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How to Repair Solar Panels?

August 26th, 2022

Solar panels are starting to become the norm and homeowners that have jumped on the savings bandwagon have been able to reap the benefits that come with getting solar installed on your property. The benefits that come with purchasing residential solar panels have helped catapult the solar industry into a new height where they can start to compete against your local utility company. Solar companies offer different services with their solar installation, so it is good to contact a solar company in your area and ask what they provide with their installation.  

Electricians getting the solar panels connected.

Solar Panel Wiring

Even though solar panels require basically no maintenance other than getting it cleaned frequently, solar panels have a chance of cracking from debris in the air, altering the integrity of the panel. Sometimes the wind is too strong, and it carries large debris in the air and with the force of the wind, can cause the panel to crack kind of when a rock on the road chips your car window. It is good to double check with your solar provider to see what kind of warranty your solar panels have. 

Repairing Your Solar Array

With broken solar panels, the integrity of the system is in jeopardy of becoming worse, weather can reach within the cracks and start to cause more damage than the initial break. If your solar panels are not under warranty, the cost of the repairs can become higher if you don’t fix the damage on the solar panels. Solar Panel repairs can be easy to do something that might require a professional to handle. 

Steps to fixing your solar panels: 

  • Wash your solar panels (dirt might be affecting the performance of the panel.) 
  • Inspect the surface of the panels to make sure that the glass looks fine. 
  • Look at the cables to see if there aren’t any defects or cuts. 
  • Look at your meter and see if anything has changed. 
  • Call a professional to make sure they take a deeper look at the solar panel system. 

What Causes Solar Panels to Break?

Solar panels are made of high-quality materials but amazingly simple like aluminum and silicon that make up a solar panel system. In order to protect the silicon cell, there are large thick panels of glass that cover the silicon cell. Although solar panels are durable, they are not indestructible, they are still vulnerable to damage.  

Excess Usage

Some solar panels that are connected to the grid tend to be used a lot more than one that stores the energy in a battery and then stops until there is enough space to create energy. A solar panel that is connected to the grid will wear down slightly more than the panels that are not constantly sending excess energy back to the grid. 

Weather Events

One of the main culprits in the damaging of your solar panels is severe weather like heavy rain or hail. Depending on how much snow you get in your area, it might be good to clear the panels from heavy snow but if it looks dangerous, always contact a professional. Normal snow will not hinder the panels in any way, sunlight is able to go through about 5 inches of snow so they might be still able to reach the solar panels. Hail and the impact it can have on glass will cause the panels to crack if there is enough force and the size of the hail is large enough to create a strong enough impact. Heavy rain won’t affect your panels except for not allowing sunlight to hit your home but mixed with intense winds can get dangerous. Solar panels installations are installed on secure and certified rooftops that are meant to last for as long as the lifetime of what the roof lasts. Winds that are strong enough to rip the roof off a home will put the solar panels in jeopardy of being highly damaged. 

Power Surges

Most neighborhoods will suffer a power surge in their lifetime and when this happens, there’s a good chance that the circuits control board of the solar panel system gets fried, which will make the energy producing panels unusable. The good thing is that the major components on the roof will be fine, but you will have to replace the circuit control if it gets fried. If you have an energy storing device, this will also be vulnerable to power surges. You can connect a high qualify surge protector to protect your solar panels whenever a power surge comes around. 

Types of Solar Panel Damage

Renewable energy resources like solar have multiple various parts that make the system work efficiently and any of those parts have a chance to break or wear. Knowing what kind of damage can help you find the right person to get your solar panels working again. Solar Panel systems come with different components, and that all depends on where you bought them, what kind if system did you built, a system connected to the grid will come with different components than a solar panel system that connects to a battery. 

Broken or Cracked Panes

Cracks or breaks can come from numerous types of natural disasters but getting them fixed as soon as possible to avoid more damage from happening is the key. Cracks or breaks can allow moisture to go inside the pane and cause corrosion and more damage to the system, breaking the integrity of the structure. Damaged solar panels will hinder the energy production of the solar system and will affect the investments you are trying to get. 

Internal Corrosion

Internal corrosions happen when moisture enters the pane of the solar panels and will corrode the silicon and metals. There is a thin layer of lamination that protects the panels from moisture but sometimes the lamination will start to peel if it wasn’t installed properly and can cause the solar panels to separate and create spacing around the panes. 

Discoloration

Discoloration of the solar panels can not only cause a bad visual appearance but can indicate bigger problems with the solar panels and it would be worth getting them inspected when they get to that point. You can see the parts of the panels turning into a brown yellowish color and it will make the panels become less efficient. Solar panels are covered with a vinyl acetate (EVA) film layer to help hold the panels together and that material reacts to sunlight and creates a chemical reaction that causes this discoloration commonly known as snail trails. Snail trails usually build up around the edges of the solar cell or along cracks on the panes. 

PID Effect

Potential induced degradation (PID) effect is when the degradation of the solar panel happens over an extended period and will affect the system efficiency. The PID Effect will affect any part of the solar component, some parts will wear more than others. There are parts like the inverter that have metal terminals that create corrosion with the distribution of electricity. Higher electrical distribution will corrode the metals that are in contact even further than those with a lower electrical. Small components might need to be replaced to keep the integrity of the solar panels. 

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Solgen Power is a solar energy equipment company that sells and installs solar for homeowners. Solgen Power has been recognized by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Solgen Power has grown nationwide and continues to provide excellent customer service to homeowners.

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