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  • Installing an analog ammeter

    Hi,

    Anybody here who knows how to install an analog ammeter to measure the current coming from the panels? I tried doing it by directly wiring the meter in series with the positive wire, it gives me a reading but it trips the controller after a few seconds. I heard from somebody that you ned to put a resistor and a diode so that it won't trip. By any chance anybody here knows if thats a true and if so, can somebody give me the diagram and parts needed?

    Thanks!
    -Ameds-
    [URL="My starter solar setup"]http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=110199&id=1460868554&l=8dbb187d24[/URL]
    [URL="Video of my solar setup"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEq-6Lc3_SI[/URL]

  • #2
    You need to buy a shunt (50a) but depends on what the aprox full amps you are likely to ever get from the panles.. its best to get a shunt size tso that your reading will be about half the shunt rating...wire it in series with the positive wire from the panels then connect a millivolt meter across the shunt to read the amps
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Are you asking for a permanent meter or test meter?

      Both work the same way if using a shunt type meter. A shunt is a precision power resistor designed to develop 50 milli-volts at full scale reading.
      MSEE, PE

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      • #4
        I added a 3' piece of #14 wire between the charge controller and the batteries. This is my shunt resistor. I calibrated it but snipping of bits of wire until it read the same as my 10 AMP multimeter. I think it's something like 0.002 ohms, so the voltage developed across this resister is 0.024 volts. THen you just need to buy or make a meter that will sense this voltage.

        Or you could just buy this for 15 AMP DC ammeter for 8$

        http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=17254+ME

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunking View Post
          Are you asking for a permanent meter or test meter?

          Both work the same way if using a shunt type meter. A shunt is a precision power resistor designed to develop 50 milli-volts at full scale reading.
          I'm planning to make it a permanent meter to constantly measure the current my panels are giving.
          -Ameds-
          [URL="My starter solar setup"]http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=110199&id=1460868554&l=8dbb187d24[/URL]
          [URL="Video of my solar setup"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEq-6Lc3_SI[/URL]

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by john p View Post
            You need to buy a shunt (50a) but depends on what the aprox full amps you are likely to ever get from the panles.. its best to get a shunt size tso that your reading will be about half the shunt rating...wire it in series with the positive wire from the panels then connect a millivolt meter across the shunt to read the amps
            I have 4 pcs. 100watt panels @ 12v / 5.7a. Please pardon my ignorance, after I buy a shunt how do i connect my analog ammeter then?

            Thanks!
            -Ameds-
            [URL="My starter solar setup"]http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=110199&id=1460868554&l=8dbb187d24[/URL]
            [URL="Video of my solar setup"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEq-6Lc3_SI[/URL]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by raymondalmeda View Post
              I have 4 pcs. 100watt panels @ 12v / 5.7a. Please pardon my ignorance, after I buy a shunt how do i connect my analog ammeter then?

              Thanks!
              This 30 Amp meter has a built in shunt. Just install it between the charge controller and the battery.

              http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=17679+ME

              Comment


              • #8
                Raymondalmeda If you use a shunt you use a millivolt meter as shown in the simple drawing to read the amps usually 1a =1mv .if you dont use a shunt you just connect the 30a ampmeter as shown in the drawing where the shunt is. you dont need any diodes or anything else .

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                • #9
                  you could get an old automotive ammeter with 2 terminal lugs on it, those often have the internal shunt, but only read in 5A increments.
                  Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                  || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
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                  • #10
                    But Mike he may have trouble finding a 1948 Hudson Hornet to get the ampmeter..??
                    Mabe it easier if he just goes to an electronics parts shop and either buys a 50a shunt and a millivolt meter or a 30a ampmeter,..

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by john p View Post
                      But Mike he may have trouble finding a 1948 Hudson Hornet to get the ampmeter..??
                      Mabe it easier if he just goes to an electronics parts shop and either buys a 50a shunt and a millivolt meter or a 30a ampmeter,..
                      Agree with you John simplest method is to just use a 50 amp shunt (assuming 50 mv full scale) and using a good DVM with an accurate mv scale as it keeps things simple. There are lots of suppliers and a shunt works in either AC or DC circuits.

                      With that said I do not know how useful a shunt would be for a operator and hard to justify the expense. Once the4 system is installed and verified, the shunt would not have much use. Since any system needs a good volt meter.I would recommend a good DVM with a clamp-on Amp meter to start with and forget about the added expense of a shunt and just use the meter when you need to measure current. You kill 2 birds with one stone and save money.
                      MSEE, PE

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                      • #12
                        digital meter + shunt

                        Raymond , Have a look at this meter. I've been thinking of getting one myself. Rated at 50amps + shunt included. seller is "ithingsonlineshop"

                        http://www.ebay.com/itm/120730845144...84.m1436.l2648

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