An increasing number of people around the globe are recognizing the value of using solar panels in their homes. As the world realizes the importance of clean and sustainable power sources, solar energy is taking up the leading spot. When deciding to install solar panels in their home, people should consider both pros and cons. One question they often ask is: “What do I do if I have a broken solar panel?”
Although a cracked solar panel could still work, you will want to fix it for two reasons. One, you will want to prevent further damage to the glass, and two, you will need to keep the moisture from reaching the solar cells.
Can You Fix a Broken Solar Panel?
Since solar panels are exposed to harsh weather conditions and other potentially detrimental external factors, the chance is that they will experience some kind of damage over time. The good news is that even once the damage occurs, they might continue to perform. Even so, some people claim that they will not perform to their maximum potential.
The rationale behind this claim is that broken panels generate less power. However, the performance will depend on the percentage of the damage. If it is less than 20%, your panel is not beyond repair, and it could still perform at optimum capacity.
This being said, there are a few reliable ways to fix cracked panels. Depending on the level of damage, you will be able to preserve different levels of efficiency. We have put together some of the best repair practices you could follow when fixing your solar panels.
Transparent Laminating Film
If your solar panel has cracked, the safest solution is to call your solar panel provider to assess the damage and propose the best approach to fix the issue. Alternatively, you might decide to fix the problem yourself.
One way to do this is by using a transparent laminating film. You have probably seen this film being used for car paint protection. The procedure itself is not too complicated. All you have to do is seal the laminating film on top of the broken glass. You can do this with the help of the heat gun by attaching the film to the edges of the panel.
It’s important to ensure that this film is spread evenly over the panel and that there are no creases. The last thing you want is water or other unwanted substances to go through the protective layer.
Polyurethane (Or Any Waterproof Resin)
Polyurethane is another type of coating that you can use to repair a broken solar panel. Before applying it to the panels, make sure you thoroughly wash them first. Follow the instructions on how to properly mix the resin and then pour it all over the panel. Also, you will need a brush or any similar tool to distribute the resin evenly over the panel. Finally, you should let it sit until completely dry.
Polyurethane or resin should leave a thin, transparent layer on the panel. This layer acts as protection from harmful external factors such as humidity or dirt. As with the laminating film, make sure you haven’t left any creases behind. Otherwise, you will compromise the entire process.
When Should You Replace a Broken Panel?
Generally speaking, solar panels are low-maintenance and durable, with a lifespan of 25-30 years. But as we already mentioned, they can endure a certain extent of the damage. Even though replacing a solar panel can be pricey, and your initial idea when installing them was to save money, sometimes this is the only option.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a solar panel expert if the panels’ performance deteriorates significantly, or if you notice signs of physical degradation, discoloration, or even burnt marks.
To Sum Up
If your solar panels experienced breakage or similar damage, you can try and repair them, or replace them. Either way, you should contact a solar panel company, such as Atlantic Key to assess and repair the damage. Keep in mind that professional assistance is the safest way to go about this issue. However, simple hacks such as laminating the cracked panel or protecting it with polyurethane can improve its performance and extend its lifespan.