Sunday, January 29, 2023

Do Solar Panels Break Easily

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How To Clean Solar Panels The Easy Way | Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned

Enlightened Solar is the leading solar installation company in Orange County, CA. Weve proudly built our business on premium services, individualized customer care, and an excellent warranty.

Whenever you experience a broken solar panel at your home, dont hesitate to contact us. Our team of trained professionals can arrive, inspect, and offer a solution that will improve your systems efficiency and lifespan.

Contact us today for a quote, and lets start working together.

Poor Connection In Solar Cell Strings Can Reduce Energy Production By 1/3

After solar cells are connected into strings, they are soldered into interconnection wires to complete the array inside a panel.

We have seen solar panels with poorly soldered interconnections that cause 1/3 of the solar cells to become open-circuited, reducing the energy production of the panel by 1/3 or more.

The open-circuit can be detected using an IR camera to see a significant temperature difference between solar cell strings.

This defect can be prevented by more mature manufacturing techniques and careful EL inspection before shipping.

A Defective Junction Box Can Leave A Solar Panel In Open Circuit

A junction box at the back of a solar panel is the key interface to conduct electricity to the outside.

If water or dust seeps into the junction box enclosure, the bypass diodes inside can become short-circuited and burn out.

A burnt bypass diode or connector can leave the panel in open circuit and stop transferring energy outward altogether.

WINAICO carefully selects IP67 rated junction boxes that stop dust and water from trickling in to damage the circuits.

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What Happens To Solar Panels After 30 Years

Just because your solar system has reached the end of its expected life doesnt mean it still cant produce energy and save you money. Manufacturers determine the solar panels useful life is over once the panels production dips below 80% – but that doesnt mean its useless. The panels will continue to produce energy for many years to come but at a lower efficiency level.

Degradation is a normal, unavoidable part of owning solar panels. Nothing lasts forever, but the savings your solar system generates for you throughout its useful life could be saved or reinvested into your website. Some of our customers reach payback in as little as five years, which leaves them with two and a half decades of free electricity.

Replacing Your Solar Battery

Repairing broken solar panels

Solar batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, are an optional addition to your solar system and are used to store excess solar power.

Solar batteries typically have 10-year warranties, which is around the time their performance begins to degrade. So after 10 years, you might need to replace them to maintain peak performance. If you purchase a battery, check with your battery manufacturer for their specific warranty.

One way to keep your solar system operating at its peak is to sync up your roof maintenance with solar panel maintenance and replacement. Depending on roof shingle types, a typical roof needs to be replaced about every 25 years, which is the perfect time to potentially replace your solar panels.

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Can Your Solar Panels Withstand Falling Limbs

Trees are perhaps one of the most common threats to your solar panels. Falling limbs can damage solar panels while too much shade will reduce your power output.

Tree limbs can weigh hundreds of pounds and dead or dying trees shed these branches unexpectedly while even healthy trees lose limbs and twigs during thunderstorms. To protect your solar panels from tree damage, the best thing you can do is to keep your trees pruned and remove dead trees before they can break your panels or damage your home.

What Are Solar Cells Made Of

The answer is silicon AKA sand, and thats it, now the next section would be Just kidding.

While solar panels are actually made of silicon, sprinkling some sand on your roof wont generate any electricity at all.

Thats because sand alone is useless, and to make solar panels, silicon must be purified and treated in a way to allow it to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.

So why do scientists choose sand in particular to make solar panels?

Well, sand is great for manufacturing solar panels for two reasons:

First, silicon makes 27.7% of the earths crust. In other words, its super cheap and can be easily found almost anywhere.

The second reason to go for sand is that its a very good semiconductor.

Semiconductors such as Silicon and Germanium are known for their relatively stable state.

For instance, each Silicon atom has only four electrons in the conductive level, having a half-full conductive level means that the atom is marginally stable, and losing or gaining electrons will make the atom less stable.

In simple terms, under ideal conditions, the Silicon atom will act exactly like inactive materials.

However, because we dont live in an ideal world, external forces such as temperature, pressure, and light can provide weak electrons with enough energy to break free from the nucleuss magnetic force and disrupting this inactive state.

Each electron break free from the silicon wafer leaves behind a hole.

But what does this have to do with how solar panels work?

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What Is Solar Panel Degradation

All solar panels slowly degrade over time, which means theyre producing less electricity from the same amount of sunlight. How and why does this happen? A variety of external factors wear down on the panels and have a negative impact on their ability to produce electricity.

One way solar panel degradation happens is through microcracks that form in the silicon of the solar cells. These small cracks cause electrical connections to deteriorate, meaning there are fewer paths for those electrons from the sun to take, and thus less energy goes to your inverter and into your home, business, or farm. Other issues are junction box adhesion failures and discoloration.

