Home About us Products Projects Blog & Video Contact us

 

The electrical multitester is often called the "right hand" of the electrical technician, but it is limited in its ability to measure current. The clamp-on ammeter fulfills that function. With it, you can measure current through a wire without disconnecting it. And, you can measure high current flow with a small instrument. The trouble is, until recently, it was an AC-only device. In recent years, DC/AC clamp-on meters became available at reasonable prices and they include standard multitester functions. They are very valuable for troubleshooting renewable energy systems.

The better clamp-on meters include "peak hold" which records highest readings, including motor starting surges. If you work with inverters and AC generators, be sure to get one that features RMS (root mean square) measurement. It will compensate for non-sine, clipped and distorted waveforms (especially the so-called "modified sine wave") in order to give a true reading of voltage and current. You can purchase a DC/AC clamp-on multitestor for $140 to $300 from electrical and electronic suppliers. Manufacturers include Fluke, Amprobe, B&K Precision and Triplett.

When you go troubleshooting, take two multitesters. You will want to make simultaneous observations of voltage and current, or two different voltages. Get some electronic test clip wires so that you can take readings without hand-holding the probes. Read your meters' instruction manuals to learn useful and safe measuring techniques.

    Solar Basics Info
 Solar History
 Solar Glossary
 Archive
 What is a Sine Wave?
    Building a System
 Calculating Tilted Array...
 Sizing Grid-Tied Solar A...
 How to Choose an Inverte...
 Measuring Power & Energy...
    System care
 Grounding and Lightning ...
 Extending Battery Life
 Surviving Winter With a ...
 Troubleshooting a PV Arr...
    Solar Tools
 The DC/AC Clamp-On Ammet...
 Wire Sizing Charts
 Off-Grid Load Estimator
    Financial Savings
 Environmental Savings
 New Mexico Solar Rebate ...
    Home Installations
 Windy Dankoff's Home PV ...
 Midnite Solar
    Water Pumping
 Water Pumping Glossary
 Inverter Sizing for Subm...
 Water Pumping Basics
 Solar Trackers With Wate...
    Solar Street light
 How solar street lights ...
 How To Choose Solar Ligh...
    Solar Manufacturers
 Kyocera Solar
 Schott Solar
 Sanyo Solar
 Canadian Solar
    Solar News
 Bookstore
 Solar Street Light FAQ
Home   |   About us   |   Products   |   Projects   |   Knowledge   |   Contact us