Cracked solar panel..fixable?

bgu1982bgu1982 Registered Users Posts: 27 ✭✭
I have 1 small solar panel that is cracked but still working. Can i put 100% silicon on the cracks to prevent moisturizer from getting in it? Its not worth putting more money into so hopefully i can find a cheap remedy. It is a amorphous panel.


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,401 ✭✭✭✭✭
    amorphous panels have a 2-5 year lifetime.   Is it worth a tube of silicon  ( which will only slow down water vapor )  ?
    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: ,

  • bgu1982bgu1982 Registered Users Posts: 27 ✭✭
    I understand the lifetime part. But i have a tube of silicon right next to me. If it would make it last longer i want to use.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,097 admin
    Is this panel in series/parallel with the rest of your array? Or on its own.

    If the panel is on its own--Why not--But as Mike says, don't expect much (first few rains, it will probably degrade).

    If this panel is in series/parallel with the rest of your 400 Watt+ array, then I would suggest taking it out if there is any chance of a series issue if the panel smokes or catches fire...

    It is always a guessing game/throw of the dice what will happen. Most likely, it will stop working. The chances that a catastrophic failure (smoke the wiring, catch fire) is a more remote chance... But if it is part part of a larger array, the risks are greater.

    The larger the array, the greater the risks.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • clockmanfranclockmanfran Registered Users Posts: 88 ✭✭✭
    edited October 11 #5
    For the last 2 years i have been monitoring 2 of my broken panels.

    We are at present a ‘Independent non-commercial Sustainability & Renewable Energy Project’, and been doing the research and development for over 20 years now.   And NO, we do not just throw money at this stuff, and if necessary, we will re-invent the wheel if it works out more cost effective.   Our Mantra ..... Keep it Simple, Make it Robust, and keep it Cost Effective.

    We have 61 large panels, ie above 1 meter wide and 1.6m long, with differing manufacturers over the past 20 years rom 'Panasonic, Sharpe', down to base quality like 'Knive'.  And the failure rate due to manufacturing faults is actually very good, which was surprising.

    We started with Amorphous silicone panels in about 1998, and today the latest Monocrystalline 120 cell panels are getting more and more efficient in all illumination conditions.

    There is conflicting info out there on PV panels and solutions when they get broken, but sadly most is just 'here say' with little actual in the field empirical evidence and alot of 'armchair waffling'.

    So Here is our present understanding on cracked and broken panels.     Leslie Bryan Microengineering (

    If this happens to the rear of the panel and under the vacuum film, then the panel requires urgent attention if it is installed on a building or any other possible flammable surroundings.

    This is a manufacturing fault to just one cell.  But as you can see its getting hot and burnt through the backing film and shattered the glass.

    I trust this information is helpfull.

    Everything is possible, just give me Time.

    The OzInverter man. Normandy France.

    3off Hugh P's 3.7m dia wind turbines, (12 years running).  ... 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 years) .... 14kW PV AC coupled using Used/second hand GTI's, on my OzInverter created Grid, and back charging with the AC Coupling and OzInverter to my 48v 1300ah batteries. 

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