broken glass

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arkieoscar
arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
Hi all,
I have ended up with a 200 watt Sun panel with broken glass on the front. Has anyone replaced glass successfully on these or other panels? I'm pretty sure that I would have trouble getting tempered glass. I haven't tried to take it off yet. Anyone know what is used to seal it and/or glue it to the cells. I hate to throw it away as it's perfect otherwise.
BTW- I can't ship it back.
Thanks for any advice

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  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    If the panel is still creating power, enjoy it while it lasts. You can glue another glass over it, and vacuum bag it, to try to seal it again. Have to use UV rated glue/epoxy
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • jeffkruse
    jeffkruse Solar Expert Posts: 205 ✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    What about using silcone along the cracks?
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    silcone is moisture permable, water vapor shoots right thru it, and will quickly corrode the cells. If you are in a desert area, where RH is only 10 - 20% you have a chance it will live for a while.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: broken glass

    Pretty much try anything you want... There is not really anything that can be done that will repair the panel any way near weather proof and produce at its rated capacity.

    You might look in the automotive store for some sort of window repair epoxy.

    Another choice maybe clear packing tape... It won't last very long, but you can clean the surface and reapply when needed.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • arkieoscar
    arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    What a shame that it can't be repaired. Seems like there is an opportunity for someone to come up with a system to repair them. There must be many out there damaged in shipment.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    Re: broken glass

    That is one reason it is so expensive to pack and ship solar panels--damage.

    At this point--as long as tempered glass is used to make solar panels--they will probably remain unrepairable...

    And there are few other materials that can be used to build the panels that are clear, sun stable, weather resistant, safe, and cheap.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    Something never mentioned,

    Mount the panel inside,, say a sun porch or greenhouse, even a south facing window.

    You will loose some output, but the panel will still produce and being out of the weather should last effectively forever.

    Tony
  • PhilS
    PhilS Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    I like Tony's suggestion the best but it wouldn't work for me so....

    .... I'd second the vote to try "windshield epoxy" from an auto parts store. There are windshield bullseye repair kits that I've used (on windshhields) and it's what I'd try on a cracked solar panel. (I just recieved 6 Sun 130 panels and am glad they came undamaged).

    The stuff is a thin liquid and designed to be "sucked" into a windshield bullseye after you attach a little suction syringe to the window. Now, this won't work on a crack across the solar panel, but the key is getting the juice into the break. I think that three or four applications would be appropiate, or just use up the whole tube of goop, since it won't store after it's opened.

    UV light cures it. Get the crack sealed, set it in the sun, repeat, repeat.

    And IF you try this method, let us know how it works please.

    Phil
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass
    PhilS wrote: »

    The stuff is a thin liquid and designed to be "sucked" into a windshield bullseye after you attach a little suction syringe to the window. Now, this won't work on a crack across the solar panel, but the key is getting the juice into the break. I think that three or four applications would be appropiate, or just use up the whole tube of goop, since it won't store after it's opened.

    UV light cures it. Get the crack sealed, set it in the sun, repeat, repeat.

    And IF you try this method, let us know how it works please.

    Phil


    If there is any way you can get a plastic bag you can put the panel into, and
    hook up a shop vac, to get the air out of the cracks, and the sealer into them, a couple vac/air/vac/air/vac/air cycles to get the stuff into the cracks, and then peel the
    bag off, and cure in sun. It might almost work. Don't forget the vac will try to cut the bag around the edges, pad them with something
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • cow_rancher
    cow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 117 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass
    arkieoscar wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure that I would have trouble getting tempered glass. I haven't tried to take it off yet. Anyone know what is used to seal it and/or glue it to the cells. I
    Is it tempered? i.e. did it break in to a million little pieces?

    You can buy just about any size tempered glass, I do it all the time to replace the cheap stuff they used in my fireplace doors. Not sure where my glass company gets it but somewhere, in some big city they cut glass to size and run it thru the oven to temper it.

    It's not cheap.

    Is the glass bonded to the cells?

    Rancher
  • arkieoscar
    arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    It's in a million pieces but remains bonded to the cells. I think that they use a layer of plastic between the cells and the glass and then it's heated in a vacuum to seal it. If I knew what solvent would loosen the plastic, I could remove the old glass and try to reseal the unit with a new glass panel. I just hate to throw it away. I have no use for it, it was for a customer and a new one is coming tomorrow.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    you might want to try mek or thf. thf if i remember rightly would melt more different types of plastics. both of these are in pvc primer with mek as the majority ingredient. i can't say it won't be messy and be aware of 2 more things. 1> carcinogenic 2> more flammable than gasoline. these are dangerous to work with and you may need either a higher concentration of thf or just thf or even possibly another different chemical. nail polish remover is also another possibility, but it's hard to say and depends on what they used. maybe email the company and ask them straight up what that bond is made of and what would dissolve it. the mek does make a great cleaning solvent for the aftermath if the chemical to melt it is different.
    btw, i had full longterm direct expose to these chemicals and many others for more than 8yrs and so far so good concerning cancers.
  • nvyseal
    nvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    You might want to try that rock and chip transparent material used on the front of autos It's UV resistant and supposed to last a while. Link: http://www.decalfx.com/paint_protection_film.html
  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    You have a real pile of junk, no offense intended. The possibility of removing the "millions" of bits of tempered glass from the panel without damaging the panel is almost impossible. Since, IMHO, that is impossible, the alternative would be to use the panel as is. The problem is all the millions of cracks will act like a million shadows on the array, dropping output to near Zero.

    The Panel my put out voltage, but not much current.

    Good luck,

    Tony

    PS. For those that have never broken a tempered glass patio door, when you break one, (and they are hard to break from impact, but easy to break if you impact the edge) they break into a huge number (thousands) of pea size pieces. The reason that tempered glas is used in dangerous glazings (doors, shower doors etc) is that these little pieces are not very sharp so if you walk through one, or fall through one you won't get badly cut (usually). You might have a huge headache though.
  • raytech
    raytech Solar Expert Posts: 30 ✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    DO NOT USE MEK. that is intended for plastic. If it does anything, it will opaque the glass (found that out at 3M when someone used a methyl ethyl ketone soaked rag to clean a window) . I like the idea of bringing it inside though
  • arkieoscar
    arkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
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    Re: broken glass

    Thanks Neil,
    I'll just sell it locally for whatever I can get. About the chemicals- me too. I've been covered in transformer oil many times and used almost every nasty solvent there is and so far (knock on wood) the liver is still working and no bad cancers.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
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    Re: broken glass

    One quicky short term fix would be go cut a piece of regular glass full size so that it just fits inside the frame . . . .Put the broken panel in the full sun till about 3pm--bake out moisture--Put the glass on and then seal the edges with a high grade epoxy?

    Then enjoy what you can for what ever life is left in that panel.

    Trying to remove those thousand pieces of the temp glass will end up damaging some of the cells and or the tape.

    I saw a Astro 300 w panel at the MREA fair with the broken glass . . .It was enough to make a grown man cry. The panel owner and I decided the best bet was to slather on a thick coat of Good Marine grade Epory clear coat.

    first post..............