DC Amp and Volt Meter Wiring
Q&A with Jeff of Missouri Wind and Solar
Tips & Things to Remember in DC Amp Meter Wiring
Choosing a meter
- To test the amps or volts of your wind turbine or solar panel system with a handheld
clamp onmeter, you must use a DC model
- Make sure to use a DC amp meter for amp readings
- Don’t allow incoming power to exceed the rated amperage (or voltage) of your meter – it may break the unit
- 12 Volt battery systems should use a 15
Volt meter; 48 Volt systems should use a 70-75 Volt meter.
Choosing a Meter
Don’t allow incoming power to exceed the rated amperage (or voltage) of your meter – it may break the unit.
A wind turbine should be connected to a separate meter than the solar panel(s).
Use a DC amp meter for amp readings.
To test the amps or volts of your wind turbine or solar panel system with a handheld clamp-on meter, you must use a DC model.
12-volt battery systems should use a 15-
volt meter; 48-volt systems should use a 70-75 volt meter.
Match the amp rating of the meter to the amp rating of the shunt bar.
Match the millivolts (mv) of the meter to the millivolt (mv) rating of the shunt bar.
If your meter is over 15 amps, you will need a shunt bar (refer to the wiring diagram above).
Troubleshooting DC Meter Issues
Amp Meters: If the needle on the meter is a negative reading, switch the sense wires between the meter and shunt bar.
Volt Meters: The positive and negative inputs are typically not marked on the DC Volt Meter. If you connect them to your battery and get a negative reading, simply swap the wires.
Calibration: If the needle on your analog meter is not at zero when there isn’t incoming power, you can calibrate the DC meter by turning the screw on the front of the meter.
The two wires between the meter and shunt bar need to be the same length.
If your digital handheld DC meter isn’t giving you an accurate reading, check the batteries in the unit