Because there are a variety of ways panels can degrade, caused by a variety of factors, its a difficult problem to solve. Solar panel manufacturers are constantly evolving and coming up with ways to reduce that degradation rate so your panels can keep up their power output. But in the meantime, your panels are guaranteed to degrade at or below a specific rate, so you can rest assured your investment is a safe one.

And if your system is installed by Paradise Energy Solutions, youll get our Triple Ten Guarantee to make that investment even safer. It adds 10 years of guaranteed solar production, 10 years of system monitoring, and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Replacing Damaged Solar Panels

Do It Yourself Solar Power? – Easy DIY Solar Panel Installation!

One of these is the solar inverter, which has a shorter life span. It will need to be replaced sooner than a panel. However, if you have a warranty from the solar panel installation company, this will cover the replacement of the inverter.

Do not replace the inverter without the help of a professional. The solar panel provider will make sure the interface on the new inverter is configured the same as the previous one. In addition, the experts must note the counter readings before replacement.

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How Do Solar Cells Work Step By Step

Solar cells working concept is the , which is simply how light can knock electrons out of their atomic orbits.

To understand how light can knock out electrons, first, you need to know that light isnt just a wave. In fact, light is made of very small particles called .

When a photon hits an orbiting electron, the electron absorbs some of the photons energy and if this absorbed energy is big enough, the electron will break free from the nucleus magnetic force, resulting in a free electron.

For simplicitys sake, think of the as a tennis ball and the electron as a bottle of water on a fence.

If the photon hit the electron with enough power , the electron will break free from the nucleus force

Now, what would happen if multiple photons hit multiple electrons with enough force?

Correct, we will have a big flow of electrons that we can use to power our appliances and charge our batteries.

And thats exactly how solar cells work.

How Heavy Are Those Panels Anyway Will My Roof Be Able To Handle Them

Solar panels actually arent that heavy.

Most are just 2 to 3 pounds a square foot, which isnt a problem for most roofs.

But if your roof is in need of replacement or major fixes in the first place say youve had a termite infestation or have some leaks youre not an ideal candidate for solar until you get a new one.

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The Solar Panels On Your Roof Are Not Yours

The reality is that you do not own the solar system , and the solar energy that the panels produce is not free.

Under solar lease agreements or PPA, ownership is retained by the solar company, and you pay for the electricity it produces. In essence, the company has built a small power plant on your roof and is selling you the electricity. And you must buy it from them for the entire 20-25 year term.

What Are Micro Cracks And How To Do They Occur

5 Facts You Need To Know About Solar Panels

A solar panel is made up of many silicon solar cells that are all interconnected. While the panels themselves are very durable, the silicon solar cells are made of very thin wafers, usually around 0.20mm thick. Although they havesome ability to flex, they can suffer from pressure/stress-induced cracks that are so small they are impossible to see with the naked eye. These are known as micro cracks and are one of the main sources of malfunctioning or even inactive cells. Micro cracks are nearly impossible to avoid and how your panels react to these cracks is very important.

Micro cracks are triggered by stress to the panel from mechanical, chemical, and natural factors such as:

  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Severe cold

Further stress factors are geared towards the thermal cycles of the cells , involving contracting, expanding and flexing metal contacts, solder and wire interconnect.

The following video from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory illustrates what these conditions can do to a solar panel over time.

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Guarding Against Physical Damage To Solar Panels

Your solar array is built to last. Solar codes and standards are rigorous and the solar industry is committed to developing cutting-edge technology to make our planet a cleaner place to live.2

A typical solar array lasts 25-30 years, but this doesnt mean they stop producing electricity. Solar experts report that panels can continue to work for many decades, provided you take care of them and they arent physically damaged.3

There are very few moving parts in a solar system, which means there are very few mechanical parts that could break. But there are some conditions that could cause physical damage.4

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Do Solar Panels Still Work If Theyre Cracked

When a panel is significantly damaged, it cant generate as much power, but as long as the cell is not more than 20 percent damaged, it should be able to produce most of its rated voltage. For homeowners who are looking to install solar panels on a budget, cracked or broken solar panels will still produce voltage.

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How To Repair A Solar Panel Broken Glass

When you notice a solar panel breakage, you should call your solar panel installation company as soon as possible so they can repair the damage. If ignored, the extent of the damage can worsen.

However, if you want to start by troubleshooting the solar panel problems yourself, here are a few quick tips.

