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Aluminum smears on PV glass

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  • Aluminum smears on PV glass

    Anybody familiar with how dragging one PV panel on the glass of another panel creates a smear of aluminum? It like the anti-reflection texture or coating on the glass just abrades off aluminum from the frame that touches it with very little pressure. And it is ON there. We have been unable to remove these smears with any tool, any amount of elbow grease, or any chemical. I'm open to suggestions....
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >3000kW installed

  • #2
    Just a thought/something to consider:

    I'd try an experiment but know it may remove or at least damage the AR coating.

    Mix 4 parts isopropyl alcohol with 1 part salt water (2 lbm salt to 10 lbm water) and soak a rag in the mixture. Then, lay a scratch damaged panel horizontal and lay the rag over the scratched area. Let it soak for an hour or so while keeping the rag wet with the solution. That may likely entirely remove the AR coating.

    I don't know if that works or not. I've never tried it, but I remember reading a home remedy type piece a few years ago that suggested the method to remove AR coatings from lenses.

    It may take the scratches but may be a sort of pyrrhic victory as it may remove or at least damage the AR coating and it may not improve the appearance or at least change the way the lite looks.
    Last edited by J.P.M.; 05-13-2022, 11:23 AM.


    • #3
      On steel engine cylinders acid is used to remove aluminium left fro siezed pistons but that would likely etch the glass.

      I recently had problems with car wiper blades shuddering after having a new windscreen and blades fitted. They suggest there may be some residue left from the protective film so gave it a light polish with a buff wheel and compound just as you would for paint. So try a windscreen and glass company.


      • #4
        Thinking more about it, how much is performance impaired? Maybe a side/side comparison with an undamaged identical panel would yield some information.

        Also, depending on the extent of the marks, I might see if a Dramel rotary tool might remove the marks. It would take the AR coating with it, but doing so probably wouldn't impair performance of the panel in any measurable way although I doubt the panel wouldn't stand a warranty claim.


        • #5
          household Lye will dissolve aluminum and most non-ferrous metals and organics ( your fingers )

          mix a half cup of drain cleaning strength mixture, and use a cotton swab to clean the smear off . Go slow, and the Lye will likely clean off any AR coatings too. Then wash and wash it to get the lye off.
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