Thursday, 23 November 2017

Common Solar Panel Problems That Homeowners Encounter and Their Fixes

Solar power has become incredibly popular in the US, catapulting the country to the fourth place worldwide in terms of installed solar capacity (Source: www.fool.com). Many states in the US have joined the ‘solar movement’ to make this possible. It is only natural for homeowners in a sun-kissed city like Tampa to want to install solar panels for their home.  If you are one of them, you will find the following statistics rather inspiring— Florida, with the installation of 404 MW solar power in 2016, is now at the twelfth spot for cumulative solar capacity. The future of the solar industry in Florida does look bright. If you are considering installing solar panels in your home, learn about the following common solar panel problems and what you should do as a way out: 


  1. Damaged Solar Modules
    What’s Wrong?
    If you live in a hurricane-prone zone like Florida, you need to be careful about the effects a powerful storm might have on your solar panels. Although reports suggest that even hurricane Irma caused no widespread negative impact on solar panels, it doesn’t harm to be extra careful.  Sometimes, strong winds and flying debris may damage solar panels. To assess the extent of damage caused to your solar modules, give them a thorough check-up. Inspect every component from the glass to the mounting frame. Don’t forget to verify the condition of the wiring.
    How to Fix It?
    You should bring these defects to the on-site inspection expert’s attention so that they can chalk out the best course of action.
  2. Indistinct Barcodes and Labels
    What’s Wrong?
    As per the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, each solar panel must have a barcode printed on the inside surface of the PV cell glass. This barcode number is important because you need to submit it to the manufacturer for a warranty claim. However, it could be that the solar product you bought does not contain any barcode. What do you do?
    How to Fix It?
    Well, take a look at the outside back of the product. Some manufacturers include a high-quality label and barcode in this section. Determine the quality of this outside label by rubbing pure alcohol on it for a few seconds with the help of a piece of cloth. If you manage to remove the barcode easily, it means the manufacturer spent less on a cheap label. Bring the matter to their attention and get the label replaced immediately.
  3. Problems with Solar Glass Parts
    What’s Wrong?
    The quality of solar modules is greatly compromised by the presence of scratches on the glass cover.  These scratches mainly occur due to the improper handling or unsafe packing of the product. Though small, superficial scratches only cause slight shading on the cells. However, bigger and deeper scratches can damage the sensitive antireflection coating on the panels, thereby affecting the transmittance of light. What’s worse, air, water, and dust can find their way underneath the coating, causing the nanometer-thin layer to come off later.
    How to Fix It?
    First of all, check if the panel is still functional. Leave it for a day and check whether any energy is generated. Cracked or damaged panels usually fail to generate sufficient energy. But even if a small amount of energy is generated, it means that you can move forward with the repairs instead of ordering a replacement panel. Glasses with minor breaks around the corners and edges can be easily reattached using small pieces of stained glass tape. However, any glass that has a large crack across the surface must be replaced immediately. All you have to do is swap out the damaged glass from its mount and attach the replacement product in its position.

Many factors determine the cost of installing solar panels for a home in Tampa and other cities. This includes the model of panels you choose and roof orientation. A local solar installer is the best person to guide you through all the details involved. It is always a good idea to ask for quotes so that you can compare them and make up your mind.

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