need glass for broken pannels

t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
1) What type of glass is it.

2) Where to buy it.

I have some pannels i would like to repair.
They were dammaged in a wind storm before they were installed.
Want to see if i can repair them

Comments

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    Tempered glass panels that have to be tempered in custom sizes gets very expensive. Tempered glass CANNOT be cut once it is tempered, as it will fall into a million pieces.

    Standard patio door glass is tempered and can be hand very cheap or even free, but you are limited to a few "normal" sizes. 34"x76", 28"x76" are two common sizes. Check with your local glass shop to see if there are generic patio glass sizes that come closer to your panel size.

    You might also find some acrylic panels that won't degrade in the sun that can be cut to fit. Most plastics degrade quite quickly in the sun, and get clouded,,not very good for a PV panel cover.

    Using "regular" glass presents a significant hazard, as it will break with dangerous shards, unlike the way tempered glass breaks, resulting in sharp pieces that are subject to falling. If you don't care about that hazard and you just want some test panels you could use regular glass I supposed.

    Icarus.

    PS. IF the panels were free, then perhaps bonding on a generic tempered glass panel would be cheap enough to make a go of it. Beyond that the repair cost may surpass the value of the panel.
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    Thankyou
    This give's me something to think about.
    I even thought of pouring some type of UV resistant material over some of the to seal them back up.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    Look into bonding a sheet of glass, to the front of the existing, cracked glass. I doubt you can remove the old glass, it's likely bonded to the cells. Maybe a layer of UV resistant epoxy, and Vacuum Bag bond the the new on top of the old.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_bag
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    sorry, but the glass is more complex than just being tempered as it must be as free of metals as is possible to allow for more light to penetrate too. this is not very common stuff and is a very expensive speciality.
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    I took a few outside and set them on a bench and noticed they still make 44 volts.

    Hmmmm Even though the glass is shattered they work.

    Should i run any more tests before i epoxy new glass on them.
    Seams like there a place's that sell Epoxy for this.
    Some of them say UV protected.

    Just need to find the correct ((((Epoxy)))) to put a new piece of glass over them with.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,061 admin
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    Also make sure you run a Imp/Isc (current max power and/or current short circuit) test on the panels too... You could have cracked cells/connections that can show normal voltage, but once you put time under load, the output current is not there.

    The chances that you will even get 50% useful power out of your repaired units is probably not high, and that they are no longer well sealed against the environment probably means they will not last more than a few years--just guessing though. Plus, if you need to run the panel in series or parallel with other panels--it will be difficult to match the changed output levels into your system.

    I understand your pain...

    If you are going to still try and repair them, make sure the interiors are as dry as you can make it (put the panel in hot sun for a few hours to drive out any moisture before sealing?).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    if it isn't cracked real bad then there's stuff out there to repair cracks in windshields that may work, but who knows for how long or at what output levels compared to before?
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    No worries.
    I ended up with them for a good price.;)
    I do not mind buying the correct epoxy even if it is expencive.
    No pain here ---- Just very excited to get some fixed.:D
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    It is looking like i will need to find a sorce for EVA resin.
    This is material i think i will need
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    This is going to be harder than i thought.
    I found out that EVA is the material used that goes between the glass.
    Material they use to repair windshields has to be pulled into the glass with a vacuum.
    I am haveing trouble finding info on people that have repaired them.
    Greg
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    About the best I can tell you is "lots of luck".

    The way panels are made is with EVA and a very thin low-iron glass (about as thick as an index card or so). Sucked down by a vacuum and then heat sealed.

    Which makes them extremely hard to repair, and quite often not worth the effort.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYeynLy6pj8
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    How to repair shatered glass pannel

    I am still looking for ways to properly repair a lot of panels.:confused:

    I know that they use an EVA laminate to mount glass to panel and use a non metallic glass.
    I need to find some sort of epoxy or sealant to put a new piece over the old.

    Or should i go to a potting method.:blush:

    Any ideas or suggestions would help.
    Thanks
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,963 ✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    There is no "proper" way to repair panels when the glass has fractured, thats why your not getting an answer your hoping for.

    This is why panles are given-away or sold cheap. The glass supports the thin cells, cell will crack with any flexing, and even if one does an epoxy pour or some way to add a second glass sheet, cells will still fail and at best ( all cells working ) the checker board shadows on the cells will reduce power to about 30% of output the panels rated at ( this is best case )

    Its a waste of time, much cheaper to get off-spec blemished modules for the $$
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,061 admin
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    t12zh,

    I merged your two threads--same topic and will be easier for others to search/find information on repairing panels in the future.

    Sorry, I have no more information to help you other than try and sell the broken panel and use the money to buy a replacement.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t12zht12zh Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    Do you have to leave the back of the panel open for cooling or can it be sealed up:confused:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: need glass for broken pannels

    if you seal the back it could affect the heat dissipation of the panel causing a dip in its performance. seeing it is already most likely compromised by the frontal cracked glass fix then you may have nothing to lose being it's garbage otherwise.
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