Electronics > Power & Renewable Energy

Repairing solar cells

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woodchips:
Did a search and came up with nothing, so....

I bought several solar panels, 1/3 sq m, to power an off grid shed in a wood. High winds resulted in four of the panels ending up cracked from side to side.

The question is, can they be repaired?

These panels are over 10 years old, when BP used to sell them. They are glass with the solar bits deposited on the glass then a backing cover. They are the standard 12V type panel so have about 30 diodes in series across the panel. The crack reduces the area so whilst still work, they are much lower output.

I have wondered if you can drill through the glass from the front to pick up on the connection strip on each side of the panel and connect using conductive paint. Has anyone done this at all.

Why repair? Well, with all the talk of a collapse in prices they still don't seem much cheaper than what I paid 12 or so years ago, about £75 plus VAT.


MotorMagic:
Manufacturing price of Mono is approaching .40 cents for A grade, low iron tempered glass and UV resistant silicon on aluminum frames. I sold 700 panels below manufacturing cost like a month ago when my friends factory was getting rid of inventory. I would replace them, but you could always try to put them in a new frame anyway, and salvage the good cells. I guess you may spend more in parts, and the end result will still be pretty inefficient given they are 10 year old cells.

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