Repairing solar panels

With the immense amount of reliability that is offered by photovoltaic modules and cells, we frequently tend to forget that there are certain things that may go wrong with these devices. Some of the factors that the external environment poses on the photovoltaic panels include extreme temperatures, moisture, static electricity, stresses posed by the wind and even exposure to lightening.

Common problems that panels may face:

Some of the panels may also develop problems resulting from manufacturing defects. There are a number of ways to cause damage to photovoltaic cells and panels. Some of the most common ways include stray bullets, shards of glass, rocks, large sized hail or even a fall caused by improper fixture or loose bolting.

In some cases when the damage to the panel is not too severe, they can still be fixed but if the external covering of the panel is damaged, it may become rather difficult to protect it from water and moisture. It is important to remember that even if the external covering or the glass of the photovoltaic panel is damaged, it can still work. So instead of discarding or throwing away a damaged panel, it is essential to first test its potential because it may still have the capacity to function properly despite the damage.

Selective shading test:

In order to detect the problem in the photovoltaic cell without having to disconnect the wiring of the system, you can do the selective shading test, in case the arrangement of the panel is in the series parallel or simple parallel configuration. You need an object which can sufficiently shade at least four of the cells in the arrangement. This way you will be dropping the total potential of the panel to half. When the panel is connected and functioning, all you need to do is to cover one side of the panel with the object. Once covered, the monitor should show a significant drop in the total output of the photovoltaic panel. If the drop is visible, this means that the panel is still functioning properly. In case no drop is experienced in the output, this indicates a problem or fault in the arrangement which is preventing it from functioning optimally.

Loose solder connections:

Another problem that can frequently occur is the loose solder connections of the arrangement. You can diagnose this problem if you rap the panel with your hand sharply, you will be able to see that some of the cell cut in and out rapidly. In this case, you may have to repair the cells by cutting through the soft silicone matrix within which the cells have been embedded. This is why it is utmost important to at least get the panels tested professionally even if you decide to install them yourself. A diagnostic consultation will be able to determine if your panels have been connected properly and are functioning optimally or not.