Solar Panel Repair?

Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
I have 4 Solec panels Model S-4136 and 2 Solavolts MSVM 4020. They were on a friends Homestead still about 5 yrs ago the she Passed. They have just been setting up against a shed since. The Solecs look in bad shape on the back. I was wondering if they would be worth getting them up to working and who in the Arizona area could do that.
The Solavolts look in good shape. I
I am not sure how to test there size in watts.
I will try again and upload photos

Comments

  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    Here are some photos.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    They do look pretty rough, wonder if they were used with reflectors so they got very hot...

    I'd put a meter on them and see what state they are in currently, while this won't give you an idea about them with a load, it will tell you if there is continuity.

    In the past I have repaired minor breaks in the tedar backing material with liquid electrical tape/tool wrap, painting it on. But I'm not sure I wouldn't take these apart and/or try to lay a new sheat of tedar or some other backing down...
    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.
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?
    Photowhit wrote: »
    They do look pretty rough, wonder if they were used with reflectors so they got very hot...

    I think they just set in several years of 120+ degree temps.

    I'd put a meter on them and see what state they are in currently, while this won't give you an idea about them with a load, it will tell you if there is continuity.

    I have a new sperry SP-10A meter I am trying to figure out.

    In the past I have repaired minor breaks in the tedar backing material with liquid electrical tape/tool wrap, painting it on. But I'm not sure I wouldn't take these apart and/or try to lay a new sheat of tedar or some other backing down...

    I am a decal installer and do have some white Vinyl, but the adhesive part that would show through the front is medium gray.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?
    I am a decal installer and do have some white Vinyl, but the adhesive part that would show through the front is medium gray.

    I have some photowatt panels from the late 1970's (likely similar age to these, both rounds in pattern, infact it appears that your may have the same prism textured glass as the ones I have. Mine set out in the Florida sun for most of their life, and the backing has pulled away some , hasn't cracked.

    The backing protects the wafers and connections from the air, the cells them selves are against the glass and will have little effect from the backing.
    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.
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    Not sure how to read the meter. Had meter set different on first one, but did not clean wire. The wires need replaces on all.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,884 admin
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    The 9/1.2 volt battery test on your meter puts a small load on the batteries for a good/no good test. Not really useful here.

    I cannot read the other numbers--but you should be seeing around 20-21 volts DC open circuit.

    And this meter does not support it, but if you can borrow a meter that does 10 amp current measurements, just connect to each panel in full sun and see what the Isc (short circuit current) is on these panels. It will either be near spec, or 1/2 or less if bad...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    Well your on the black 20V DC so you read the Black DC scale with 20 volts as the max, I would think, but it appears if I'm reading your scale in the photo correctly, it looks like the VOC (voltage open curuit) is around 18 volts, about 3/4 of the way between what appears to be 14 and 20.

    That would be a good sign!

    Not sure about the first one, or the meter it's self, been a long time since I used an analog meter.

    So without an Amp meter, you might try a car tail light to see if it will light it... A tail light runs about 5 watts and a brake light about 15 (from memory don't think there is any really danger, though perhaps someone else will chime in!)
    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.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    Here's how I test my solar panels:

    http://2manytoyz.com/solartesting.html
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    Since all the wires are bad they (look burnt) I need to replace them, should I add Junction boxes?
    Oh thanks so much for the replies.
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?
    Since all the wires are bad they (look burnt) I need to replace them, should I add Junction boxes?
    Oh thanks so much for the replies.

    I have some old Arco panels, a dozen of them, that aren't too much newer than those. They are set up with a post on back to which one attaches the wires. If yours are like that, there is no need for a junction box unless you simply want one. If you are in an area with corrosive or continually moist air, it would not hurt to cover any bare wire or connectors. But the junction box is entirely up to you. I coated my posts, after attaching wires, with a very light bit of vaseline 25 yr. ago and they are still just fine.
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?
    SCharles wrote: »
    I have some old Arco panels, a dozen of them, that aren't too much newer than those. They are set up with a post on back to which one attaches the wires. If yours are like that, there is no need for a junction box unless you simply want one. If you are in an area with corrosive or continually moist air, it would not hurt to cover any bare wire or connectors. But the junction box is entirely up to you. I coated my posts, after attaching wires, with a very light bit of vaseline 25 yr. ago and they are still just fine.

    2 have wires that just go in to back with a bunch of silicone on it. and the other 2 go into a sealed box (see Photo) but wires need replace on all.
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    now have a Digital. Readings on 3 of the Solecs are 17-18 V and 1.9 A so I am guessing that would make them 33+ WATTS?
    the one of the four has a really bad wire so thats why the low reading on the firs meter.
    the 2 Solavolt are reading 18 to 18.8 V and 2.29 A. So with my New education, would make them 43+ Watts.
    Now to replace all the wiring.
  • Lightnin RickLightnin Rick Registered Users Posts: 14
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    I wonder if I could paint the backs with the white roof coating?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    seal sparingly so that the weather can't enter any areas internal to the pvs, but don't coat the whole back as it needs to dissipate a great deal of heat.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,382 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Solar Panel Repair?

    I have been wondering about sealing between 2 pieces of glass, like some of the higher output panels do. Seems that might be easier to just edge seal.
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