Are my Cracked Panels beyond Repair?

st4rgutst4rgut Registered Users Posts: 33 ✭✭
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. 

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    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: 33 ✭✭
    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: 9,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    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

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  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    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, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭
    Good news is you can buy used panels for ~35 dollars for a 270 watt panel, used PV is being replaced at some large solar farms. Basically you will pay more for shipping than the panels themselves, many online sellers have them.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-270W-72-Cell-Polycrystalline-Solar-Panels-270-Watts-Vinyl-Cracking/284022133393?

    I built a small 12 panel  array last year all in for $1K usd including used Enphase M215's, maxed out the inverters every day ~2.7kw
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭
    been been there, done that, they may work but will never be reliable and not worth even messing with. The whole thing is bonded together for waterproofness, it’s impossible to get the glass off the cells.....

    I installed these Arco SM-50,s on a mountain top radio repeater in 1965-1967 time span, most of the array were crushed when tons of ice fell from the towers, these survived and still work at full power to this day, however now reliable?  Small cracks at several cells, kept for history, I don’t leave them out in the rain....

    Count the cells......these are very rare prototype panels built by ARCO Solar in the very early days.....33 cell panels “self regulating” panels for use without a charge controller.  

    Who was that that said a newbie.......


    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 957 ✭✭✭✭
    What might the cost for those mid 1960's panels have been per watt?  Space program prices?
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 437 ✭✭✭✭
    We paid $950 for each panel....$19.00/watt. And that was an inside deal.....we provided their communications, both ARCO Solar and ARCO’s refinery at Long Beach Terminal, I was their front line tech.......oops I may have just violated my NDA, non disclosure agreement......well it’s over 50 years old they probably can’t find it.....
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
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