solar panels

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by rjann, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. rjann

    rjann New Member

    Anyone out there a solar panel expert?
    Mine don't work. Haven't since I bought the camper.
    I know it's not the controller because I installed anew one.
    No power at all from the panels.
    Here's the question: What exactly can go wrong with them. Is it likely they will have to be replaced, or is it more likely that they can be fixed?
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: solar panels

    If you have a meter, put it across the output terminals with the leads disconnected when it is sunny. If the voltage is 0 then they are probably not usable. Usually when a solar panel fails it means that the inside has broken at some point and does not have continuity.

    I'm not a solar expert but have worked with some of them on occasion.
  3. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: solar panels

    I second kirks comment.
  4. rjann

    rjann New Member

    Re: solar panels

    Thanks. I was afraid of that. Now I have to decide if the cost is worth the convenience, and since my generator works great I suspect it's not.
  5. minerz

    minerz Member

    Re: solar panels

    You did not mention where you got your solar panels, but most of the high end ones have a warranty. My two 130's are warranty'd for 25 years. You might check with who you got them from and see about it. Happy camping.
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: solar panels

    There are 2 uses for solar panels. One is to actually provide power to use. If you don't need this, spending money on it is of questionable value (although may become of more value as the price of fuel rises). The other is to maintain your batteries when the unit is in storage. This can be pretty cheap (small panel) and it sounds like you have the wiring already installed.
  7. barluis

    barluis New Member

    RE: solar panels

    First of all, I am not an "expert" on the subject. I do know a thing or two. First of all, you must check the panel itself when the sun is hitting directly on it. Look for an LED (light) If it has one, It must be flashing. No flashing-No working. That simple. If there is no light on it then take a voltmeter and check the voltage at the panel itself. Again, if no voltage is present, then panel is dead.

    In the event that you found voltage present, then I would go at the receiving end of the regulator and check it. No voltage, indicates that there is an open somewhere in the wire. Same voltage as at the panel, then I would take a closer look at the regulator.

    The voltage generated by the solar panel should be around 12V, regardless of the size. You must check the brand and look for the specs that go with it. You didn't say what brand or how many watts this solar panel is supposed to generate.

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