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Yellow Streaks running through cell

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  • Yellow Streaks running through cell

    I am at a complete loss to find information and pictures like the ones I have of my panels.
    My company who installed the system and two of their engineers did not have any answers.

    The installation is on my house on the pacific side of Costa Rica.
    IMAG0726.jpg

    I have a 21 panel Canadian Solar 310 Watt each. 18 are hooked in pairs to APS micro-inverters

    What started the entire situation is that I had one micro-inverter fail during a time of abnormally high power line voltage. The voltage was in the 260 volt range with 262 V being the peak.
    This was within what APX calls nominal range though.

    After the Micro-inverter was replaced the technician and engineer on site said they heard some popping similar to an arc. They decided to shut the entire system down.
    I was sent the picture that I have uploaded as solar defect.

    The engineer said the panel and possibly more needed to be replaced and they would have to return at a later date.
    Two weeks later they returned bringing 2 panels to attach to the Micro-inverter that they replaced.

    I received a phone call during the repair process and was told that 19 of the panels have similar defects and they were going to need to replace all the panels.
    The phone call(s) also told me that I would have to pay for the panels and install cost unless Canadian Solar decided the fault was covered under warranty, than I would just have to pay the install price. I told them NOT to install all new panels, to wait for the warranty decision.

    Please have any of you seen similar defects?
    I have spent 2 days researching defects via... WWW and have not found an answer.
    Solar Defect.jpg
    NTTI1853.jpgDIDS9279.jpg


    Attached Files

  • #2
    Some fairly substantial micro cracks. There's a good amount of info on them if you search. Snailtrails 2.JPG
    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you, when looking at snail trails earlier, that seemed likely, but I could not find pictures that looked like mine with Yellow.

      Comment


      • #4
        This is when you find out if your installer warranty's their work.

        Those are modern panels. Looks like electric arc damage

        Either the backside film on the panels is damaged, and moisture has destroyed them, or the microinverters did something that passed an extremely high voltage into the panels.

        Are tree rats living under the panels on the roof and damaging the backside film ? barring that, it's a warranty issue with bad equipment.
        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


        • #5
          I wonder if someone stepped on it a little too hard? Having run some 200,000 panel days here, zero
          failures. There were a couple replaced at installation, bad brand new. And there is one panel hinting
          at a problem, but so far measurements say it still puts out within tolerance. Bruce Roe

          Comment


          • #6
            The panel mfg will say it's the micro inverters fault, the micro-inverter will blame it on the vendor install, and they all will say you have to pay up front.

            "But it was the least expensive installer bid" ......
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
              The panel mfg will say it's the micro inverters fault, the micro-inverter will blame it on the vendor install, and they all will say you have to pay up front.

              "But it was the least expensive installer bid" ......
              So how can the microinverter cause the cracks?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                I wonder if someone stepped on it a little too hard? Having run some 200,000 panel days here, zero
                failures. There were a couple replaced at installation, bad brand new. And there is one panel hinting
                at a problem, but so far measurements say it still puts out within tolerance. Bruce Roe
                There was a lot of walking on the panels during the install. I told the installers NOT to walk, but they went ahead anyway. And when I called the company HQ, they said "Nobody Walks on Panels during Installation"

                Bunk

                Comment


                • #9
                  It may be an allusion but those panels do not look like they are installed on a elevated rack of any kind so no cooling is allowed. They also look uneven as if they are sitting directly on the roof tiles.They could have been stressed at certain points which caused those yellow streaks or failure points.

                  Is the system producing the expected wattage and do you have the ability to see the output of each panel?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That has to be the worse installation I have ever seen and I know what has happened. With the panels laying flat on the roof with no space in between them forced the incompetent installers to walk all over them thus cracking and breaking cells and water seal. With rain flowing over the top of the panels from the roof above water and air has migrated into the panels. Couple that with no air circulation and cooling you are seeing a chemical reaction.

                    Get a lawyer. Only way to fix it is to remove all the panels, fix your roof, and start all over with a reputable company.
                    MSEE, PE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Optical Allusion, The terracotta tiles were removed, metal underneath had watterproofing applied, racks running left to right installed with the panels on top of them. Then tiles on the lower edge re-installed. All of the panels are flat and straight.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                        It may be an allusion but those panels do not look like they are installed on a elevated rack of any kind so no cooling is allowed. They also look uneven as if they are sitting directly on the roof tiles.They could have been stressed at certain points which caused those yellow streaks or failure points.

                        Is the system producing the expected wattage and do you have the ability to see the output of each panel?
                        Yes, the system was producing the expected wattage until one Micro-Inverter went out. That caused the "Engineer" from the Solar company to come and inspect the panels finding the above mentioned faults. They shut down the system saying it was a fire hazard. I think this is not accurate as to the fire hazzard. All 9 Micro-inverters were putting out close to 500 W during 5 to 6 hours of the day. Yes, and my monitor allows me to see the individual panels.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rbclark View Post

                          Yes, the system was producing the expected wattage until one Micro-Inverter went out. That caused the "Engineer" from the Solar company to come and inspect the panels finding the above mentioned faults. They shut down the system saying it was a fire hazard. I think this is not accurate as to the fire hazzard. All 9 Micro-inverters were putting out close to 500 W during 5 to 6 hours of the day. Yes, and my monitor allows me to see the individual panels.
                          While you may have a rack system under the panels I don't think you have enough air space beneath them for proper cooling. Since you have micro's connected to more than one panel they may have gotten overheated causing the power issue

                          The yellow steaks may be a second issue due to the installers walking on the panels causing them to deform. They may short out which can lead to a fire hazard unless they are repaired.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                            The panel mfg will say it's the micro inverters fault, the micro-inverter will blame it on the vendor install, and they all will say you have to pay up front.

                            "But it was the least expensive installer bid" ......
                            Well it was not the least expensive installer. This company (same one who sold the Panels) was the only one that did not tell total lies. I am an Electrical Engineer and Industrial Electrician and I did not tell them this. When they put out total bull Pootie..... I said, I do not think we can do business.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you can get any pics of footprints on the panels, or follow the installers to another site and photo them walking on panels, it's still non-Mfg-warranty and you'll have to sue the installer for the replacements.
                              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

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