Amprobe Solar-500/600 Solar Analyzer Review
The Amprobe Solar-500 and Solar-600 Analyzers have been discontinued. Please check the Solar Power Meters Catalog.
Today I will be reviewing the Amprobe Solar-500 and Solar-600 Solar Analyzers. Like their name implies they allow you to analyze solar panels.
From basic maintenance, troubleshooting or efficiency testing, these two solar analyzers have you covered. If you are an installer, this is an especially important tool as it will help you calculate and determine proper inverter size as well as positioning of the solar voltaic cells for maximum output.
Both of these units are generally the same instrument save for a few minor differences in resolution of testing parameters. The Amprobe Solar-500 Solar Analyzer has a voltage range up to 60V and a current range from 0-6A.
Below I will list the main features of these two Solar Analyzers and give a brief use for each test.
- I-V Curve Test for Solar Cell: This is a test mostly used for R&D to confirm output of Solar Cells but as pricing of these instruments decreases they are being used more in the field to confirm that the panels are operating properly after installation and to use as a benchmark for future maintenance inspections
- Max Solar Power (Pmax), Voltage (Vmaxp), and Current (Imaxp): These measurements allow you calculate and determine the expected production of the solar panels. Gives you the necessary information to choose a properly sized inverter for the system and also tinker with position of the panels to find the best setting for each installation.
- Calculation of Panel Efficiency (%): This is used to check the efficiency which relates to R & D mostly. Can be used in the field to test panels before installation to see if they meet the specs from the manufacturer.
- Manual Single Point Test: Can be used to take single measurements at different points on a panel. Allows you to get an idea of the overall health of a system and great for maintenance of a solar install as reference points.
The Amprobe Solar-500 and Solar-600 Solar Analyzers are unique instruments used almost exclusively in the Solar Industry for Research and Development. As I stated before, the price of this technology is decreasing and the use in the field during installations or maintenance practices is increasing which leads to overall system health and longevity. As with any business, keeping track of an investment as large a Solar Voltaic install is useful and leads to less costly repairs or downtime. Are you an installer who is deciding on if adding a Solar Analyzer is right for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!