Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2014, 12:27   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

I have two Kyocera 110w panels that both show 19.5v open circuit voltage (spec is 21v), but very little if any current. I have connected another type of panel that shows good voltage and current. I just can't believe both of these panels went out at same time. Can diodes in the junction box cause this? These where used panels and I am pretty sure that I have them connected correctly. Take a look at the photo.Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1410114297.236178.jpg
Views:	402
Size:	193.6 KB
ID:	87875

So I guess my question is, if these panels are at their end if life would low current be the indicator?



Thanks!


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 12:30   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

I should add that battery is not fully charged so current should be flowing.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 12:43   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Forgive me for asking, I don't know your level of electrical experience.

How did you measure for current?
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 14:30   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

The charger display and an inline meter. Both showed the same around .18 Amps from both panels in parallel. Then connected inline at each panel and got .20 and .00.

This is my inline meter. It has been very accurate.

http://www.amazon.com/iMeshbeanŽ-Pre...rds=Watt+meter




Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 16:18   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Huntington, WV
Boat: Catalina 380
Posts: 37
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Any chance you have access an ohm meter? You can check the diodes individually by removing them, and placing the + lead on the black diode end & the - lead on the striped end. you should have current flow. Reverse the leads & it should show open - no flow.
You may be able to disconnect the panel leads & put the positive meter lead on the + terminal of your box & the negative lead on the - terminal, & check as above. Entering "Diode Flow" into Google will give you a good explanation.
Mike
__________________
Summitfun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 16:28   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Winter Bahamas - Summer BC
Boat: Lagoon 450, Bavaria Vision 40
Posts: 615
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseas View Post
The charger display and an inline meter. Both showed the same around .18 Amps from both panels in parallel. Then connected inline at each panel and got .20 and .00.
...
Are all panels going to the same charger? Could be that the charger(s) are bad. Connect the panels directly to the batteries - one at a time - and keep you meter in-line to see what the deliver. You should see over 5A with decent sun.
__________________
roetter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 16:43   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Yes I tried direct to battery also. Same thing.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 18:34   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

I have found a wiring diagram and I am connected correctly. It has to be something stupid. I'll rewire with new mc4 connectors.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 18:40   #9
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: 1999 Leopard 45, 45 foot cat, 1980 Hunter 33, 33 foot monohull
Posts: 405
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

The fact that you got .00 on one panel makes me suspicious of your instruments or technique. You can't have voltage without at least some current. It's kind of like saying you have water pressure without any water. There must be some resistance somewhere.
__________________
contrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 18:48   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

I connected one of my 50w flexible panels the exact same way as the kyocera with the same meter in line and got 2.5 amps and 18v....which is exactly what they are rated. The only variable is the wiring and connectors into the kyocera junction boxes.




Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 19:58   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrail View Post
The fact that you got .00 on one panel makes me suspicious of your instruments or technique. You can't have voltage without at least some current. It's kind of like saying you have water pressure without any water. There must be some resistance somewhere.
It's very common to have voltage with no current flow. If there's an open in the circuit, then you're reading Voc.
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 20:01   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseas View Post
I connected one of my 50w flexible panels the exact same way as the kyocera with the same meter in line and got 2.5 amps and 18v....which is exactly what they are rated. The only variable is the wiring and connectors into the kyocera junction boxes.




Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
It's really looking like the problem is in the connection box, possibly the diodes are bad.

You could jumper past one set of diodes, then the other, then both to determine if any or all of the diodes are bad.
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 20:58   #13
Registered User
 
MBWhite's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Illinois
Boat: Hurley Alacrity
Posts: 370
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

Instead of using a meter, you could use a load like a 12 volt fan and start by touching the wires to the teminals on the back of the panels themselves. If the fan whirrs merrily away, just start testing the connections farther and farther away from the panels to see where the break in the path is.
__________________
MBWhite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 06:06   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 64
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

All cabling up to the mc4 connectors and pigtails going into the junction boxes have tested good. So it has to be either the connector, pigtail, diodes, or bad panel. I'm going to pull the panels and setup a test bench at home.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
jseas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 06:14   #15
Commercial Member
 
CharlieJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Gulfstar Long Range Trawler; 53'; BearBoat
Posts: 835
Re: Solar Panels have Voltage but no Current Output.

If the fuse/circuit breaker at your battery is ok, check the continuity from the junction box to the line side MC-4 connector. If it is good, then check the continuity from the load side MC-4 connector to the input to the controller. If it is good, check the continuity from the output of the controller to the line side of the fuse/circuit breaker at your battery.
__________________

__________________
Charlie Johnson
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
CharlieJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
current, panels, solar, solar panels

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar Charge Controller Voltage and Current Matching DefinitelyMe Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 12-06-2013 09:40
Solar Panel output voltage? John Duckworth Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 7 16-08-2012 15:39
Low Voltage on Solar Panels Meck Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 7 31-03-2011 18:03
Low Voltage Solar Panels SeaKing Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 8 31-08-2010 13:52
REAL output of solar panels ... gramos Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 10 16-11-2008 11:01



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:03.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.