How to test solar panels to make sure they're working properly.
Properly testing your solar panels is a very important but often overlooked procedure. You wouldn't believe how many people completely skip testing solar panels and forget to confirm their solar power output before installing them.
By learning how to test solar panels you can insure that you don't waste your time installing panels that you'll have to take down and fix.
Testing solar panels is easy. You can test your completed 63 watt solar panel, by using your multi-meter (like you did before with your solar cells and your stringers).
To test solar panel voltage output, put your solar panel in direct sunlight, set your multi-meter to the "volts" setting and...
The volt reading on your multi-meter should be close to (or just under) 60 volts. If it's not, there is a problem with your solar panel output. Go back and check all the connections of your solar cells and all your stringers or check for cracks in the solar cells themselves.
To test solar panel amperage output, put your solar panel in direct sunlight, set your multi-meter to the "amps" setting and...
That's all there is to testing solar panels and making sure they work right!
After doing your solar panel testing, you should find that the solar panel output (for the pv panel you built on the Make Solar Panels page) is about 18 volts and 3.5 amps.
Whenever you have these two values you can figure out the wattage by multiplying them together.
Volts x Amps = Watts
So... 18 Volts x 3.5 Amps = 63 Watts
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