How to Use a Voltmeter on a Solar Panel

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If you've got a solar panel setup in your home, one tool you're going to want to have around is a voltmeter. Use a voltmeter on a solar panel with help from an expert with Earth Wind and Solar Energy in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Solar Panels
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Video Transcript

Hello, I'm John Caravette, with Earth Wind And Solar Energy. Today, we're going to talk about connecting a voltmeter to your solar panel. The voltmeter, you want to have, is one that must read DC voltage. Solar panels produce DC voltage, think if it as a battery. So what I want, is to be able to be able to set the voltmeter, to DC voltage and you'll have a positive and negative terminal, on the voltmeter. The voltmeter positive side, is indicated ether with a plus and or with a red color to it. The negative side with have a negative sign and be associated with a black color. So if you will take your two terminals, plug them in, positive and your negative terminal, then from the other end the leads, hook those up, to the solar panel, the solar panel has two leads coming out of it, one is a positive, one is a negative so locate them, they should be properly labeled, with the positive and then negative sticker on them, now connect your solar panel, to your leads, on your voltmeter, by identifying, which is positive and which one is the negative. Once that's accomplished, you then select, from your voltmeter, select voltage DC, take a reading on that, you should see some voltage on it, depending on the time of the day and the angle of the sun and the panel, but the main thing, right here, is we just want to make sure, that there is voltage coming off of it and it should be close to what the indication volt, open circuit voltage is on the back of your module. The manufacturer will spec, what the open circuit voltage is. Then you would also want to select amperage, DC amperage, select your voltmeter, slide it over to DC amperage and take a reading there as well. And that's how you would connect a voltmeter to your solar panel.

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