bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

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shockman
shockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
S000, I'm running the weed eater by my array when I hear something (rock) hit my array, upon further investigation I discover that one of the four panels (245w) is cracked like a spider web throughout the whole panel making the silver lines look very wrinkled compared to other panels. Is it pooched?? or what the effect going to be?? all I can tell is that I was getting 700ish watts at peak part of the day which seemed fairly normal. What up!!
4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,497 admin
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Yes, the panel is "pooched" for the long term. Usually Solar Panel glass is tempered and you will see most of the glass shatter into smaller chunks. With the adhesive properties of the various films holding the panel glass+cells+backing together.

    Crystalline solar panels do not have any chemically active components that will cause them to fail in minutes/hours/days... (Thin film panels usually need to be hermetically sealed against water/oxygen intrusion).

    However, as time goes on, water and oxygen will eventually corrode and cause the electrical connections/components to fail. People have tried overlaying glass or plexi and sealing with neutral cure silicon rubber caulk (type 2?). But that will probably not be worth the time/money as it will save you anything in the long term.

    Panels are probably as cheap as they ever are going to be--So replacing it now may be the only practical long term solution.

    Raising the array and/or a mesh metal fence or something to keep lawn mower object out of the array may be the next weekend project.

    Sorry,
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • shockman
    shockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    I was afraid that might be the response. Panels are only about 4 months old, how soon should I replace it??
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    It will fail, and it will have reduced output because of the cracked glass, but it isn't going to hurt anything I would replace it as soon as you can find (and can afford) a new one.

    That said, in Kamloops, with out a lot of rain, it's demise may be slower.

    Tiny

    (happy BC Day!)
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,497 admin
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Depends on how dry/salt free your area is... Probably will only output near full power for the next weeks-few months.

    One issue is that as the panel "ages", there is a risk of poor connections starting to Arc... If you have any dry grasses underneath and/or wooden framework, there is some possibility of the panel arcing/setting something on fire.

    There are various rated flame resistant plastics--But pretty much all of the common ones I have seen will burn fairly nicely if there is an ignition source (arc, flame, hot wire, etc.) present.

    How likely--I have not a clue. So it comes down to the old risk/reward/wallet factors. Panel should last 25+ years--So getting a few more months out of the old panel is not going to really give you much "extra/extended life" on the new panel.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • shockman
    shockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    I'm sure I can get a replacement panel as soon as next week, it,s the roundtoit I'm worried about, that could take a while :>)))
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • peakbagger
    peakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    buy the panel. everyone assumes that their panels will be available and frequently that isnt the case.
  • RandomJoe
    RandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    If you want your four panels to look the same you'd best at least purchase the panel sooner rather than later - whether you actually install it right away.

    I have Kyocera panels, and I bought the nine KD135s in three different batches a year or so apart. All three batches were slightly different! Technically the same panel, even the first few digits of the part number were the same, but slightly different physically. The most notable difference was for the third batch, where the frames were considerably thicker (percentage-wise) than the first ones. Laid in the same row on the mounting rails it's quite visible, but since they're on the roof not such a big deal. (Biggest gripe I had was that they required different mounting bolts - I could NOT mount an old and new one side by side under the same clamp due to the difference in thickness.)
  • Ken Marsh
    Ken Marsh Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    The panels at our Indiana installation are 270 watt Sunteck and are three years old.
    I got caught up in the present low cost PV prices and purchased another 20.
    The new panels are exactly the same size and look the same but are rated at 290 watts per panel.
    Got the new batch installed on a fixed mount and hooked in last week.
    Both sets put out full rated power in bright sun.
    But they are quite different in their acceptance angle and low light performance.
    The newer panels have better off axis power output.
    They also do significantly better in low light conditions.
    I do not have the equipment and time to quantify the differences but but note a distinct difference.
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    Ken Marsh wrote: »
    The panels at our Indiana installation are 270 watt Sunteck and are three years old.
    I got caught up in the present low cost PV prices and purchased another 20.
    The new panels are exactly the same size and look the same but are rated at 290 watts per panel.
    Got the new batch installed on a fixed mount and hooked in last week.
    Both sets put out full rated power in bright sun.
    But they are quite different in their acceptance angle and low light performance.
    The newer panels have better off axis power output.
    They also do significantly better in low light conditions.
    I do not have the equipment and time to quantify the differences but but note a distinct difference.
    Color me skeptical. Unless one module is thin film and the other is silicon, or maybe if one is monocrystalline and the other polycrystalline, there may be differences, but if they are the same technology there would be no reason for performance under low light conditions to be proportionately different.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,497 admin
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    New crystalline type panels can be as much as 3% more energy delivered during the first few months before the sun degrades their output to "rated or expected output".

