Author Topic: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!  (Read 47479 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« on: January 28, 2016, 08:47:26 pm »
Dave uses a microscope to examine the shattered LG Mono-X solar panel. Was it a micrometeorite impact?
And what are the odds of a micrometeorite impact on a typical solar power installation in a given year?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 08:50:23 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline danielschroeder

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 09:21:52 pm »
I think it was a stone thrown by a lawn mover
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 09:22:16 pm »
Get a big magnet and see if the pieces stick to it (iron).

 

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 09:25:37 pm »
Whack four legs on it and flog it on Ebay as a one in a million coffee table, some dude might be after a conversation piece, you never know.

On a side note an old wise fellow once told me that everything we have and will ever have comes from below, nothing at all from above, sunlight being the exception, think about it.


« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 09:51:27 pm by Muttley Snickers »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 09:38:43 pm »
I think it was a stone thrown by a lawn mover

The angles would make it almost impossible to get enough impact.
 

Offline lapm

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 09:48:06 pm »
Im mostly impressed that panel still works after hit like that.. Wondering if it took out only that one cell...
Electronics, Linux, Programming, Science... im interested all of it...
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 09:52:14 pm »
I wonder if a small meteorite  would still have enough momentum after travelling through the atmosphere. As size reduces the surface-area to weight ratio, and hence drag ,increases, reducing terminal velocity.
 It should be possible to calculate based on maximum typical meteorite speeds what the terminal velocity would be at a range of sizes.

I also wonder if this could simply be a manufacturing flaw, maybe on the inside surface,  combined with thermal cycling causing the pre-stressed toughened glass to fail, the pattern being simply the progression of the failure from the flaw.   

IMO the next stage would be to carefully pick away the glass & retreive as many particles as possible, & get someone to look at them under a proper  microscope - once removed from the panel, size and transport are no longer problems.
 
The indent on the back is interesting, and maybe more supportive of an impact than a flaw - I'd certainly be interested to see some careful excavation from that side.

Maybe you could use an angle grinder or diamond wheel to cut out the section to make it more portable for further analysis.

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 09:54:14 pm »
I think it was a stone thrown by a lawn mover

The angles would make it almost impossible to get enough impact.
Not to mention the energy that would be lost getting it up to sufficient height.
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Online wraper

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 09:57:11 pm »
The impact actually does not need to be that big. It's the the object is what needs to be very hard, you can shatter the tempered glass with a relatively small impact. Look how tempered glass can be easily shattered with a piece of porcelain from a broken sparkplug. Watch from the 4th minute.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 10:00:50 pm by wraper »
 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2016, 10:02:59 pm »
My first suggestion of a cricket ball was based on a rather macro view.  Considering the microscopic examination, that idea is hereby withdrawn.

As for the micrometeorite size - it must be pointed out that the 270x10-9g mass cited is an average.  Dave could easily have had an encounter with one that was much larger than this.

Maybe - but, the probability is not zero (as I heard someone say recently).
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2016, 10:07:55 pm »
Wonder what a meteorite like that would do if it hit you on the head...  :popcorn:

 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2016, 10:08:45 pm »
800% more damage.

 ;D
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 10:11:39 pm »
800% more damage.

 ;D

Joke all you want. I'm buying a helmet.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2016, 10:14:36 pm »
The impact actually does not need to be that big.

It does if it has to get through the glass and the panel to make an indent and ripple impact pattern on the back.
 

Offline HAL-42b

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2016, 10:14:54 pm »
Called it in the last thread  :-+

Although a micrometeorite that tiny would be falling only at terminal velocity. So 2mm or 5mm stone wouldn't do any damage. We are probably looking at something done by 20mm to 50mm object at free fall.

It must have bounced after the impact and is probably laying somewhere nearby.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 10:18:11 pm by HAL-42b »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2016, 10:17:52 pm »
As for the micrometeorite size - it must be pointed out that the 270x10-9g mass cited is an average.  Dave could easily have had an encounter with one that was much larger than this.

Of course it must have been much larger, or panels and other things would be getting shattered all over the globe, and people getting injured etc.
Whatever it was, it is a rare event.
Again, LG Australia haven't seen or heard about this level of impact shattering in 300,000 of these panels installed. Even after the worst hail storms.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2016, 10:20:38 pm »
It would be really interesting to find out what those embedded flecks are...

Anyone with a mass spectrometer?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2016, 10:25:57 pm »
Anyone with a mass spectrometer?

I'm after one (or similar) for another thing I want analysed. Been unable to find access to one so far.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2016, 10:28:55 pm »
It to me implies a wood screw or rivet head. as an object that would have the shape and mass to cause a similar fracture pattern, The circles of shattering would be the peaks of the impact displacement ripple, making an initial displacement, then the distance between shears in the glass decreasing due to loss of energy thanks to loss of intensity as it spreads away,

There is some math screaming out in the back of my head about how to calculate the delivered energy, but i'll retire that for the night, but it would be along the lines of energy to shatter the glass from a 0.5mm surface, plus the energy to displace the plastic lining past its elastic phase, assume for non radioactive elements, and leaves a good idea of the mass,
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2016, 10:29:39 pm »
Wonder what a meteorite like that would do if it hit you on the head...  :popcorn:
Probably not much - to break tempered glass it's all about surface pressure - the internal pre-stress will do the rest. So if the initial contact area is small and very hard, it probably wouldn't take a huge amount of momentum. if you were hit by something of similar size, you'd possibly feel it, and it may make a small cut but I doubt it would cause significant injury as skin is a lot less hard than glass, so the energy would be quickly absorbed.

Of course it could inject you with an alien parastite... :o
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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2016, 10:32:55 pm »
Of course it could inject you with an alien parastite... :o

Ah, that explains a good portion of the people here in the states.

Online wraper

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2016, 10:34:26 pm »
The impact actually does not need to be that big.

It does if it has to get through the glass and the panel to make an indent and ripple impact pattern on the back.
If that is what it looked like in eevblog #844, it looks more like the material which is covering the back side of the panel just delaminated because of the moisture which got into the panel.
I think it could be some small object (like 0.5-1.5 cm in size) and a very hard (like porcelain, tungsten carbide, or diamond) with a very sharp edge. The issue with micrometeorite theory is that they loose their speed while reaching the earth, therefore cannot produce a significant impact.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 10:37:04 pm by wraper »
 

Offline bktemp

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2016, 10:41:17 pm »
Get a big magnet and see if the pieces stick to it (iron).
+1 for the magnet. The colour looks right, it could be oxidized iron. If it sticks to the magnet you can be alomst 100% sure it is no rock thrown there but something that has fallen from the sky (either from space or from a plane).
 

Offline HAL-42b

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2016, 10:48:47 pm »
Get a big magnet and see if the pieces stick to it (iron).
+1 for the magnet. The colour looks right, it could be oxidized iron. If it sticks to the magnet you can be alomst 100% sure it is no rock thrown there but something that has fallen from the sky (either from space or from a plane).

There must be a way to test without dislodging or magnetizing the specimen. RF maybe?
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: EEVblog #846 - Solar Panel Micrometeorite Impact!
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2016, 10:56:50 pm »
Get a big magnet and see if the pieces stick to it (iron).
+1 for the magnet. The colour looks right, it could be oxidized iron. If it sticks to the magnet you can be alomst 100% sure it is no rock thrown there but something that has fallen from the sky (either from space or from a plane).

Probably just dirt and dust that's blown over since the break. Very common to see red dust especially if you live anywhere near a new suburb or development in Sydney. I'm still trying to get rid of dirt that my servers and switches have sucked up at my old place.
 


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