Are my Cracked Panels beyond Repair?

st4rgutst4rgut Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
While moving some solar panels without frames I accidentally cracked them. The whole panel now has micro fractures. At first I thought the panel would still function, but I found that the cracked panels barely produce any voltage. I have four cracked panels now and all have the same issue. Could anyone tell me what the most likely issue is? I thought the glass on the panel is cosmetic and it would work fine as long as the wires underneath are undisturbed. It gets dewy in the morning, so perhaps water damage is an issue? I'm not sure if I could fix it or not. Any pointers would be nice. 


  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,736 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    The tempered glass is structural as well as protective, encapsulating the cells between it and the backing material, once compromised the panel will eventually fail, if not immediately, pretty much useless in that condition.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • st4rgutst4rgut Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    I watched this video: 

    The guy had cracked panels with damaged wires and some punctured cells and they still produced close to max voltage. I am thinking the issue is my fractures are reflecting all the sunlight. So in theory, replacing the glass should repair the panel since there are no other visible defects. I will try this with one cell and let yall know the results.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,248 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The glass is hot melt glued to the cells and wires underneath it.  Not going to be an easy change without everything that isnt broken now, breaking even more.   They are pretty much scrap.  Sorry
    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

    gen: ,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,547 ✭✭✭✭✭
    st4rgut said:
    The guy had cracked panels with damaged wires and some punctured cells and they still produced close to max voltage.
    I bought a pallet of solar panels some of which had been broken, with the understanding I would dispose of the broken panels properly.

    I actually gave the broken panels away arranged through this forum. 

    First understand that voltage will just tell you if the wiring has continuity. Panels will produce voltage under very minimal lighting. 

    The guy I gave the panels to, used an exterior epoxy to fill and bond the glass and got some usable life out of the panels but at some considerable expense. There are epoxies sold for this use. Over time they will have water intrusion and likely fail. He got 7 of 9 working somewhat. But panels are pretty cheap and the epoxy expensive...

    Your panels look like unframed laminates, I wouldn't invest the money in them.

    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
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