Sanyo/Panasonic problems

I have some Sanyo panels that are developing silvery spots next to the traces on the front of the cells. Two of the panels have significant areas that have become very hot, forming bubbles on the back, and those two are way down in output. Panasonic says the silvery spots are not a problem (and my testing shows except for the two really bad ones, so far most of the panels are producing well within the acceptable output). My questions; can anyone tell me what the problem here is? And, is anyone else having problems getting Panasonic to warranty Sanyo panels, or does anyone have a suggestion as to what I can do to get this resolved? It has been some time since Panasonic first got pictures and test results, and they seem to be dragging their feet. I'm afraid they will be out of business before they take care of this.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,230 admin
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    Certainly sounds like a proper warranty claim on the panels that have lost output--If your installer can confirm some number (like 20% of the panels for a couple mfg.) of panels are bad, they should do more than replace the obviously failed panels--for example the others with silverly spots and good output.... Did you pay with a a credit card or get the system through a third party (Home Depot or similar) who can help with the claim?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    My dealer is Sunwise for Panasonic. They are great but I have not had any problem with the Sanyo panels that are now Panasonic. How old are your panels? Installers can do some pretty bad things, so look for other signs of abuse. Like Bill said a credit card may do wonders. Panasonic is not going out of business!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    would you be able to give us a few pics of that? it almost sounds like bad soldering, but if the output is still good then that would contradict that. it could be the beginning stages to be well on their way to that of the 2 that are really bad too. kyocera had their 120w pvs years ago with this problem that caused them massive warranty replacements/repairs that they honored. to my knowledge, silver spots are not normal. i do hope to hear more on this so it would be nice if you keep us appraised of this development and if anybody else has troubles or news to also let us know.
  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems
    I have some Sanyo panels that are developing silvery spots next to the traces on the front of the cells. Two of the panels have significant areas that have become very hot, forming bubbles on the back, and those two are way down in output.

    How old are your panels and how high are the ambient temps that your panels have been exposed to?

    I agree with Niel, it would be great to see some pictures and please keep us updated. I have Sanyo HIT panels which I have been very happy with but your report worries me.:roll:
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,230 admin
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    My installer loved Sanyo panels. Never(?) Had a return for defective product.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems
    BB. wrote: »
    My installer loved Sanyo panels. Never(?) Had a return for defective product.

    -Bill

    And they are superior to everything else but Sunpower. In the desert or at elevated temperature nothing touches them, except Sunpower which are a pain in the *ss to get. They also will fit where a BP 4175 was pretty well. I think they are up to 240 watts now in the 4175 frame. Really amazing watts per square foot so you know why I use them. I wish I could buy the Sunpower modules in quantities of 10 or so. HINT wind and Sun
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • mtdocmtdoc Solar Expert Posts: 600 ✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    Yeah, the Sanyo HIT panels allowed me to get maximum use of the small area of really good solar exposure on my property - and were the only panels (except Sunpower) with enough watts/sq foot to let me get an 1800 watt array on the smaller Wattsun tracker.

    The whole Sunpower exclusive dealer thing made it impossible to even find out how much their panels cost. The positive ground issue also made them un-appealing.
  • electricsailorelectricsailor Registered Users Posts: 4
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems

    The panels were installed in 2006. They are 185 and 190 watt panels. I chose them because of their suposed good performance in high ambient temperatures (we are in east-central Florida). When I try to upload the picture, using the icon above, I get a message, "unable to upload file"... And if I try to copy and paste, the paste feature is not highlighted... Sorry, I'm not that great with these things. My computer keeps doing what I tell it to do, rather than what I WANT IT TO DO! (emphasis added by mistake).
    I can email the pics if anyone wants to se them.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems
    The panels were installed in 2006. They are 185 and 190 watt panels. I chose them because of their suposed good performance in high ambient temperatures (we are in east-central Florida). When I try to upload the picture, using the icon above, I get a message, "unable to upload file"... And if I try to copy and paste, the paste feature is not highlighted... Sorry, I'm not that great with these things. My computer keeps doing what I tell it to do, rather than what I WANT IT TO DO! (emphasis added by mistake).
    I can email the pics if anyone wants to se them.

    When you post "Go Advanced", click "Manage Attachments", "Add Files" and use the "Basic Uploader" to load your file. Then you can select it from the "Home" frame and drag it to the "Attachments" frame. At the bottom right there's "Selected Attachments: [Insert Inline (0)] [Done]" The number should go from 0 to 1. Click "Done" and it should attach.

    We keep having problems with this for some reason. :confused:
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems
    I think they are up to 240 watts now in the 4175 frame. Really amazing watts per square foot so you know why I use them.

    Yingli have a new "panda" module which is 270W in the same 1.6m x .99m frames as my "old" poly 230W modules. http://www.yinglisolar.com/us/products/monocrystalline/
    They have a slightly higher output warranty too: 82% at 25 years.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Sanyo/Panasonic problems
    stephendv wrote: »
    Yingli have a new "panda" module which is 270W in the same 1.6m x .99m frames as my "old" poly 230W modules. http://www.yinglisolar.com/us/products/monocrystalline/
    They have a slightly higher output warranty too: 82% at 25 years.

    Not the same size as a 4175. I need a 31 by 62 footprint. I wish you were right though...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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