when you have discharged the battery some and the voltage has dropped "slightly" when you then uncover the solar panel it should show a positive charge.
     
  10. karl c

    karl c Funster

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    set you meter to dc volts 20v or higher as a solar panel can give out as high as 22volts, test the two wires from the solar panel with some sun on it. if ok then test the output wires see what you get no more than 14v. then when its dark put the meter on your output again that will give you your batts at rest.
     
  11. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Thanks guys, I`ll try that - when we get some sun.......
     
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