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Old 06-14-11, 01:58 AM   #1
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Default Solar Panel showing wrong output

I have a solar panel rated for 100 Watt @ 5.1 amps and max shorted amps @ 5.5 amps.
However until recently I realize that my output has drop by about 50%. Even when the panel is facing directly at the sun and the sun is at its peak I am still not receiving the amount of amps from it when I do a current test by shorting the output leads. The most I get now is between 2.5 - 3amps.

I am guessing that a cell probably gone bad as it is a used panel and I saw like the person was trying to drill a hole in the frame but accidentally went right through and the bit went right through one of the cells and it create just a tiny little hole in the cell and looking from the backside of the panel you could see the glass which is at the front through that tiny little hole, but I dont think that small amount of gap in the cell could cause such a dramatic decrease in output. Would this have an effect on the panel like allowing moisture to develop? Or is this cell definately at fault as looking at the other cells they look quite perfect.

Another thing I was wondering if it's one or both of the diodes in the junction box gone bad?

I notice the problem just after a 2 week peroid of rain but mostly overcast was over and I did a amps test and found out the bad news.

So what do you guys think? Can it be repaired and how? I am guessing after repairing I could just use sylgard to seal it up back.

I am urgently awaiting on your reply.

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Old 06-14-11, 10:07 PM   #2
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There are only a few things that will kill a PV panel and it sounds like the person you bough yours from found one of them!
The silicon is very brittle and that is why it is very well protected and the connections are very small and sensitive to moisture, so the hole that went thru the cell might not have fractured it right away but it created a weak spot and the water that got in there took care of the rest.
Check the diodes of course but they are most likely just fine, the issue is that you have a hole in your solid state electronics.
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Old 06-15-11, 05:29 AM   #3
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Those cells are like potato chips. I'd say the cell that he hit is fractured and half of the panel is gone. Trying to get in there to repair/replace that cell would only cause more damage.

I suggest sealing the hole with silicone and figure it as being a 50 watt panel..

If it don't, I'll always think it shoulda..
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