Solar panel problem

Submitted: Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 22:28
ThreadID: 133807 Views:2400 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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Hi, I have a 30w solar panel for charging a 12v gate. I noticed the battery was down to 10.5v and checked the panel right where the 2 connectors come out and its only reading .3v, would anyone have an idea what could be causing this? I did have it in full sun when i tested it. Is it buggered?
It runs through a regulator btw.
Cheers Wayne
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 23:15

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 23:15
*
Not breathing, no pulse. Doesn't sound real healthy Wayne.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 07:41

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 07:41
Thanks Allan, I thought these things were pretty bullet proof, cheers.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:21

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:21
Wayne, electronic devices are innately fragile. They can fail for no discernible reason. In the case of Solar Panels, they are constructed of a number of PV cells connected in series, in your case probably 30 to 36 cells. Being in series, if one cell fails and goes open-circuit, then the whole series chain is open-circuit and no current can be produced. Sometimes the array is composed of groups of cells each with a 'bypass diode' to allow (diminished) current to pass a non-performing cell group, but this is probably unlikely in your panel. Also sometimes a diode is positioned at the panel output to prevent current 'back-flow' at night time. This diode is in series with the output not "across" as has been suggested. In any case, if the panel has been furnished with a regulator, this diode is usually omitted as you have indicated.

If access were available to the rear of your cells then it may be possible to test each cell and isolate a faulty one but typical construction of an array usually precludes access and repair. It is a virtual 'sealed unit'.

By disconnecting the battery and regulator then testing directly across the panel output as you have done, you have isolated the fault to be within the panel.
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Allan

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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:22

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:22
Did you disconnect the panel to test it?

Does it have a diode across the wires from the panel, if so try disconnecting the diode and retest?

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:23

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:23
The panel was disconnected from the regulator, I don't remember seeing any thing across the wires, will check though. Thanks.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:28

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:28
Does it have a plastic terminal box mounted to the panel, if so then
open the box and check the voltage on the flat strips coming from the panel.

The diode is normally mounted in the terminal box if it has a normal panel setup though in this application there may not be either the box or diode.

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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:27

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:27
There was a small plastic box where I tested the flat strips, cheers.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 11:08

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 11:08
Then it would appear it's a bin job.

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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:23

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:23
Was the voltage test after the regulator or before it? Was the battery connected at the time?

It does appear that either the panel or the regulator is RS
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Follow Up By: Nutta - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:26

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 09:26
Before the reg, no battery, it was straight off the panel, cheers.
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