Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-07-2013, 14:41   #16
Registered User
 
CoCoKnots's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado/CoCoa Beach
Boat: Irwin 42
Posts: 61
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Thanks HelloSailor,
Yes... You're right. I did replace them & the new ones are doing the same thing.
I'm sure i am doing something incorrectly... i just don't know what ???
__________________

__________________
CoCoKnots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 14:44   #17
Registered User
 
CoCoKnots's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado/CoCoa Beach
Boat: Irwin 42
Posts: 61
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Ah Ha... Thanks Skip,
I'm sure the controller is bad, so I got a new one.
I'm just hoping the solar panels are still good. Can they produce volts & not amps?
Is that possible?
__________________

__________________
CoCoKnots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 14:47   #18
Registered User
 
CoCoKnots's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado/CoCoa Beach
Boat: Irwin 42
Posts: 61
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

I'm trying to avoid doing any damage to the new controller as that is the most expensive element at this point... Unless the solar panels could be bad... I don't know.
__________________
CoCoKnots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 14:48   #19
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,393
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
skip-
You can buy an inline analog ammeter that reads up to 60A, maybe 70A. I've met them. On multi-meters...yes, 2A is the common limit and 10A the common max. While some will go higher, most will very quickly blow an internal fuse (that can't be replaced locally) under any real load. Probably cheaper simpler to buy the new inline analog ammeter.
Certainly high amp meters are available but I'm guessing the OP is using a model with limited amp capability.

I do know about the internal fuse. My flukes use some odd ball fuse that I have to special order from a galaxy far, far away. Guess how I know about this fuse.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 14:55   #20
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,393
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoCoKnots View Post
I'm trying to avoid doing any damage to the new controller as that is the most expensive element at this point... Unless the solar panels could be bad... I don't know.
If you are reading 16-17 Volts at the solar panels I think this is unlikely to damage the controller. This is certainly within the voltage rating of the controller. As long as the controller is not connected to the batteries and you connect the panels incorrectly I think it very unlikely the controller could be damaged at this step.

I also cannot see how the controller would be damaged connecting it to the batteries unless something really weird is going on like AC in the DC system. Even a dead short in the wires from the controller to the battery should have some sort of fuse or protection circuit to avoid blowing the controller.

These days most electrical gadgets, especially for 12V DC system have reverse polarity protection (they don't blow up if you hook them wires up backwards).
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 15:04   #21
Registered User
 
CoCoKnots's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado/CoCoa Beach
Boat: Irwin 42
Posts: 61
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

That's my next step then... I'm burned out for today...Need a break.
I'll probably be back on here tomorrow.
Thanks again guys.
__________________
CoCoKnots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 15:21   #22
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,393
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoCoKnots View Post
Ah Ha... Thanks Skip,
I'm sure the controller is bad, so I got a new one.
I'm just hoping the solar panels are still good. Can they produce volts & not amps?
Is that possible?
It is possible to get volts and not amps in a circuit BUT not 100% if that is the case with solar panels. But one example, you can test a wire at a light fixture that shows 12 Volts with the light off or the bulb removed but put the bulb in and turn it on and get no amps. If you check the voltage when you turn on the switch you will see it has dropped from 12V to about nothing. Happens if you have a bad wire or corroded connection. Some volts will appear until you try to draw some power then nothing.

Back to the water example. Say you have a very tiny little pipe 1/64" diameter. The end of the pipe is sealed and you connect a high pressure water source to that hose. You might see 100 psi (voltage) on a pressure gauge but if you open the pipe to fill a 100 gallon tank you won't get much water (amps) out of the pipe.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 15:25   #23
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,393
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I'm thinking like skip: Pilot error. If these are self-contained amp meters that don't use an external shunt, are you hooking them up inline, in series with the circuit? Or hooking them up "across" the lines, the same as a voltmeter?

It would be odd for two to both fail at the same time, easy to forget how to reinstall them.

Analog meters? digital? Details might help.
Hello Sailor,

I'm not familiar with the failure modes of solar panels. Is it possible to see voltage on the output with no power behind it? This of course is assuming good connections in the external wiring so not a power loss in a connection or loose wire.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 16:31   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,471
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

This may be a silly question, but you say that you have not hooked up the wires to the controller. So, are the panels connected to the batteries some other way? If they are not connected to the batteries, there will be no current flow in the circuit.

Please don't be insulted if the question seems impertinent, but I suspect a simple problem is at the heart of the matter!

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 16:47   #25
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Lads the water analogy will only go so far

The OP sounds like he has standard moving iron amp meters, very common.

You need to break in to the panel positive and wire in series , which I beleive you have

Note you have to have the panels actually connected to something and the something needs to be drawing power otherwise you'll see voltage and no current

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 17:51   #26
Registered User
 
CoCoKnots's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado/CoCoa Beach
Boat: Irwin 42
Posts: 61
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Thanks Jim & Go Boating Now,

All of you guys are a great help. This is making a lot more since to me now,
Tomorrow I clearly have a few things to check out.

Cal
__________________
CoCoKnots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 19:49   #27
Registered User
 
Teknav's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas - USA
Boat: Twin Otter de Havilland Floatplane
Posts: 1,838
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Is it possible that CoCo tried to measure the current by setting the AMP selector, but connecting the leads to the circuit as if he was measuring the voltage, instead of a series connection?; this would damage the meter! I'm just trying to figure out how exactly he connected the leads to measure amperage.

Mauritz
__________________
Retired - Don't Ask Me To Do A Damn Thing!
Teknav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 20:03   #28
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,393
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Lads the water analogy will only go so far
Yes, I've tried to extend it to include loads, resistance and such before and it gets complicated and less easy to understand. However, for someone with no electrical background or concept of volts and amps I have found no better way to explain the basics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The OP sounds like he has standard moving iron amp meters, very common.

You need to break in to the panel positive and wire in series , which I beleive you have
I think yes on both points.


Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Note you have to have the panels actually connected to something and the something needs to be drawing power otherwise you'll see voltage and no current

Dave
This is my best guess at the moment. From what I understand the circuit is disconnected so no current.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 20:12   #29
Senior Cruiser
 
Minggat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hawaii, South Pacific bound
Boat: Islander 36
Posts: 1,221
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

I feel like I may be poking myself in the eye here, but I had a similar problem. Someone came aboard as crew and went through the manual. Mine was a setup problem. I felt pretty stupid for not being able to understand the manual myself.

Hope you get to feel as stupid as I did and that the problem goes away.
__________________
Minggat
Minggat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2013, 20:21   #30
Registered User

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: 40' Silverton Aftcabin with twin Crusaders
Posts: 1,590
Re: Solar Panels w/Amp Gauges

Have you looked for a blown fuse?
__________________

__________________
foggysail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
panels, solar

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:55.


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.