Solar panels exposed to the elements can suffer damage, as follows we will analyze the Faults in Solar Panels
Faults in Solar Panels
We are going to make a brief summary of the breakdowns that most often occur in solar panels . The vast majority are related to the quality of the product, so it is relatively easy to get rid of them if we opt for quality solar panels.
Low quality solar panels and their consequences:
If you still have doubts, we summarize some of the problems that the typical cheap solar panels usually cause , in the short or medium term (3-4 years) and that we find daily in our work:
- Hot spots, or ‘hotspots’ , due to poor quality of the solar cells used in the assembly of the product. The consequence is, in the medium term, an unusable solar panel and the obligation to buy a new one.
- Destruction of the Tedlar: Due to the low quality of many manufacturers, degradation and destruction of the Tedlar (the back of the solar panel) usually occurs, due to a hot spot. It will also cause the panel to become unusable.
- Delamination of the solar cells integrated in the panel. This is due to faulty manufacturing when making the laminate and will end up making the panel unusable.
It is a case that happens a lot with Asian manufacturers of medium-low quality, because the lamination process requires waiting time and, in many cases, these manufacturers shorten it to increase manufacturing at the expense of these problems occurring later.
- Problems with the bypass diodes. Whenever possible, ask for the type of bypass diodes used by the panel’s junction box. The ideal is military bypass diodes, which withstand high temperatures and extreme conditions much better. It is also important that they are well encapsulated (that the protective silicone covers them). There are many cases of low quality diodes that cause, sooner or later, to burn out and the panel to stop working.
- EVA yellowing. Another very common case in cheap panels of Asian origin. The EVA used in these cases is of very low quality and over time it degrades and causes a great loss of production.
- Faulty welds. Sometimes it happens that the welding process is not optimized, also that the welding temperatures are incorrect. What it can cause is the appearance of a hot spot, with the consequent failure of the panel and being unusable for obtaining energy from it.
- Changes of manufacturing company to avoid covering guarantees . Did you know that it is a very common practice, generally in Asian manufacturers, to manufacture under a brand name but change the company that manufactures those panels from time to time? The reason is to avoid covering guarantees when there is a claim. If the company that manufactured it no longer exists, …. the warranty no longer exists.
- Sticker manufacturers. This is one of our favorites, they are the well-known manufacturers that do not manufacture. That is, companies that create a brand, that are sold as a European product, but that are neither manufacturers nor their product is European. They simply buy a cheap panel from a third party, put a sticker on it with their brand and “run”. Real as life itself and, unfortunately, very frequent.
Current study on the solar panel market:
Indeed, in 2017 the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) laboratory carried out hundreds of tests on the degradation of solar panels installed between 2000 and 2006 compared to those installed after 2006 until 2017.
This was the result:
The most striking and obvious fact is that the current average quality is worse than 10 years ago.
Simple, the market demands better and lower prices and that, in the end, almost always affects the quality of solar panels. Therefore, if you do not choose well, you will have a high probability of suffering some of those problems that you have seen in the graph.
If you want to avoid or minimize these problems with solar panels, choose brands and manufacturers that have a history of several years in manufacturing whenever possible. Always buy photovoltaic modules like the ones we work with in our company and that give you, at least, a 25-year product guarantee and a 25-year production guarantee and that are recognized in the sector.