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Broken solar panel

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  1. #1
    ajm
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    Default Broken solar panel

    Went up on the roof a while ago to find one of the solar panels has been hit by a meteor. Given the size of the crater, the "meteor" may have been the guy that we bought the house from. Anyhoo, it needs to be replaced. How does one replace a single panel? Does the new one have to be from the same manufacturer?



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  2. #2
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    I'd be calling some solar PV installers for advice. Best that it is the same type of panel (mono or poly), and same brand would probably help assuming you are on a string inverter (?), but depending on how old the system is there may be other factors

  3. #3
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    ...or just have it bypassed (or removed from the string). If it is open-circuit (possible) and it is a string (most likely), then the whole string will be producing nothing. If it is short-circuited (possible) and it’s in a string (most likely), then the rest of the string will be producing power but it’d still be a good idea to have the broken panel replaced or removed.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  4. #4
    ajm
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    Default Broken panel

    Can you tell from looking whether or not the panels are in a string?

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  5. #5
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    If you have a single inverter mounted somewhere on your wall, then they are in a string (or two). The other arrangement is to use micro inverters (an inverter per panel usually mounted behind the panel) but these are not as common.

    you will also see a single black cable (about 6mm in diameter) going from one panel to the next if it is a string.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  6. #6
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    I don't suppose the previous owner handed over details for a website or app which monitors your system?

  7. #7
    ajm
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    Default Broken panel

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisp View Post
    If you have a single inverter mounted somewhere on your wall, then they are in a string (or two). The other arrangement is to use micro inverters (an inverter per panel usually mounted behind the panel) but these are not as common.

    you will also see a single black cable (about 6mm in diameter) going from one panel to the next if it is a string.
    Sounds like a string then. Could explain the lower than expected output.

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  8. #8
    ajm
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    Default Broken panel

    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    I don't suppose the previous owner handed over details for a website or app which monitors your system?
    There is a book in the cupboard but no mention of an app that I could see. Will give it another look tonight.

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  9. #9
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    Yes it can be replaced but care needs to be taken. I'm making the assumption its a standard string setup most commonly found.

    You need the specs of the panels in use. Ideally you want to keep to same technology (mono/polycrystalline) so it performs similarly in different weather conditions.
    The first consideration is the amps of the panel. Whatever chosen has to be the same or higher than the original. Otherwise it will reduce the entire row to whatever the replacement max amps is. Too high is less important as it will be restricted to the lower amount of the originals.

    Voltage is the second major factor. While it is less critical you must ensure the entire string is reaching the minimum voltage for the invertor and not exceeding its max.
    Inverters have a safe operating range (ie mine is allowed 240V to 600VDC) but are generally more efficient nearer the top end of that range.

    As mentioned above sometimes you can just take one out.

  10. #10
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    The issue with solar panels is that they are not made with any standards. They are all different and change as time passes and they are not compatible. So you need to find one that fits the others. If your system is older than 5 years, it is likely not possible to find a similar panel.
    Today we face the problem of plastic bottles pollution. Tomorrow it will be solar panels pollution.

    For those who chant "renewables to save the planet for our kids" ... it is our kids that will jump on our grave and tell us, you dumbass why did you place all those crappy panels all over the world?
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
    Mark Twain

  11. #11
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doovalacky View Post
    Yes it can be replaced but care needs to be taken. I'm making the assumption its a standard string setup most commonly found.

    You need the specs of the panels in use. Ideally you want to keep to same technology (mono/polycrystalline) so it performs similarly in different weather conditions.
    The first consideration is the amps of the panel. Whatever chosen has to be the same or higher than the original. Otherwise it will reduce the entire row to whatever the replacement max amps is. Too high is less important as it will be restricted to the lower amount of the originals.

    Voltage is the second major factor. While it is less critical you must ensure the entire string is reaching the minimum voltage for the invertor and not exceeding its max.
    Inverters have a safe operating range (ie mine is allowed 240V to 600VDC) but are generally more efficient nearer the top end of that range.

    As mentioned above sometimes you can just take one out.
    Doovalacky has summed it up well.

    The match between the old and replacement panel isn’t too difficult - see https://www.recgroup.com/sites/defau...panels_eng.pdf
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

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