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ramloui
    ramloui Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Wow! The exact same thing happened to me... weed eater, panel on the ground facing out... Man I hated myself! See the empty spot in the picture? That's where it was going to be installed...
    Attachment not found.

    However, I'm attempting a fix. Reason is that, well, my solar budget was just taken away by the family treasurer after buying the batteries, panels, supports, CC, wiring, etc.:cry:

    The panel was never exposed to the elements before it got broke. So, after reading a few suggestions on the internet (where everything is true, right?) I have decided to apply some non-yellowing varnish on the broken glass. I plan to install than panel when I go to the cabin this weekend. Probably won't last very long as many have suggested, but I will try it and report on how well/long it does.

    Maybe, next spring, the treasurer will allocate me a budget that will allow a new panel.

    Cheers!
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • bmet
    bmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    How much air space is there beneath those panels? Altho it looks as if you have a 'cool' roof, the underside of panels still produce a SL of heat in the absence of circulation.
  • ramloui
    ramloui Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    The panels are about 4" above the steel roof. This installation is about 49o N latitude in Eastern Quebec. There is always a breeze and the temperature rarely gets above 25oC. Do you think that high temperature could be a problem? What are the possible consequences?

    Thanks for your input!
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    ramloui wrote: »
    The panels are about 4" above the steel roof. This installation is about 49o N latitude in Eastern Quebec. There is always a breeze and the temperature rarely gets above 25oC. Do you think that high temperature could be a problem? What are the possible consequences?

    Thanks for your input!

    This is not bad. If panels do get too hot their Voltage will go down too much. But 4" clearance and ambient not above 25C should be all right.
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    ramloui wrote: »
    The panels are about 4" above the steel roof. This installation is about 49o N latitude in Eastern Quebec. There is always a breeze and the temperature rarely gets above 25oC. Do you think that high temperature could be a problem? What are the possible consequences?

    Thanks for your input!
    The consequences are not that bad. The voltage drops as temperature goes up, but inverters will usually keep working if the array voltage falls below the turn-on voltage. The worst case is if the power goes off and comes back on in the middle of the day when the modules are hot; if the array voltage has fallen below the inverter turn-on voltage, the inverter may not come on line again until the next morning.
  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    shockman wrote: »
    ... it,s the roundtoit I'm worried about, that could take a while :>)))
    Missouri roof repair?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • shockman
    shockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    inetdog wrote: »
    Missouri roof repair?

    ????? got me!

    I must admit as ramloui mentioned, I did think about some type of paint on coating that would be waterproof ????
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    shockman wrote: »
    ????? got me!

    I must admit as ramloui mentioned, I did think about some type of paint on coating that would be waterproof ????

    Don't waste your money; they don't last.
  • n4wff
    n4wff Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Sashco makes a product called Through The Roof. I have used it on my camper skylight and it is still clear after 2 years. It comes in a caulk tube, quart, and gallon sizes and it will stick to just about anything. It might buy you some time to save up for replacement.

    http://www.sashco.com/hi/through-the-roof.html
  • ramloui
    ramloui Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    My brother in law does truck lettering and he mentioned to me that he has a membrane/film that is used to apply on "regular" glass to make it analogous to tempered glass, that is, it won't crumble into a million chards. I wish I had known about this before I applied the varnish.

    The paenl is up on the shed roof now but I did not have time to connect it to the rest of the array. Hopefully I can do this next month.

    Cheers!
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    ramloui wrote: »
    My brother in law does truck lettering and he mentioned to me that he has a membrane/film that is used to apply on "regular" glass to make it analogous to tempered glass, that is, it won't crumble into a million chards. I wish I had known about this before I applied the varnish.

    I think that you are a little confused about the terminology.

