Should Solar Panel Have Continuity???

Old 05-25-18, 01:46 PM
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Should Solar Panel Have Continuity???

I recently added a small second solar panel to charge the car battery that operates my gate. I had the motor in the actuator go out so I replaced it. Upon reconnecting the control board and two charging panels to the battery I noticed the new solar panel sparked quite a bit and the wires got very hot. Of course I didn't complete the connection. Using my VOM I checked the panel for voltage and there is none (the other older one has 16.5 volts). I then checked it for continuity and to my surprise it has continuity (the other older one does not have continuity).

I did these readings with the panels not connected to the battery. I am guessing it should not have continuity which, is seems to me, would be the equivalent of a short in this instance. Can someone tell me if this means the panel is bad or, should there be continuity when checking between the + and - wires on a solar panel? If it is bad, what might have caused it (the answer probably is "cheap harbor freight panel")? It worked fined for 6 months.

Any in put would be appreciated!

Old 05-25-18, 03:43 PM
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When the subject panel is not generating voltage and other panels are generating voltage, you might as well stop there and discard the dead panel (or have it repaired).

Never try to measure continuity of an object generating power such as a battery and including a solar panel exposed to light.

Last edited by AllanJ; 05-25-18 at 04:04 PM.
Old 05-25-18, 03:45 PM
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It sounds like the panel has a dead short.
Measure it for continuity in the dark..... it should be high.
If you only measure a few ohms.... it's bad or the wiring has a short.
Old 05-25-18, 03:55 PM
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