Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

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a1bigtuna
a1bigtuna Registered Users Posts: 21
I have been reading that silicon seals do not seal out moisture from solar panel assemblies. So, saw somewhere that hot glue was effective for that. I am trying to find something to seal a small hole in an extruded aluminum frame solar panel and want to know if anyone out there knows if this will work? The holes will be for the wires from the cells and a small one for vacuuming air out. Anyone know, or what would work better, hole for the vacuum would only be about 1/8 inch in dia, hopefully.

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  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    I don't know, but think about using a disc of metal, with glue on it, to slap over the hole, that makes the glue line small, and the metal disc does the work
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  • n3qik
    n3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    Hot glue is good to 120 deg. F.

    So on a nice hot summer day you maybe in trouble.
  • Gloves
    Gloves Solar Expert Posts: 65 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    I thought that Silicone Caulk's main purpose was to keep moisture out, secondary as an adhesive. Where hot glue's main purpose is for crafts.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    First, to give you an answer to your question have you considered a good grade of automotive epoxy? There are some brands that advertise as liquid metal that I would think would both seal and hold wires tight. If this stuff can seal gas in a gas tank I think it would keep water out. Just a suggestion.
    I was considering making panels as it appears you are also but rather than vacuum the air out I was thinking of replacing it with Argon. As Argon is heavier than the air with 2 small holes near the top of a panel I assume that it would displace the air and then the panels could be sealed as you considered. Argon is used in high grade multi pane windows and is very non reactive as it is also used in light bulbs and florescent tubes. I had thought of vacuum also but too much of a vacuum and the glass I think could break like a space bag and any leak at all will just draw in air again.
    Just a few things I was considering.
  • a1bigtuna
    a1bigtuna Registered Users Posts: 21
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    I was worried about a leak in the seal and vacuum bring air in. Your Argon idea is interesting. Where in the world would you get that, and how would you inject it into the panel? Now, I have read in another forum that the panel does not always have to be sealed air tight. If it has a vent that will allow moisture to escape and not corrode the cells. Now that is coming from people with experience, but I can't get over the idea that if moisture vapor can damage cells than letting air come and go in the panel, well just sounds like the same thing. I am not clear on just what to do, I also have another problem, I am at sea level and will take this camping up at elevations like 4 or 5,000 feet above sea level. So will get expansion and contraction and that really makes the sealing a tough thing. Anyone else out there now about this open vent thing?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    Small weep holes are common to percent sweating inside otherwise sealed equipment.

    My guess is that hot cold cycles will be worse than going up 5,000 feet.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • a1bigtuna
    a1bigtuna Registered Users Posts: 21
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    So, if I have EVA sealing the cells to the tempered glass front the frame can have vents and moisture damage will not be a problem? You mentioned small holes, would that be better than having a vent opening on the top and the bottom?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    I have no clue... A truly vacuum/hermetically sealed unit would not need or want weep holes.

    Adding weep holes is pretty much mandatory for an exterior installation (weather proof box for example should have a weep hole at the low point of the box).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • dwh
    dwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?
    a1bigtuna wrote: »
    Your Argon idea is interesting. Where in the world would you get that, and how would you inject it into the panel?

    It's the gas that's used to shield the arc in mig welding. Get it at a welding supply house. It's heavier than air, so I guess you just pour it in.
  • a1bigtuna
    a1bigtuna Registered Users Posts: 21
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    BB: By a truly sealed unit not needing vent holes, does that mean if I have used EVA on the cells to seal them to the glass that would not need vents? Or do you mean a completely sealed frame unit?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: Is hot glue gun goop a good moisture vapor seal?

    I probably do not have much more useful to add. If you cannot seal the unit 100%, you will need to vent it.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset