Not getting an amp reading from panel?

I am a newbie, I built a panel and I am able to get the voltage but I am not able to get a reading for amps.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Natalie

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NachoMahma7 years ago
.  Do NOT place an ammeter across a power source! The meter is, for all intents and purposes, a dead short and you will be putting whatever the max current of your supply is through the meter. Place the ammeter in series with a load that will limit the current to below the max allowable for the meter.
.  You say you haven't blown the fuse, but I'm betting you've either done that or fried the ammeter section of your meter electronics (if you have a DMM).
I wonder if that's in a Guide ? To us, its second nature, and I forget it isn't

Steve
Sounds like you have ruined a few meters also.
.  ROFLMAO  Yeah. More than one.
.  Bent the needle on a few analog meters, too. ;)
frollard7 years ago
Silly suggestion:  I effed this up the first few times - Are the probes on the multimeter plugged into the voltage slot? 

You often have to move them to a different set of holes (common ground) marked with (A) or (I) next to them

Mine are Ground, V+, 2A, 20A.  You need the red lead in the appropriate A socket.
Other ridiculously silly suggestion (but its an option) - are you testing with the ammeter in SERIES with the load (batteries, charge controller, etc)?  Measure voltage in parallel, but amperage needs to flow through the meter.
kelseymh7 years ago
You might want to edit your title and text to be more clear that you mean a "solar panel" (i.e., photovoltaic cell).  "Panel" in electronics can also mean a meter mounted on a metal panel in a rack.

You need to provide more information on what you are actually doing, in order for someone to help you.  Are you using a multimeter?  If so, where are you connected the red and black leads?  What are you setting the meter to read when you try to look at the current?  What voltage are you (successfully) reading?
Kumachun (author)  kelseymh7 years ago
Sorry,  Yes it's a multimeter. I put the red to the positive and the black to the neg. of the panel.  the voltage it reading 20.45.   The setting is 200m in the amp area the the meter.
200mA ? Check the fuses.
Kumachun (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
The fuse is fine but I will try to do as kelseymh said and set it to the max range and turn it down step by step.   I will try this in the morning.  But just in case I still am not able to get a reading any other suggestions.
Put a known load on the panel, and measure the voltage across the load.

What is the power rating of the panel ? What current would you expect, in best conditions.

Steve
Kumachun (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
Like I said I am a newbie, me and my son built it. We have 36 cells of 3x6 in one panel.  He did get a voltage reading of 20.45 on a good day just no amp reading no matter how many times he tried. When we got it when we tested the cells seperate though.

Nat
I reckon/guess that'll deliver well over an amp in full sun.
Kumachun (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
I will try everything you suggested. 


Thanks, Steve

Wish me luck
Luck ? No, I wish you success !
;-)
...and good luck.

Steve
I think Steve is probably right.  Check the internal fuses on the meter.

When using an ammeter, you need to check what amperage you expect with the maximum reading the meter can handle.  Then you should set the meter to maximum range, and turn it down step by step until you get enough precision for your needs.
How many Volts/ amps is the panel rated for ? 
If you put the meter, on amps straight across a panel that can deliver >10A, its odds-on you've blown the meter fuses.