Clean Your Solar Panels

How To Clean Solar Panels The Easy Way | Do Solar Panels Need To Be Cleaned

Although cleaning solar panels can be a labor-intensive activity, its vital for their usability. Regularly cleaning your solar panels ensures there isnt any object blocking them. If your panels are blocked, they may not be able to receive proper insulation. And without proper insulation, you wont be able to maximize your panels energy output.

Scheduling a regular cleanup would depend on how much dirt or debris accumulates over a certain period of time. Thus, a routine inspection is necessary so you could check whether your panels need cleaning. If they do, make sure you use a soft rag or washcloth and mild biodegradable soap for cleaning. If dust buildup is your problem, you can run water through a hosepipe on them. This way, youd avoid causing damage to the panels.

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Snail Trails Can Be Signs Of Microcracks

When the underlying solar cells are broken, cells can continue to generate electric current along the cracks, causing localised heat that breakdown the cell surface and EVA.

If water vapour is also present, discoloured snail trails are formed along the microcracks to not only reduce energy production but also compromise appearance.

The best way to reduce snail trails in solar panels is to choose reliable encapsulation materials to prevent water vapour from entering the laminate, and handle panels carefully to prevent microcracks from forming.

Am I Going To See The Energy Bill Savings The Sales Guy Is Saying I Will And What Rights Do I Have If I Dont

Solar panels generally come with performance guarantees and some companies like Sullivan Solar Power even offer to write you a check if your panels dont deliver as promised.

But you play a role in how your utility bill savings pencil out.

Solar companies decide how many solar panels you need and the power your system should be able to produce based on past electricity use.

If you end up using more energy, your San Diego Gas & Electric bills may not shrink as much as youre envisioning.

If a homeowner goes out and buys a large seawater fish tank, installs a whole-home dehumidifier, runs the pool pump more, etc., it will adversely affect the utility bill, Airth said.

This is part of our quest on whether solar will pay off for San Diego. Check out our previous post, Most People Choose the Costliest Route to Going Solar.

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Do Solar Panels Go Bad

There is technically no expiration date on solar panels. However, over time, they naturally tend to become less efficient at producing energy.

Some panels can also break due to physical damage from extreme weather conditions. For example, when there is extreme cold, reoccurring hail storms or physical damage caused by falling debris, solar panels can develop microcracks that will eventually break the entire panel.

Quickly occurring extreme contrasts in temperature can also weaken solar panels because the materials that make them, like solar cells and metals, will contract and expand. Solar panels are also subject to water damage which could occur due to the seal that protects the panels from water degrading.

The good news is, a standard 25-year warranty should cover all weather damage to solar panels. Each solar panel manufacturer offers different warranty guarantees, so be sure to read the fine print to make sure your panels are covered under any condition.

However, an NREL study has shown that for solar panels replaced since 2000, only about 5 panels out of 10,000 fail annually.

Snowfall Is Good For Your Modules

An Old Technician

When snow melts off your array, it actually provides a free cleaning service. In drier parts of the United States, dust and dirt can build up on the surface of panels. This buildup can affect a solar arrays efficiency, meaning less production . Solar array owners in these areas are often forced to have their arrays washed to retain efficiency.

While the summer months offer more sunlight than winter months, your panels actually operate more efficiently in colder weather. This is because cooler temperatures boost electrical conductivity, while hot temperatures diminish it. So the lower energy production in the winter may not be as much as you would think.

Fun Fact: Solar panels can convert any type of sunlight into electricity, which means light thats reflected from snow to your array can help lower your electric bill even more.

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How Strong Are Solar Panels:

Solar panels have solar cells connected in a series-parallel arrangement, encapsulated between a transparent polymer and enclosed in an aluminum frame which is covered by a thick 3.2 mm tempered glass.

The tempered glass is much thicker and stronger than your traditional glass and because it is tempered instead of breaking into large pieces it shatters into small prices making them safe as well.

Even though individual solar cells are wafer-thin and can easily break, the way they are arranged in a solar panel make them very strong.

Can You Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer

In general, solar panels are extremely durable. Most manufacturers test their panels to confirm that they can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, and many solar panels are specifically tested to ensure that they can withstand falling hail. Additionally, solar energy systems dont usually have moving parts, and they require little to no maintenance.

The best way to keep your solar panels working long-term is to work with a reputable installer that offers solid customer service. Its also important to purchase solar panels that have robust warranties many panel manufacturers offer 10 to 12-year equipment warranties for their panels that cover defects and environmental damages, as well as production warranties usually lasting around 25 years that guarantee your panels will produce above a certain amount of energy for your home.

Nevertheless, keeping your solar panel system well maintained can lead to a lower degradation rate each year and can promise longer panel performance. Here are a few actions you can take to make your solar panels last longer:

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