wanted: decent sized solar panel (up to 100w) with shattered but present glass

76 Posts
Feb 28, 2008 04:11 pm
wanted: decent sized solar panel (up to 100w) with shattered but present glass

I have an idea for a method to repair a solar panel with a shattered glass surface if the glass is not missing.  I don't want to give too much away, but it would involve coating the panel surface with a kind of laminate.  I'm looking for a decent sized solar panel that is in good condition except for having the glass shattered or significantly cracked.  The module must not have been broken for very long or left out to weather.

If the idea works, it could be used to help people that have had happen what happened to me recently.  One of the 125w Mitsu panels I bought recently was damaged by the shipper.  Unfortunately, because I wasn't there when the box was dropped off, no one wants to take responsibility for it, so I'm stuck with it.  I've already repaired and mounted the panel with a pair of different methods for weather-testing.  Because the repair is a one-way street, I can't "undo" it and try a different method.  That's why I'm here.  I have no intention of breaking perfectly good solar panels on purpose ;-) but finding a few busted ones at a fair price is something I'd be willing to do, to help others in the alt-e community.

My experience with chemistry, and advanced polymers in particular, is mostly in the automotive aftermarket, where the company I run makes dual-durometer solid polyurethane motor mounts.  This is a much different scenario, but there are some similar principals that apply.

« Last Edit: Feb 29, 2008 02:06 pm by Travis McMillian »
3 Posts
Mar 2, 2008 07:09 am
Re: wanted: decent sized solar panel (up to 100w) with shattered but present glass

I have a 150 watt panel that I am looking for a way to repair.  It was received the same way you got yours.  If you develop a repair method I would be interested in obtaining that method.
76 Posts
Mar 3, 2008 11:05 am
Re: wanted: decent sized solar panel (up to 100w) with shattered but present glass

I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in obtaining that method.  But, like my recipe for dual-durometer polymer-fiber solid engine mounts, I'm not going to give it away ;-)  Heck, I don't even know if it WORKS, yet.  If it does, though, it would make a "junk" solar panel good again, with (hopefully) 90+ % of its original rating.  And I don't mean "good", like "good enough to use until the replacement comes" but good enough to keep in the array.

Because of the potential to help the community (and make money), I'm actually a little tempted to buy a panel and break it on purpose, just to get this experiment done.

I'm hoping, though, that I can help someone else out of their misfortune by buying theirs.  That way, if it doesn't work, at least I didn't buy a brand new $300+ module and destroy it.
« Last Edit: Mar 3, 2008 02:57 pm by Travis McMillian »
4 Posts
May 12, 2008 01:04 pm
Re: wanted: decent sized solar panel (up to 100w) with shattered but present gla

I bought a number of panels that were shattered in a hail storm (30-70W). The glass is cracked much like  a broken car windshield, but all is still intact and the panels still produce power. I think that the refraction from all the cracks reduces the light transmission and a good repair would eliminate this refraction. Of course the glass is laminated to the solar cells so it is impossible to just replace the glass, however I thought that if I used the same stuff used to repair cracked automotive windshields, all would be wonderful. The problem is that this stuff needs to be 'sucked' into the cracks. If it would seep on its own then it would be ideal. I know epoxies could be made to wick into the cracks and also solve the refraction problem, but I could find none that had the UV properties of the windshield repair materials.
Has anyone here tried the windshield repair methods or have ideas as to how to establish the required vacuum?

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