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  • Broken glass solar panels up to code?

    I received 10 free broken glass solar panels that are in the 280 watt range. I plan on using one of the clear silicone encapsulants to seal them. They put out roughly 70-80% of their stated power.

    My question before I go to the trouble of sealing them is, will the building inspector or possibly the utility company say they are not up to code, that they are a hazard because they could separate from the frame in a high wind, or some other reason to deny approval of the system?

  • #2
    Sorry I cant answer your question regarding code. I do though have a similar situation with broken glass panels and I'm curious as to exactly what you plan to use to seal them. I was told an epoxy was a good idea. How ever I'd like to learn what others are using. Brands, sealant types etc.

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    • #3
      Of course for anyone to help you with codes, they would need to know which country or state etc, as i'm sure each has their own policies.

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      • #4
        silicone encapsulants leak water vapor like a sieve, it will keep drops out, but the panel is still going to degrade and fail in a couple years (unless you are in the southwest with <10% humidity)
        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
          Originally posted by Jerry Hirsch View Post
          I received 10 free broken glass solar panels that are in the 280 watt range. I plan on using one of the clear silicone encapsulants to seal them. They put out roughly 70-80% of their stated power.

          My question before I go to the trouble of sealing them is, will the building inspector or possibly the utility company say they are not up to code, that they are a hazard because they could separate from the frame in a high wind, or some other reason to deny approval of the system?
          I think you paid more than they are worth, I have yet to figure out how to dispose of bad panels. Expect
          them to be short lived and actually dangerous in a string setup. If they are already at 70-80% performance,
          the journey to total trash is already well underway. good luck, Bruce Roe

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          • #6
            Shane, I'm planning on using Sylgard 216. It's also available in smaller quantities on Ebay so you can test it on a panel or two.

            There are a few other silicones similar but more expensive as well.

            https://www.chemical-concepts.com/qsil-216.html

            I'm in southern California in Menifee which has a semi arrid climate.

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            • #7
              Bruce, I plan on using micro inverters because the power from each panel varies so much. Can you explain how a string setup would be dangerous?

              I agree their life may be short but the payback will be very quick. If I got 5 years life I would be happy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jerry Hirsch View Post
                ... Can you explain how a string setup would be dangerous?...
                The glass is compromised, and it is part of the insulating structure, a bit of moisture inside and you have a 450VDC string, with bad insulation. Not as bad as the towering inferno....
                Last edited by Mike90250; 04-15-2018, 10:14 AM.
                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


                • #9
                  Mike, with a micro inverter it's 30 volts with additional silicone insulation. The question is whether the building inspector or utility will not approve the system because of the cracked glass on the panels.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jerry Hirsch View Post
                    Mike, with a micro inverter it's 30 volts with additional silicone insulation. The question is whether the building inspector or utility will not approve the system because of the cracked glass on the panels.
                    You asked about a STRING setup.

                    Before you do any repairs, ask the building inspector about damaged panels. I can be a brown noser and just tell you YES, have fun, but if the Inspector fails it, you will be mad at me.

                    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


                    • #11
                      As for code compliance, no they are not complaint. They have been damaged and modified and no longer have certification nor can they be installed per manufacture spec. Void-Tilt-Game Over. Sounds like they might of came up from the TX coast and had a little visit by Harvey.
                      Last edited by Sunking; 04-15-2018, 10:42 AM.
                      MSEE, PE

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