10 Most Common Solar Panel Repairs | Solar Medix

10 Most Common Solar Panel Repairs

As we move toward a more sustainable lifestyle, solar panels have become a staple in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and harness renewable energy sources. These photovoltaic systems and their components have proven to be effective in reducing the need for expensive and fast-depleting power sources.

By installing solar panels, both homeowners and businesses can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower their bills, and contribute to a more resilient and eco-friendly energy grid. This is a long-term investment that can last up to 20-30 years.

However, one must keep in mind that solar panels, like all other energy-producing devices, are also prone to wear and tear. Faulty components are usually easy to identify, as they result in reduced yields and lower output.

Luckily, you don’t necessarily have to replace your whole system. Minor solar panel repairs can help fix the most common problems if detected and addressed in time by field experts like Solar Medix.

Listed below are some issues that can cause solar panels to underperform or become irreparably damaged. Familiarizing yourself with these will help you identify and fix the problem before it becomes a headache. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What are the Most Common Solar Panel Repairs? | Solar Medix

What are the Most Common Solar Panel Repairs?

Installing solar panels is a significant investment. Hence, if your system isn’t operating at its peak efficiency, you should know why and how to fix it. Here are ten common issues to look out for:

Inverter Issues

Solar systems convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. This DC electricity is then transformed into alternating current (AC) by a device known as a power inverter. Conversion is crucial because most household appliances and devices operate on AC. Now, there are two primary types of power inverters. First is the string inverter, where multiple panels feed into a single or a few large inverters. Second is the microinverter, where each panel is equipped with its inverter.

If there’s any decrease in your solar panel’s power output, the first component to inspect should be the power inverter. Checking the inverter can help identify if it is the source of the issue, as a malfunctioning inverter can significantly impact the overall performance of your solar energy system. Regular solar panel inverter repairs can ensure the best performance and extend the lifespan of your solar panels.

Hot Spots

As we all know by now, solar cells generate electricity from sunlight. Nonetheless, as electric current flows through the solar cell strings, hot spots can create resistance. Extremely hot days can further reduce the efficiency of a solar cell.

If you notice any cracks, mismatches, or poorly soldered joints on your solar panels, be sure to get them fixed immediately, as they can eventually turn into hot spots. These can cause two long-term damages:

  • Hot spots can cause burn marks that accelerate the degradation of solar cells.
  • Portions of the back sheet may become exposed and potentially start a fire.

To mitigate hot spots, reputable and reliable solar panel installation companies like Solar Medix carefully inspect each solar cell for imperfections before installation. Any damaged solar panels or inadequately soldered ribbons are promptly mended.

PID Effect

Potential-induced degradation (PID) arises from voltage fluctuations occurring between the voltage generated and the earthing of the solar panel. This results in varying percentages of discharged voltage in the main power circuit. Solar panel repair experts can address this issue to prevent the accelerated aging of solar panels and stabilize their performance.

Microcracks

Advancements in the semiconductor industry have provided us with ultra-thin solar cells, measuring approximately 170 μm thick—roughly twice the diameter of a human hair. However, due to their delicate nature, these modern cells are more susceptible to microcracks, leading to issues such as hot spots and decreased energy generation. This makes it crucial to prioritize careful handling and transportation of solar panels during installation, ensuring that there are no microcracks.

Broken Glass

The solar module’s front glass panel acts as the main barrier against rain, hailstones, dust, fallen tree branches, and occasional impacts like stray balls. As such, it needs to possess sufficient strength to endure these stresses while absorbing adequate sunlight.

If there’s any broken glass panel, the solar cells risk having weather-related damages. Furthermore, water and dust infiltration beneath the glass can significantly reduce the light absorbed by the solar module.

Don’t let broken glass compromise your power supply. With the help of experts from Solar Medix, you can get your solar panels repaired.

Loose Wiring

If your solar power system has loose cables, you could face unforeseen problems with electricity generation. These cables link individual photovoltaic cells to household solar batteries and inverters; even the tiniest wiring error can result in a broken connection. Professional installers possess the expertise of solar panel repair and maintenance. They analyze such issues promptly and offer useful remedies by using meters and other wire performance-checking tools.

Snail Trails

Even if there’s a breakage, solar cells can still produce electricity along the cracks. But you must keep in mind that this can lead to localized heating, causing the cell surface to degrade and form a pattern known as “Snail trails.” If there’s moisture, microcracks may show traces of discolored snail trails. They not only reduce your system’s power output but also detract from the appearance of your panels. To mitigate this issue, you must choose high-quality encapsulation materials that effectively prevent water ingress into the laminate.

Defective Junction Box

The junction box located at the back of a solar panel helps transmit electricity from the solar system to your home. However, if dust or moisture infiltrates the junction box, it can cause a short circuit in the internal diodes.

If the bypass diodes are damaged, they may render the panel inoperable by creating an open circuit, halting the transfer of electricity. That’s why it’s important to choose junction boxes with an IP67 rating to ensure that dust and water are prevented from entering the circuits.

Inner Module Damage

Internal damage to solar panels can result from faulty production or the use of subpar components. Such damage manifests in various forms, including snail trails, delamination, discoloration of solar connectors or cells, yellowing of back sheets, browning of EVA films, staining of PV cells, unwanted inclusions in PV laminates, and burning out of the back/front of solar modules. Most of the time, specialists must remove the glass from solar panels to facilitate repairs or replacements. However, the specific type and extent of damage determine the appropriate course of action.

Battery Problems

Batteries can help you store the electricity generated by your solar power system if your system is off the grid. However, these batteries have several issues, such as overcharging and undercharging. Negligent maintenance practices might result in power outages and even fires caused by battery difficulties.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to have a professional carry out all operations, including battery installation and maintenance. You must also routinely inspect the battery for indications of wear and tear or degradation.

10 Most Common Solar Panel Repairs | Solar Medix

Final Thoughts

Solar panels are indeed a great investment toward a sustainable future. However, it’s equally important to acknowledge common issues that may arise and address them promptly. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a reliable solar panel maintenance expert like Solar Medix and have them ensure your system is running smoothly. From roof repair with solar panels to pool solar panel repair and comprehensive maintenance checks, we take care of it all!

With proper precautions and regular maintenance services, you can rest at ease knowing that your solar panels will deliver dependable, top-tier renewable energy for years to come.

Yes, solar panels can be repaired. Trained professionals can often fix common issues such as broken glass, faulty wiring, or damaged connectors.

A broken solar panel may still work, but its efficiency will likely be reduced. To ensure your system is able to produce most of its rated voltage, the damage should not be more than 20%.

Repairing a solar panel diode typically involves identifying the faulty diode, removing it from the circuit, and replacing it with a new one. This task requires technical expertise and should only be carried out by professionals.

Repairing broken solar panels involves assessing the extent of the damage, replacing any broken or damaged components such as cells, wiring, or connectors, and ensuring proper sealing to protect against moisture ingress.

Repairing solar panel glass involves assessing the damage and determining whether to repair or replace it. It’s important to consult with professionals to plan the best course of action.

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