How to Measure Solar Panel Output With a Multimeter?

Due to the after-sales problems from some customers, we found out that many of them do not have correct testing data for using a multimeter.

As such, in this article, I will be teaching you how to use your own meter and test diligently & How to measure solar panel output with a multimeter?

After Solar panels from our customers have been installed, there are some problems in the after-sale process. We find that not all testing data collected by manufacturers or installers can be trusted to use for troubleshooting purposes because they may be inaccurate when it comes down to using multimeters properly without being defective themselves.

Things to do before measure solar panel output with multimeter

Solar panels are passive energy gatherers. You can’t tell much just looking at or touching them, so how do you verify if your solar panel is active? While checking if a 12V battery can run devices and vehicles is a pretty good sign that everything will be well with both.

However, this doesn’t always give us information about the current output levels to meet our needs when powering an electric system from these sources (solar).

Testing solar panels is often overlooked because the process isn’t as fun or exciting. You don’t want to spend your time installing products that won’t work after installation, and most people forget about testing before they do so!

Learning how to test correctly ensures you’ll know if an array can produce enough power for what you need – without wasting valuable resources like labor on fixing things up later when there’s no point in beginning with those assumptions already built-in from day 1.

Before you start:

  • At first, it is necessary to find your panel’s voltage (V) and current (A) ratings. These signals are written on the back of the panel.
  • The sun is your best friend for outdoor use. If you have a panel that can take readings in full sunlight, make sure the sky above and around it is clear so as to not block any rays from shining down on Earth’s surface.
  • A multimeter is an essential tool for testing power draw because it can measure voltage, current, and resistance. Make sure you understand how to use the device correctly. If in doubt, please consult a qualified electrician or technician.



A multimeter is a handy tool for measuring many different things, but what good does it do if you don’t know how to use the various functions available? Be careful of selecting the appropriate function when using the switched multimeter. Multimeters of different functions can measure several different quantities, including the amperage or voltage of the solar panels. Be careful of setting the function to DC amperage or DC Voltage.

The best way to test your solar panel’s voltage output is by putting it in direct sunlight and setting up an experiment with a multimeter to the DC “volts” setting.

To ensure that you receive an accurate reading, choosing a multimeter capable of displaying the maximum possible voltage for your panel is essential. If a panel rater is for 20 volts, then select one with settings up to 200 volts to avoid missing any readings between these figures.

It’s easy to test your solar panel! Simply connect the black probe to the port labeled COM. Then, get a red (positive) probe connected to the port labeled V/Ω/mA.

The next work is to touch the multimeter probes with the solar panel’s leads. Remember doing this with matching red to red and black to black corresponding polarity. You will get an accurate reading of the volts from the panels. You’ll get the voltage close to the panel’s rating if the panel is new. In the meantime, you’ll see a lower voltage for used panels.

To test solar panel output, put your multimeter in direct sunlight and set it to measure Amperes.

Besides, to ensure that you don’t blow the device’s fuse, set the maximum amp sensitivity to well above what is expected. Would you please adjust either black probe connects to port labeled COM or red 10A connection, which should be sufficient for testing purposes?

The solar panel testing is done, and it turns out that the output of your newly built panels (Ex: 100W solar panel) is around 21 volts with five amps.

Whenever you have these two values together in Watts (volts x amperage), then multiplying them together will give us our wattage, which can estimate how powerful a certain type or size of photovoltaic cell is might be able to generate energy from light.

Point to be noted-

It is often a good idea to make sure your batteries are not fully charged before testing. This will avoid voltage spikes that can damage components, and it may also prevent you from ruining any stored energy if the charge controller malfunctions while in use!

Best multimeter for solar panels

The WS400A is a multimeter and MPPT tester. Use the AUTO mode to automatically measure solar panel power output by attaching leads from your PV panels to make voltage, current, and wattage measurements with one button press.

For manual MPPT testing, connect your solar panel through this meter then through a load that draws an amp or more of power. The meter will provide readings for the open voltage and resistance for each panel and calculated true voltages and currents across series-connected panels.

Flawless readings on any solar panel, roof-mounted, or ground mount. Seamless interface with all electronic devices and smart sensors.

The manufacturer built this tester to serve the needs of residential and commercial customers who work with 12-volt solar panels: taking charge of your power today is as easy as connecting a few wires to find out if your panels are working properly.

We’ve tested this photovoltaic panel multipot meter from every angle, which means you can bet on one point. It works flawlessly across a broad range of voltages. This accurate tester for solar panels doesn’t take up much room at all in terms of size. You’ll be thrilled with the purchase.

Final thoughts

A guide on how to test your solar panels and ensure they are in perfect condition for use. We have shown this important procedure with detailed steps that will lead you through checking the output of solar panels individually or as a group during setup time at home.

Your solar panel installation is about to begin. Before you install your panels, you know that they need some testing and cleaning up, so they perform at their best for years without trouble or unnecessary expense in parts replacement and labor charges. Well, don’t worry because this guide showed you how exactly those tasks should be done step-by-step.

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