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  • Acetone for cleaning epoxy mess off glass?

    I need to remove this splattered epoxy from a Renogy solar panel. Acetone and elbow grease seem to do the trick but I’d like to make sure I’m not causing more damage by using acetone. I’ve read it can be bad for the panel and can strip protective/anti reflective coatings.

    The panel is still working now. I doubt it has the same max output but I never tested it. I still get 5 amps when I’m using max load in this van.



    Is it ok to use acetone in this situation?





    How it happened:

    I was working on a wooden boat and had some leftover penetrating epoxy. I thought might as well add a coating to the temporary wind deflector I made for the van’s solar panel.

    It didn’t cure properly and I drove through rain on the way home resulting in the pictures I’ve attached.

    The panel would be very difficult to replace the way it has been mounted

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/dYBA61Ty38GChXE39
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/JrNCFi6Vs68oodEQ7

    Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!





  • #2
    Originally posted by Shlink View Post
    I need to remove this splattered epoxy from a Renogy solar panel. Acetone and elbow grease seem to do the trick but I’d like to make sure I’m not causing more damage by using acetone. I’ve read it can be bad for the panel and can strip protective/anti reflective coatings.

    The panel is still working now. I doubt it has the same max output but I never tested it. I still get 5 amps when I’m using max load in this van.



    Is it ok to use acetone in this situation?





    How it happened:

    I was working on a wooden boat and had some leftover penetrating epoxy. I thought might as well add a coating to the temporary wind deflector I made for the van’s solar panel.

    It didn’t cure properly and I drove through rain on the way home resulting in the pictures I’ve attached.

    The panel would be very difficult to replace the way it has been mounted

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/dYBA61Ty38GChXE39
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/JrNCFi6Vs68oodEQ7

    Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!



    Most solar panels have a coating which I suspect would be destroyed with Acetone

    Andy

    Comment


    • #3
      Any AR coatings and acetone contacting the edge seals will be compromised. but better than splatters over all.
      Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
      || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
      || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

      solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
      gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

      Comment


      • #4
        I’ve had some luck with plastic razor blades in scraping stuff off surfaces that can scratch. This is more for something that has some softness left to it, and if that epoxy dried rock hard, I don’t know.

        The pics do make it look bad, but if you get five amps, is that your normal output? For my 100 watt panels aimed at the sunshine, I’d consider that normal. Although not as bad as your epoxy, whenever I have cleaned my panels off, it results in no measurable improvement to performance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shlink View Post
          Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!
          How textured is the glass? Epoxy does not really stick all that well to smooth glass. Whack it with a razor blade knife,
          with the blade mostly flat to the glass. Just a gentle tap. Experiment with the angle.

          Comment


          • #6
            UV degrades epoxy (unless it has pigment in it). It eventually will scrape off.

            Comment


            • #7
              If the OP is still with us, or for anyone interested :

              Anti reflection coatings improve overall transmittance over a year's time by maybe 3-4 % or so. Nice, but not a deal killer.
              Also, depending on how big the damaged area is (and/or how much of the glazed area the solvent contacts), the product of [(the loss of antireflection properties of a few %) X (the perhaps "small" area affected by solvent)] may reduce output by an amount so small as to be unnoticeable/unmeasureable.

              (0.05 loss in loss of transmittance) * (0.10 of surface affected) = 0.005 loss of irradiance and so a first order approximation of output reduction.
              So, if the net area treated by solvent is small the loss of output may as well not be detectable, as your observation of no loss in operating current seems to indicate.

              But if I did use solvent (not a plug here, but "Goof Off", which is full of petroleum distillates including acetone, seems to work on taking epoxy off glass for me), I'd also keep any solvent away from the edges of the glazing.
              Better yet, use a razor blade - no solvent residue, and easier to use.

              I would think however, that any warranty claim in the future for most any reason would be denied based on any solvent treatment. I'm not sure if a blade scrape would be observable using the good eyeball analysis tool, and I'd kind of doubt a couple of panels would be worth the expense of further analysis in the event of a warranty claim challenge.

              FWIW, and not much more than anecdotal, several years back an owl skrock hit a couple of my panels that was so big that except for the color, I wondered if cows had learned to fly. But really, the affected areas had about the same size and appearance as your shown areas. Looked like gopher's head soup, but that affected string's output was not reduced affected in any way as measured against the other of my 2 strings with a resolution of 0.05A and an Imax of ~ 6.0 A at 1kW irradiance.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                If the OP is still with us, or for anyone interested :

                Anti reflection coatings improve overall transmittance over a year's time by maybe 3-4 % or so. Nice, but not a deal killer.
                Also, depending on how big the damaged area is (and/or how much of the glazed area the solvent contacts), the product of [(the loss of antireflection properties of a few %) X (the perhaps "small" area affected by solvent)] may reduce output by an amount so small as to be unnoticeable/unmeasureable.

                (0.05 loss in loss of transmittance) * (0.10 of surface affected) = 0.005 loss of irradiance and so a first order approximation of output reduction.
                So, if the net area treated by solvent is small the loss of output may as well not be detectable, as your observation of no loss in operating current seems to indicate.

                But if I did use solvent (not a plug here, but "Goof Off", which is full of petroleum distillates including acetone, seems to work on taking epoxy off glass for me), I'd also keep any solvent away from the edges of the glazing.
                Better yet, use a razor blade - no solvent residue, and easier to use.

                I would think however, that any warranty claim in the future for most any reason would be denied based on any solvent treatment. I'm not sure if a blade scrape would be observable using the good eyeball analysis tool, and I'd kind of doubt a couple of panels would be worth the expense of further analysis in the event of a warranty claim challenge.

                FWIW, and not much more than anecdotal, several years back an owl skrock hit a couple of my panels that was so big that except for the color, I wondered if cows had learned to fly. But really, the affected areas had about the same size and appearance as your shown areas. Looked like gopher's head soup, but that affected string's output was not reduced affected in any way as measured against the other of my 2 strings with a resolution of 0.05A and an Imax of ~ 6.0 A at 1kW irradiance.

                Hey JPM thanks for the great info! I did not realize the AR coating had such a minor output.
                Ive mostly ignored the mess for the past few months. Hopefully the sun has degraded it some by now.
                going to try my luck carefully with a razor blade. If that doesn’t work I’ll try some Goof Off, thanks for the recommendation.

                I never measured the panel’s total output, my small multimeter doesn’t have a current reading setting.
                And hooked up to the charge controller, I guess my battery was never low enough to warrant full output.

                Comment

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