Testing Your Solar Panel Setup

Solar panels have sprung up with amazing regularity over the past couple of years and there is now hardly a south facing road that does not have several roofs totally covered with solar panels. The present system and payment structure for the panels has been very advantageous to the user and has resulted in a very good return on the investment required to install a full panel roof system and with the way that energy costs are likely to rise in the next few years this is likely to get distinctly better. The present government scheme is changing to reduce the advantage and will almost certainly reduce the number of installations for a while but the manufacturing costs of producing the panels has reduced enormously with the multi-million panel demand and the price of the panels is likely to decrease significantly enough for the business to continue quite strongly.


This demand has built a market for testing equipment to check the positioning of the panels and also the energy output from the panels. The Irradiance meter is part of the kit with a multi meter which is an essential item of the panel installer to check on the best set-up of the panel system. The installer first has to check whether the area of installation is suitable to put in the solar panels.

It has been said with some justification that a compass could be used but the irradiance meter gives an exact reading (and a much better figure) of the energy being received and can check the angles to see the best place to position them. It will quickly tell the user if the area is suitable fit the panels in order to give an adequate return in energy to cover the costs of installation. When the panels are being fitted checks can be carried out to check the radiation being received and the voltage output being generated and if possible to adjust the panels for the maximum energy capture.

A typical irradiance meter will measure up to 1999W / M squared or 638 BTU / Ft squared with a dual reading for irradiance and voltage output being available for onsite working and the ability to record the results taken. The meters have been made so that they are easy and safe to use at heights to cope with the typical roof installation. The recording feature is essential not only so that the results can be checked at ground level but they also prove to the customer the viability of the set-up.

Testing Your Solar Panel Setup