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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#6502303 - 10/19/16 10:12 AM test 12v solar charger?
driedmeat Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 640
Loc: Hondo, TX
Wondering if there is an easy way to test a solar charger to make sure it's working...

I have an old feeder that's been sitting for a few years. Has a solar panel for charging the feeder battery. Is there a simple way to test the solar charger to see if it is still working?

any suggestions would be appreciated.

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#6502306 - 10/19/16 10:15 AM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25909
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
multi meter?
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http://www.j5tractors.com/

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#6502395 - 10/19/16 11:09 AM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
rickym Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 3867
Loc: texas
Hook it up to a dead battery and set outside. A meter will probably work as well
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Originally Posted By: Roll-Tide
Any ideas how to make it hard?

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#6502430 - 10/19/16 11:32 AM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23348
Loc: Texas
I would try the volt meter. Hooking up to a dead battery may not tell you much, if the battery is dead it may never charge and I have never had great luck with solar panels charging up batteries that were too dead to feed.
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It's hell eatin em live

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#6502461 - 10/19/16 11:45 AM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: Navasot]
GLC Online   content


Registered: 02/25/09
Posts: 4113
Loc: Burleson Texas
Originally Posted By: Navasot
multi meter?

X2
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#6502534 - 10/19/16 12:33 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
Pope&Young Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/02/12
Posts: 4331
Loc: Watauga, TX / Hunt - Eastland
Point the solar panel towards the sun... using a volt meter hold the meter probes on the red and black solar panel wires.(exposed wire)
If the your volt meter is reading 18+ volts your good to go up
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#6502692 - 10/19/16 02:33 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
driedmeat Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 640
Loc: Hondo, TX
Thank you gentlemen. I couldn't get my old multi meter to read (reason for the post - was hoping for an alternative). I went ahead and bought a new one and a new charger just in case... The old one read 18.1v so it's still working (thanks for the numbers Pope&Young). To compare, the new one read 22+. Thanks again for the replies.

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#6502881 - 10/19/16 05:00 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25909
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
put new connections on the old one and clean it well.. may help.. has the cover faded over?
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http://www.j5tractors.com/

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#6502972 - 10/19/16 05:53 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
Wilhunt Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 2325
Loc: New Braunfels, San Saba county
Some of them work even though they put out less than 18 volt. It is a 12 volt charger...some of them work better than others due to small wire...for example. Some of the chargers don't have red & black wire indicating positive and negative. If your volt meter produces a negative reading then switch the ends.

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#6503121 - 10/19/16 07:07 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
PWRANCH Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/19/16
Posts: 108
Loc: San Angelo, TX
Point the panel towards the sun and stick both terminals to your tongue like a 9V battery just with 12V........ eek2

KIDDING, just use a multi-meter like stated above..
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#6503287 - 10/19/16 08:45 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: driedmeat]
phathawg Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 40
Loc: Huntsville, Texas
Use a 12v automotive light. It should light dimly when you put the solar leads to the end terminal and the metal bulb base.

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#6511089 - 10/25/16 02:02 PM Re: test 12v solar charger? [Re: Pope&Young]
Texas Dan Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11238
Originally Posted By: Pope&Young
Point the solar panel towards the sun... using a volt meter hold the meter probes on the red and black solar panel wires.(exposed wire)
If the your volt meter is reading 18+ volts your good to go up


Solar panels create a very small amount of current that can only be measured by connecting the leads of a volt meter in series on the positive lead that connects between the panel and a battery. Voltage is measured across both leads of a given voltage source, such as a battery. By connecting the meter in series, you are measuring the small amount of current being created by the panel that is being sent to the battery, much like measuring the flow of water going through a hose to a bucket. By testing the panel in this fashion, you will clearly see how these panels put out a lot more current in direct sunlight than they do on a cloudy day.

You will need to change the positive lead on your meter to the DC Amps or A socket to read current. Connect the end of the positive or red lead from your meter to the positive lead of your solar panel. Connect the other or black lead from your meter to the positive terminal of your battery. In this fashion, current must flow from the panel and through the meter to reach the battery.

If you get confused and end up connecting to the negative lead of the panel, not to worry. Your meter will likely auto range and show a negative value of the same amount.
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Dan,

Spring, Texas

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