Most common defects in repairs of solar panels
Solar panels or photovoltaic panels are devices that take advantage of solar energy to transform it later into electrical or thermal energy for domestic or commercial use.
Like any device or mechanism, it can also have a series of defects that can cause lower-than-expected performance in the medium-long term and require repairs. Sometimes the problems are easy to detect and quickly and visible to the naked eye, but in other cases these defects are very difficult to see or even impossible and it may take years until we realize that their performance is lower.
Next, we want to show what are some of the most common defects that usually occur in photovoltaic systems and that result in the most frequent repairs of solar panels.
Broken glass / crack
This problem is one of the most common and visible to the naked eye and can be produced for different reasons, such as:
– Bad transport or packaging.
– Climatic and temperature changes, such as a hail or even if it is too windy, can cause a hard object to hit the solar panel causing a fissure that may get bigger over time.
– And even this fault can also come from the factory, but if it is a micro-break it will not be seen until it gets bigger.
An error in the backup material can be caused by the cables needed by the photovoltaic installations. As in the case of broken glass, a defect in the cables can occur for several reasons such as:
– Bad connections between cables and others that produce over-voltages or over-currents.
– Bad assembly of cables to ground. The assembly to ground is a system that protects us against any defect in the insulation. When installed on the ground, this will prevent an electric shock from occurring, preventing people from being electrocuted or protecting electrical installations. If this assembly is badly done, it will cause some of the effects that it tries to avoid with its assembly.
Yellowish coloration of the back-sheet material (or back sheet of the photovoltaic system) on the back.
It is the side that does not have a source of light, and may include one or more layers, which act as an electrical insulator and protect the internal components of the photovoltaic module.
Degradation of the EVA film (ethylvinylacetate) from the front sheet.
This phenomenon can lead to discolorations and delaminations of the front part of the photovoltaic assembly. The problem of delamination can be caused by several factors such as bad lamination of the layers, and this error can come from the factory and be visible within a few days after its installation or several years later. Another problem that causes delamination is the use of low-quality materials.
Unwanted inclusions in photovoltaic laminates.
So that we understand well how this phenomenon occurs we are going to put an image and later we will detail when it happens.
When we talk about unwanted inclusions, we refer to elements such as dust or water that can be filtered in the photovoltaic system. Well, as we can see in the image, a solar panel has different parts that are put in the form of a “sandwich” and if the part of the encapsulating material is not installed well to the photovoltaic cell, that is, it does not create between them a vacuum installation, will give way to other substances that can cause the deterioration of the photovoltaic cells and therefore can cause the system to break.
It is an area that gets too hot inside the photovoltaic module, which may cause a fire or destruction of the panel (or that affected portion of the panel). The causes of this type of problem can be caused by several reasons, such as:
– An inadequate welding.
– A break in the photovoltaic cells.
– A prolonged shadow in a certain area.
– Or the presence of dirt on the solar panel.
Degradation by induced potential (PID).
It is a degradation that occurs in the photovoltaic panels and causes a low performance of the system. This effect can be produced by several factors among which we find:
– A differential of the power between the module and the ground.
– Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.
– Or, that the materials used are not of good quality.
Despite the number of problems that we can find when buying a solar system, it must be said that these errors are very rare, since the vast majority of companies before selling their products make n certain tests to verify their quality. And it is also true that part of the aforementioned errors will not be produced if we properly maintain the photovoltaic modules and clean them with some assiduity. In the following link you can see an article about how to clean a solar panel.
When a solar panel needs repairs, the client will have a series of guarantees that can cover the cost of this. These guarantees are:
– Material warranty. They are those that cover any repair of defective materials related to the manufacture of the product, durability and environmental conditions.
– Production guarantee. This guarantee usually lasts about 20-25 years and will be used when the panel’s energy production decreases year after year.
In addition to the guarantees offered by the manufacturers there are also a series of certificates offered by some manufacturers that guarantee the good condition of their products. An example of a certificate would be the Anti PID, which is the certificate that recognizes that the panel is free from the effect of Degradation by Potential Induced (PID).
How to react to a failure of these?
What is most recommended in a situation of these or before a suspicion that we have that the solar panel does not work properly, is to call the company where the solar panel has been purchased, since they will send a technician and they will value in this way the damage you have.
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