    Laminated glass (like car windshields) does not come apart at all because of an inner flexible layer, although it does break into many often long dagger-like pieces that are held together.
    Normal glass breaks into the same general size and shape pieces, but they stab you or rain down on you.
    Tempered glass, on the other hand, deliberately breaks into an enormous number of relatively non-threatening but hard to clean up small near-cubes . And it does not leave any unbroken glass n the frame to do you harm with its sharp edges either.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • ramloui
    ramloui Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Sorry about the confusion. My point is that, applying such a membrane would hopefully keep the cells from being contaminated to a point where the panel no longer is useful. Maybe it would just delay the inevitable. But I wish I had done that instead of the varnish just to obtain that data point.
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    inetdog wrote: »
    I think that you are a little confused about the terminology.

    Laminated glass (like car windshields) does not come apart at all because of an inner flexible layer, although it does break into many often long dagger-like pieces that are held together.
    Tempered glass, on the other hand, deliberately breaks into an enormous number of relatively non-threatening but hard to clean up small near-cubes.
    All the auto glass I have seen broken has gone to those cuboids of which you speak; I am still finding them in my wife's minivan five years after someone threw a beer bottle though the rear window. I have never seen broken tempered glass.

    Pyrex dropped on concrete explodes like a grenade.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,497 admin
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    You have to be very careful with "Pyrex" kitchen bowls/pans/measuring cups in the US these days, it is not "pyrex":

    War on Pyrex:
    For decades, Pyrex was made of borosilicate glass, a special type of glass in which boron oxide is added to the mix. The added boron allows Pyrex to handle heat much better than typical glass, so Pyrex is commonly found in kitchens, laboratories, and in use with aquarium heaters (as the heaters are, necessarily, submerged in much cooler water). But in 1998, Corning, the company which made Pyrex, sold the brand to World Kitchen LLC. World Kitchen decided to stop the manufacture of borosilicate glass, and since then, Pyrex sold in the United States is made of tempered soda-lime glass, which does not handle heat as well as borosilicate glass does. (It may, however, be more resilient to drops.) In most cases that does not matter much, as tempered soda-lime glass is still pretty good at withstanding thermal shocks.
    But it’s not great. In 2010, Consumer Reports (as reported by its quasi-independent blog, Consumerist), tested some Pyrex and and found that taking the newer glass out of a hot oven and placing it on a wet granite countertop yielded poor results: the glass shattered almost instantly, and violently so. (There’s a video at the Consumerist link). And as Popular Science demonstrated, super-heating a measuring cup (in their case, with a blowtorch) and then adding just a drop of water has a similar effect — shattered glass, everywhere. Test tubes in chemistry labs are still made of borosilicate glass to avoid this very problem.
    Of course, there are few cases where one is going to expose a Pyrex measuring cup to such extreme temperatures, so, if you do have a soda-lime one in your kitchen (and you probably do), there is little reason to worry — your recipes are almost certainly safe. Even the restaurant and food services industries can use the newer version of Pyrex without much concern. But one industry was struck very hard by the switch: the crack cocaine trade. It turns out that turning cocaine into crack requires bringing the solution of water and powdered cocaine to a very high temperature and then rapidly cooling it. And for years, crack makers would use Pyrex — borosilicate glass ones, that is — to accomplish this step, successfully. The soda-lime glass alternatives cannot withstand the thermal shock.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ggunn
    ggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    BB. wrote: »
    You have to be very careful with "Pyrex" kitchen bowls/pans/measuring cups in the US these days, it is not "pyrex":

    War on Pyrex:



    -Bill

    Thanks for the warning. The next time I... no, I won't post that on a public forum even as a joke.
  • solar_dave
    solar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,397 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels

    Glad all my Pyrex is really old stuff! ;)
  • inetdog
    inetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: bad mix/wippersnipper & solar panels
    ggunn wrote: »
    All the auto glass I have seen broken has gone to those cuboids of which you speak; I am still finding them in my wife's minivan five years after someone threw a beer bottle though the rear window. I have never seen broken tempered glass.

    Pyrex dropped on concrete explodes like a grenade.

    1. The windshield glass is different from all of the other glass in the car, since it is expected to hold up under shattering force to protect the occupants from high speed flying objects and make it easier for the driver to retain control of the car. But a high enough speed impact from the head of an unbelted occupant can still penetrate it.

    2. If you have seen the cuboids, you have seen broken tempered glass. It is also used in shower enclosures and glass doors for the same safety reasons. It is also somewhat harder to break in the first place (except from thermal stress or as the result of a small scratch, either of which can lead to spontaneous disassembly.)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.