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  • Panel Quality Question

    I recently purchased two Goalzero Nomad 20 panels and out of the package I noticed almost all the panels had what I would call imperfections in the contacts and wondering if I should be concerned about the quality of manufacturing. I looked through pictures on-line and couldn't find what I have on my units and told by manufacture this is normal.

    I would assume that I shouldn't see these additional lines running through random locations and that all the cell patterns should be uniform. Would this type of imperfection be something to worry about regarding performance or longevity of the panels?


    Nomad20-1.jpg
    Nomad20-2.jpg
    Nomad20-3.jpg
    Nomad20-5.jpg
    Nomad20-4.jpg

  • #2
    To me it looks suspiciously like corrosion of the deposited wiring layers on the top of the cells. I think that I see more missing lines than extra lines.
    But I have no direct experience to back that up.

    What are the specs of the panels?
    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by inetdog View Post
      To me it looks suspiciously like corrosion of the deposited wiring layers on the top of the cells. I think that I see more missing lines than extra lines.
      But I have no direct experience to back that up.

      What are the specs of the panels?
      Forgive my misuse of terminology but are you referring to corrosion of the black laminate or covering of the panels and interconnects? The panels are inside a plastic and nylon housing. They ship with a rather poor "protective film" that peels off unevenly and based on previous reports it used to be worse and would rip apart while trying to peel off. Below that surface is the plastic cover which comes pre-scuffed in different areas as seen in some of my photos.

      Specs:
      18-22V Monocrystalline 20W rated
      http://www.goalzero.com/creative/ass...omad20_ENG.pdf

      Here are other pics I found from searches with none of the "extras" I see on mine.

      http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/i...el_1083952.jpg

      http://www.crotonenergy.com/wp-conte...06/photo-1.jpg

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SunBurned View Post
        Forgive my misuse of terminology but are you referring to corrosion of the black laminate or covering of the panels and interconnects? The panels are inside a plastic and nylon housing. They ship with a rather poor "protective film" that peels off unevenly and based on previous reports it used to be worse and would rip apart while trying to peel off. Below that surface is the plastic cover which comes pre-scuffed in different areas as seen in some of my photos.

        Specs:
        18-22V Monocrystalline 20W rated
        http://www.goalzero.com/creative/ass...omad20_ENG.pdf

        Here are other pics I found from searches with none of the "extras" I see on mine.

        http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/i...el_1083952.jpg

        http://www.crotonenergy.com/wp-conte...06/photo-1.jpg

        Thanks
        What I am referring to is this:
        The silicon crystal or amorphous body of the cell is made up of a semiconductor. In order move charges to or from the back of the cell there is a deposited metallic layer which covers the whole surface (since it does not have to pass light.) On the top layer there are instead narrow metallic (usually silver) traces that join together to load to the tabs in discrete cell panels. They are narrow so as not to block too much light from hitting the active part of the cell.

        Now if those metallic tracks are corroded, the resistance goes up and the current capacity of the associated cell goes down, often limiting the current of the whole panel.

        If you were concerned about surface imperfections on the upper clear protective layer, then I did not see those in the pictures.
        SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't sweat it. I've got some Goal Zero Nomads that have the same appearance on some of the cells. Plastic pre-scuffed a bit too.

          Still, they put out rated power. Consider that these are low end boutique folding camping panels, and not like Kyocera's or Powerfilm's.

          Tip - to prevent further scuffing, use a micro-fiber cloth as a separator when folding them back together for storage, and just a *gentle* light swipe first will trap any other such junk you get in the field. Fortunately, because they are rigid somewhat you can stand / lean them up against something as you babysit them during the day. Try not to let a shadow fall across *any* part of the cells - from above or below such as long grass.

          Where there are no supports, carry a few chopsticks to keep the backs straight, and serve as impromptu angle legs. A little gorilla tape and off you go....

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PNjunction View Post
            Don't sweat it. I've got some Goal Zero Nomads that have the same appearance on some of the cells. Plastic pre-scuffed a bit too.

            Still, they put out rated power. Consider that these are low end boutique folding camping panels, and not like Kyocera's or Powerfilm's.

            Tip - to prevent further scuffing, use a micro-fiber cloth as a separator when folding them back together for storage, and just a *gentle* light swipe first will trap any other such junk you get in the field. Fortunately, because they are rigid somewhat you can stand / lean them up against something as you babysit them during the day. Try not to let a shadow fall across *any* part of the cells - from above or below such as long grass.

            Where there are no supports, carry a few chopsticks to keep the backs straight, and serve as impromptu angle legs. A little gorilla tape and off you go....
            Thanks much for reply and info. I know they're on the lower end and using them for temporary mobile applications.

            Comment

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