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How to Fix Broken Solar Panels

Updated on June 18, 2012

Solar Panels Can Get Damaged and Need Repairs

Solar panels can get damaged by hail stones, high winds and someone deliberately pelting stones at them. Whatever the reason, a damaged solar panel can still be used as long as it is producing power and you know how to fix broken solar panels. The first thing you need to do while assessing damage of the panel is to see if it is still producing electricity and therefore worth fixing. This can save you the cost of making complete replacements, which can be quite damaging to your pocketbook. Also check the frame on which the panel is mounted and see that it is in good shape and not loose. Quite often a poorly fixed solar panel can cause distortions in the panel, which by itself can lead to the damage that you are now attempting to repair. Tighten all the bolts that have been used to fix your solar panels so that the entire unit is rigid and does not move. You would also need to check on the wiring, as any jarring which caused the damage in the first place, can loosen soldered connections which would lead to loss of power.

Repairing Glasses That Are Broken

Attempt these repairs only if your solar panel is still working. So do not be in a hurry to start repairs unless you have left the panel alone for a day and checked the amount of energy it generates. This could be lesser than normal, because the broken glass could diminish the amount of light getting through to the panels. Now that you have established the fact that the panel still produces some energy, we can get to the next job of repairing the glasses on the panel that have been broken.

Minor damage to edges and corners can be repaired by using glass tape to hold the pieces together. Glasses that are completely cracked or shattered may however require to be replaced. This is done by removing all the broken pieces, after detaching them from the frame on which they are mounted. If there are just one or two pieces of the cracked glass and they are all available, you can attempt to use stained glass tape to cover the edges of the broken glass and then soldering them. Such tape would have a copper backing and would allow easy soldering. But too much of tape can reduce the light going through and reduce the efficiency of your panel.

Other Problems That May Need Attending To

A damaged solar panel can cause soldered connections in the solar cells to work loose. To re-solder these loose connections you need to cut the silicone in which the solar cells are embedded. This will expose the back of the cell allowing you to re-solder the connection that is loose. Alternately glue that has silver impregnated in it can be used to attach the parts that have become loose. This is the easier alternative, though it may not be as effective as a soldered connection.

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    • Jfeger profile image

      Jfeger 

      7 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Thanks for the information on your post. I'm a newbie to solar power and energy and am really taking in as much as I can. This makes me wonder if panels coated in epoxy wouldn't be a better option for those applications in "hail" prone zones.

      Then the next question is the cost effectivness of glass vs. epoxy, but calculating in the frequency of having to repair due to damage might be surprising.

      Thanks for posting.

      Josh

      http://www.recycledsolarcharger.com

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