Solar Panel

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by K3n, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. K3n

    K3n

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    ok last electrics question - for now!
    My van has a Solar panel on the roof. Apart from deliberately draining the battery and leaving the van in the sun for a couple of hours, how can I tell if it's actually delivering juice to the battery?
     
  2. rosalan

    rosalan Funster

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    There are several answers, depending upon your van.
    If it is fitted professionally there should be a control unit, this may tell you what is being produced from your Solar panel. On my van I can check the condition of my leisure and van batteries, if I look at the leisure readout, after using equipment or lights the night before, the readout should show a heavy charge taking place. Finally you could use a multimeter across the incoming cable. The readout would depend on the size of the panel and the weather condition. If not happy with these then buy a meter and fit it across the incoming cables but unless it is a very small panel, you should have a control unit somewhere.
     
  3. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    I'm assuming that your control panel doesn't have any meters or lights that tell you this already.

    When at home & not using the van.
    Turn everything off that you can. Wait an hour.
    Put a multimeter (set to DC volts - usually 0-20 range) across the battery when it's dark. Note the reading.

    Without starting the engine or connecting to EHU in between, take another reading next day when the sun has been up for a while & is shining. If you had to turn a light on to read the meter last night, turn the same light on even though it's now daylight. If the reading is higher than the one at night, it's working.

    Not the most definitive answer - it doesn't tell you how well it's working & exactly what you will see depends on a range of factors, but it's a starting place. Post the readings you get back on here for a guesstimate as to how well it's working.
     
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