Found something odd with my panels, defective?

ryan112ryanryan112ryan Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
I was washing my solar panels today and saw this. Image: http://imgur.com/d5ITPIC

The panels are about 1.5 years old. The glass/coating is fully intact, nothing has struck the panels. No lightening strikes or the like that I know of. I found these on about half of my panels. 1-2 of these on each panel effected.

Anyone know what it is or should I be concerned? They didn't come this way so it happened after the fact.

Comments

  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    what kinda panels
    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • ryan112ryanryan112ryan Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November 2016 #3
    280 watt poly Canadian solar
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,331 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That does not look good.   Looks like a cell cracked.  No strikes on the backside of the panels from baseballs or birds?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • ryan112ryanryan112ryan Registered Users Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November 2016 #5
    The best I can tell nothing has hit it. Also one panel has it but the next two don't the. The one after that does. In total 4 of 9 have it
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,957 ✭✭✭✭
    Have you measured their output? Are they all very similar? It might just be some glitch in the automated production. Current is created through the cell the thin direction. If the cell isn't cracked you may be fine.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    How could the cell have cracked..??


    ?
    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,369 ✭✭✭✭
    Snail trails I've heard them called. Microcracks, they don't seem to affect voc and isc much but under load may be a different story.

    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.

  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    So what's the CAUSE of these 'snail tracks'..??

    ?

    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,369 ✭✭✭✭
     I don't know but I have seen them on many panels over the years. I have some old Photowatt 72 cell 12/24 volt panels with many "snail trails" on many cells. I have some relatively new panels with similar problems. 
     Hopefully somebody with more knowledge on this subject will chime in.

    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.

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,333 admin
    They have made the solar cells extremely thin (cost of silicon ingots is a major cost of panels, as I understand). It does not take much in the way of stress/thermal cycling to break a cell if everything else (materials selected, manufacturing, handling, etc. of solar panels) is exactly right.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • cupcakecupcake Solar Expert Posts: 254 ✭✭✭
    You would think solar panels are designed to handle these extreemes seeing that they are meant to sit OUTSIDE and BAKE in the sun....
    ~1.5Kw PV in parallel
    Morningstar MPPT-60 controllers (2) in parallel
    3 Trojan tr-1275's in parallel 450ah total
    Samlex 2,000 watt 12-volt inverter hardwired


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,333 admin
    They had to do something to get them from $10 per watt couple of decades ago to less than $1 per watt today...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,331 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Those are NOT snail trails.  Those are a crack in the cell, and the panel (or panels from the entire batch) should be warranty replaced.
    Snail trails on panels look JUST Like snail trails.  Not sharp edges or odd discoloration / char
    Some pics on the first post here  (and all over Google)
    https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum/solar/the-pros-and-cons-of-solar-energy/8580-snail-trails

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭
    > So what's the CAUSE of these 'snail tracks'..??

    Supposedly due to micro-cracks and impurities in the solder paste used - causing a chemical reaction.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,369 ✭✭✭✭
    mike95490 said:
    Those are NOT snail trails.  Those are a crack in the cell, and the panel (or panels from the entire batch) should be warranty replaced.
    Snail trails on panels look JUST Like snail trails.  Not sharp edges or odd discoloration / char
    Some pics on the first post here  (and all over Google)
    https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum/solar/the-pros-and-cons-of-solar-energy/8580-snail-trails

    Mike, thanks for the clarification. That Canadian solar was quite informative.




    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.

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