Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
Hi all, just a question on your opinion in the first photo. Couple of years ago I noticed a bit of this on one PV, today when I raised them to their Summer position, I see 7 out of 8 are affected, and the 8'th may be too, just couldn't get close enough to see. Wondering what is the opinion of those with lots of experience, have you seen this before? So far it doesn't seem to have affected output, at least not noticeably.
Also adding two more photos for those who may be interested, showing the vertical Winter position, and the Summer tilt I set them to just today.
Oh! And the upper center square PV is about 3 years older, and is NOT affected. Don't remember it's make. I had said aluminum, but it wouldn't by that, it's likely a component of solder.
Thanks for any thoughts.
Wayne
885791_zps7a360f05.jpg
885792_zpsace72247.jpg
885794_zpsc5fd49fc.jpg

Comments

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    sorry to see that wayne. i hope they are still under warranty.

    my guess might be rosin from the solder, but it's hard to say. in any case it is covering some parts of the pv collection area and that does degrade your output some. sure it is small and might be within tolerance of pv degradation specs in many warranties.

    i don't remember the make of your pvs so could you chime in with the make and model with year of purchase?
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    I have a set of close to 20 year old Siemens PVs (M75s?) with the same issues. They were out of waranty when I got them and worked fine until they were taken off line. I didnt see any significant performance loss. I bought them from installer who had taken them down and stored them for several years so I dont know how long they have been in uses. The dealer insisted that the damage was caused by being stored in a dark damp place but I expect they were warranty claims that he convieniently stored instead of destroying.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,247 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    My Siemens M45s from long ago have th. same thing. They still put out just fine, and I'm guessing they are pushing 25 years old.

    Tony
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    By the way, when I look at mine in detail (and yours in the photos, I dont see any aluminum migration, what I believe I see is that the encapsulant on top of panel has separated from the underlying wafer. Very similar to a bubble forming when you laminate something.

    There used to be a condition referred to as "EVA disease" which apparently actively damaged the panel. I dont know if its a matter of degrees if this is the same issue.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?
    niel wrote: »
    sorry to see that wayne. i hope they are still under warranty.

    my guess might be rosin from the solder, but it's hard to say. in any case it is covering some parts of the pv collection area and that does degrade your output some. sure it is small and might be within tolerance of pv degradation specs in many warranties.
    i don't remember the make of your pvs so could you chime in with the make and model with year of purchase?

    Hi Niel, finally got to have a look with a telescope. Hahaha
    General Electric. General Electric GEPV-110-M 110 Watt Solar Module 12V
    And the one WITHOUT a problem is SOLAREX 120 Watt.
    The GE's list a warranty of 5 years on material and workmanship, 25 years on power output. I can't find the sales receipt, probably lost in moves over the years, but for sure they're well beyond the 5 years. And so far, I see no noticeable reduction in power, so I guess it's a "live with it" thing. Oh well, as long as they keep putting out. Replacing them now, if I wanted to, would be far cheaper than what I paid for these. Couple of years ago my cousin got a couple of 230 watt panels. Each one was cheaper than what I paid for a single 110 watt GE years ago.
    And to "Peakbagger" and "Icarus" , thank you both for your messages, I feel better after reading them.
    I just won't worry about them, they seem to be working fine.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    well wayne, if you want you can get new pvs and either sell those or keep them just in case. if it were me i'd just use them and maybe get a spare or extra pv that may make up for any small loses due to old age on them.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    Thanks Niel, that's what I'm thinking too, will just sit tight. Would be a major job to change them as the rack was built to the exact size to fit these panels, and they're no longer available. So as long as they work reasonably well, they'll stay there and may even outlast me :D
    A big thanks to everyone for your thoughts. Greatly appreciated. I had been afraid moisture was somehow getting inside and they'd soon be ruined, but now I'll just live with it.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Aluminium migration in 12 year old GE PVs ?

    well, if it is moisture then it would stand to reason that during a prolonged sunny period that the condition would temporarily improve due to moisture whicking back out. now moisture would not just stay along the soldered area for the cell leads.
Sign In or Register to comment.