View Full Version : Solar Panels for Dummies

20-11-2013, 15:00

n brown
20-11-2013, 15:17
the picture,a verrrrry blurrrry shot of nearly all of something,appears to be a zig unit ,which is a combo fuse board and 240v charger when on hookup. the controller is just that,it keeps the voltage coming from the panel to a steady level. the first 2 wires come from the panel,the next 2 go to the zig thing,the spare 2 are just a 12v feed if you want one. for the next bit you need a test meter ,have you got one ?

20-11-2013, 15:24
We can't tell the size of you panels from that either!

But the wires to/from the PV controller are not that heavy so I would not expect that they (it?) were very big. I would estimate the wire as suitable for 5-10 Amp max & probably the lower end of that, but I am not an expert & it is hard to tell size from a photy. IF I am right you are probably looking at around 50-80 watts max. You need to look at the output current on a really sunny day & add about 30% - then multiply by 12 for the likely maximum rating in watts.

I like that your controller allows you to switch the charge between the two batteries, mine were completely separate until I installed a relay & I still need to be on EHU & connect a separate battery charger to top up my engine battery.

Switch anything on? Try switching on the sunlight, that will help! There should be some output shown on the black box in daylight, but it won't be that high if it's cloudy & even less in the rain at this time of year. The Eng/Aux battery switch is probably for the built in charger when on EHU, but it MAY work with the solar. Follow the wires from the black box +- in the centre that is marked going to the battery. It may go direct, or it may go to the white Zig unit.

20-11-2013, 15:25

oldish hippy
20-11-2013, 15:45
well lets have photo of the control panel the blurry one can u show us the other end of control panel please think the sola r controller goes straight to lesuire battery as cant see any other readout on the solar control box

n brown
20-11-2013, 16:03
I think the power from the panel may be going to the back of the zig unit,if it IS a zig unit,and like OH says,straight to the leisure battery.if so,then nothing needs switching on .trouble is the way to see if that's right is to physically follow the wires or test with a meter.go and buy one immediately ! and that goes for anyone with a camper,they're really cheap.and even the ones with an audible continuity buzzer are pretty cheap.see if you can do that photo of the unit

20-11-2013, 16:27

n brown
20-11-2013, 16:33
look at this,then press ''buy it now'',you'll have it by the w/end and we'll explain what to do with it http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-Multimeter-Power-AC-DC-Current-Tester-Indicator-19-Ranges-DVM-Test-Leads-/170755313471?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement _Equipment_ET&hash=item27c1cf4f3f

20-11-2013, 16:48
Done :)

20-11-2013, 16:53
[QUOTE=n brown;370066]look at this,then press ''buy it now'',you'll have it by the w/end and we'll explain what to do with it [url]http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Digital-Multimeter-Power-AC-DC-Current-Tester-Indicator-19-Ranges-DVM-Test-Leads-/170755313471?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement _Equipment_ET&hash=item27

sent for one of these and if failed in days ,don't bother .

n brown
20-11-2013, 16:54
bugger !

20-11-2013, 16:57
I use a meter from the 1950's still works a treat ,it is the size of two house brick though , again old is best .

20-11-2013, 17:13
Go to maplins instead, they do decent ones and wont cost you the earth, and as above described, take a battery reading with it, if the panel is charging then just forget it, they are after all items you just fit and forget,