4 Major Challenges You'll Face With Solar Panels

Solar panels are a boon to the environment and property owners because you get a great offset to your electricity bills. While most solar panel and energy content make the topic sound cut-and-dried, it's a bit closer to the truth. On the other hand, it pays to know about some of the challenges you're likely to face with solar panels. 

Delamination

Your solar panels face right towards the sky. This position makes them extremely vulnerable to rainfall damage. If you've had rainfall problems with roofs, your solar panels are highly likely to suffer from the same fate. Delamination is irreversible and it reduces your solar panel's capabilities.

Micro-Cracks

Defective solar panels are always consistent trouble among solar users. These will have micro-cracks that can lead to delamination. On the other hand, extreme weather changes, such as a sudden heavy rainfall ending in the hot, humid sun in the afternoon, can cause micro-cracks in your panels.

Electrical Line Issues

Solar panels are still electrical equipment that has a different power source. Therefore, it's still susceptible to traditional electrical line damages.

Overloaded Panels or 'Hotspots'

Lastly, "hotspots" can form because your solar panels have reached their end of life. Sometimes, these can prematurely happen, making your investments problematic in the process.

Green Solver has an additional list of issues you're likely to face with solar panels. Read more about them below.

Snail trail contamination

Snail trail is a discolouration of the panel which usually only manifests itself after a couple of years of production. Snail trails have multiple causes, but one cause can be attributed to the use of defective front metallization silver paste, in the solar cell manufacturing process. Defective silver paste can lead to moisture in the panel, and as a result of this moisture, an oxydation can occur between the silver paste and the encapsulation material called EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate).

This unwanted process releases silver oxide, acetic acid (vinegar) and hydrogen. The effect of this reaction is fed from the back of the panel to the front of the panel, and causes a chemical breakdown on the front of the panel. This becomes visible as ‘snail trails’, resulting in a reduction in the panel’s performance. The snail trails can also arise as a result of microscopic cracks in the panel.

PID Effect

PID stands for ‘Potential Induced Degradation’. This problem can arise when a voltage difference occurs between the panel and the earthing. For safety reasons, the solar panel is earthed, which can cause a harmful potential difference between the earthing and the voltage generated by the panel. In some cases, this generates a voltage which is partly discharged in the primary power circuit. The consequences of this effect are an ongoing reduction in performance and accelerated ageing of the PV panel. We have seen PID affecting solar plants and leading to performance loss of up to 10%. We are currently investigating several ways of reducing – or even reverting – PID effect.

Internal corrosion, delamination

Internal corrosion (rusting) occurs when moisture penetrates into the panel. Panels must be air- and water-tight. In order to achieve this, the components of panels (the glass layer, the solar cells and the back sheet) are laminated under vacuum. However, if the lamination process has been not done properly or was too short, this can lead to delamination during operation. Delamination is the detachment of the laminated components. Delamination – but also incorrectly fitted module trim, for example – can cause moisture to penetrate or bubbles to occur. Moisture leads to corrosion, which becomes visible as darker spots on the panel. (Continued)

If you need high-performing solar panels, you can always count on us at Roper Roofing to install the best solar panels on your roof. We install REC and Solaria panels with full material warranties. Contact us today to learn more about everything that we can do for you.

Delamination

Your solar panels face right towards the sky. This position makes them extremely vulnerable to rainfall damage. If you've had rainfall problems with roofs, your solar panels are highly likely to suffer from the same fate. Delamination is irreversible and it reduces your solar panel's capabilities.

Micro-Cracks

Defective solar panels are always consistent trouble among solar users. These will have micro-cracks that can lead to delamination. On the other hand, extreme weather changes, such as a sudden heavy rainfall ending in the hot, humid sun in the afternoon, can cause micro-cracks in your panels.

Electrical Line Issues

Solar panels are still electrical equipment that has a different power source. Therefore, it's still susceptible to traditional electrical line damages.

Overloaded Panels or 'Hotspots'

Lastly, "hotspots" can form because your solar panels have reached their end of life. Sometimes, these can prematurely happen, making your investments problematic in the process.

Green Solver has an additional list of issues you're likely to face with solar panels. Read more about them below.

Snail trail contamination

Snail trail is a discolouration of the panel which usually only manifests itself after a couple of years of production. Snail trails have multiple causes, but one cause can be attributed to the use of defective front metallization silver paste, in the solar cell manufacturing process. Defective silver paste can lead to moisture in the panel, and as a result of this moisture, an oxydation can occur between the silver paste and the encapsulation material called EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate).

This unwanted process releases silver oxide, acetic acid (vinegar) and hydrogen. The effect of this reaction is fed from the back of the panel to the front of the panel, and causes a chemical breakdown on the front of the panel. This becomes visible as ‘snail trails’, resulting in a reduction in the panel’s performance. The snail trails can also arise as a result of microscopic cracks in the panel.

PID Effect

PID stands for ‘Potential Induced Degradation’. This problem can arise when a voltage difference occurs between the panel and the earthing. For safety reasons, the solar panel is earthed, which can cause a harmful potential difference between the earthing and the voltage generated by the panel. In some cases, this generates a voltage which is partly discharged in the primary power circuit. The consequences of this effect are an ongoing reduction in performance and accelerated ageing of the PV panel. We have seen PID affecting solar plants and leading to performance loss of up to 10%. We are currently investigating several ways of reducing – or even reverting – PID effect.

Internal corrosion, delamination

Internal corrosion (rusting) occurs when moisture penetrates into the panel. Panels must be air- and water-tight. In order to achieve this, the components of panels (the glass layer, the solar cells and the back sheet) are laminated under vacuum. However, if the lamination process has been not done properly or was too short, this can lead to delamination during operation. Delamination is the detachment of the laminated components. Delamination – but also incorrectly fitted module trim, for example – can cause moisture to penetrate or bubbles to occur. Moisture leads to corrosion, which becomes visible as darker spots on the panel. (Continued)

If you need high-performing solar panels, you can always count on the best solar panel installation team in Littleton, CO. Call us at Roper Roofing to install the best solar panels on your roof. We install REC and Solaria panels with full material warranties. Contact us today to learn more about everything that we can do for you.

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