broken solar panel dilemma

jvrichjvrich Posts: 2Registered Users
We have a Suntech STP-180-24/Ab-1 solar panel that we purchased in 2009 that has shattered (cause unknown).  The manufacturer no longer does business in the US and our installer is out of business.  The panel has a manufacturer's 25-year warranty which clearly should still be in effect.   It is still working but just a matter of time before it takes down our system.  We can't find anyone who will help us to repair or replace the panel and don't know what we could replace it with.  Have made lots of calls and hit lots of dead ends.  Any suggestions?

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,447Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    You should be able to find some new old stock somewhere, If you are in the Missouri area I have the 185watt version.

    There is no "Warranty Claim" unless you feel faulty manufacturing, which would be pretty much impossible to prove. More likely vandalism, or a bird strike for some reason.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,213Super Moderators admin
    How is your array configured? Is this a Grid tied system with 10x panels in series... Or an off grid system with (for example) 2x in series and 5x in parallel?

    This is a 72 cell panel (Vmp~36 volts)--May be able to do a mix/match of panels/strings to get things right again.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,447Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Well, I did a quick search and didn't see any new old stock. The panels I have, have been inside storage waiting for me to put up over front porch. I decided to rebuild the front porch before adding them, so the project has been put on the back burner. I have a photo of the label some where, they are 185 watt, but the 24 volt nominal as your are I believe so they should work fine. They are Black framed, black background. I got a good deal on them, part of a ware house accident, I got to keep the undamaged panels and dispose of the cracked panels. I have 14 and need 8, so I have some to spare. If you are in central US I might be talked into driving 1 or 2 to you for a small fee. I have family in Cincinnati whom are due a visit. I live in central Missouri.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,447Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2016 #5
    Not the best photo, particularly from someone who once did photography for a living... Hey, I had shot in a closet of my home and posted at photobucket for some reason. 
    This is what I have, The size should be identical, They are black framed black background. They should just be slightly more wattage than what you have, which should have no effect on a string.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Posts: 812Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Where are you located?

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • jvrichjvrich Posts: 2Registered Users
    Hi everyone and thank you for alerting me, Photowhit, to the fact that people were replying to my post.  I don't speak solar or electrical very well- but can say with confidence that we are tied to the grid and have several panels in a row in an array.  We are in Phoenix, AZ.  I have been amazed at how nobody we have called in the solar business in Phoenix is willing (or able?) to do anything other than sell us a brand new system.  The only postings I can find for solar electricians or solar consultants in Phoenix on the internet are job descriptions-- not listings for individuals who actually do or understand anything.  We are likely very interested in your suntech 185s, Photowhit, but my husband has gone to bed and he is more knowledgeable than I am.  Now that I have figured out how this forum works, I will come back tomorrow and have him participate as well.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,447Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I sent a PM, I thought I'd add this here as others might be able to add to it.

    Some other panels might work for you as a replacement. They have become more standard in sizes, but 24 volt nominal is unusual, might check the output and sizing of the 190 watt Top Point panels. Northern Arizona Wind and Sun use to carry them, they might have a lead for you, I know they are 24 volt nominal panels, so likely in the right ball park electrically, search 'Top Point 190 PDF' and you can likely find a spec sheet.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
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