Author Topic: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires  (Read 612 times)

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Offline bdunham7

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Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« on: August 21, 2019, 01:10:27 am »
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2019, 01:34:18 am »
It's happened at 7 stores. I was wondering what is going on as well.
These are SolarCity panels I believe.

edit: pic source from court filing: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/walmart-sues-tesla-after-solar-panel-fires-at-stores-2019-8-1028460917
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 08:57:44 pm by floobydust »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 02:23:51 am »
Holy crap... I do not want those panels on my roof... :wtf:
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Offline john61ct

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 02:37:40 am »
More likely human error in the wiring.

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Offline maginnovision

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 02:42:16 am »
Walmart just wants their money back and tesla to take it all back, and pay for investigations into cause. It won't affect tesla(their losses are large enough it doesn't matter) and Walmart will just get new panels from someone else.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2019, 02:57:54 am »
This photo gives a new meaning to the term: Fire Sale.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2019, 03:33:45 am »
i dunno, some of the things you see at Walmart stores would make even concrete spontaneously combust
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Offline Jeroen3

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2019, 04:40:15 am »
https://www.gelderlander.nl/rheden/zonnepanelen-mogelijk-oorzaak-brand-gazelle~aaaa7d3f/

This happens occasionally. Probably poor wiring. Maybe defective panels.
Not sure if they are Tesla setup.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 04:42:03 am by Jeroen3 »
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2019, 09:00:09 pm »
I'm wondering if the solar panels and wiring have significant inductance.  Enough to sustain a DC arc that etches across the solar cells? Or is it a ground fault.

There seems to be nothing that can interrupt the arc- a thermal fuse or AFCI for the purpose.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2019, 11:17:43 pm »
I'm wondering if the solar panels and wiring have significant inductance.  Enough to sustain a DC arc that etches across the solar cells? Or is it a ground fault.

The voltage versus current curve of a photovoltaic source makes it self ballasting so no inductance is required.  They operate more as a constant current source under arcing conditions.

This happens occasionally. Probably poor wiring. Maybe defective panels.
Not sure if they are Tesla setup.

My guess is environmental contamination causing electrolysis and eventually arcing.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2019, 11:22:01 pm »
 Yes, the bad Walmart carma emitted from under the roof.
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Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2019, 09:56:16 am »
I have never seen one  of these panels up close. Can someone helpful tell me exactly what substance is sustaining that level of combustion? Is the backing to the panels a polymer?
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2019, 10:09:01 am »
I have never seen one  of these panels up close. Can someone helpful tell me exactly what substance is sustaining that level of combustion? Is the backing to the panels a polymer?

I don't know the details in the Walmart case, but consider this:

Solar panels produce tens of kilowatts of power, and that's a lot of heat if it goes astray. Imagine getting some giant mirrors and focusing all the Sun's energy on a single spot. Anything will burn given that kind of heat. Solar panels do the equivalent. They collect the Sun's energy over a large area and concentrate it in one place (the wires going to the power converter). Just imagine what could happen if there's a fault.
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2019, 06:23:49 pm »
I have never seen one  of these panels up close. Can someone helpful tell me exactly what substance is sustaining that level of combustion? Is the backing to the panels a polymer?
I don't know the exact Trina solar panel construction, but in the sandwich the mid sheets and back-sheet are plastic resins.
EVA film (Evathane, Luperox) ethylene vinyl acetate seems to have a low melting temp. 71°C and no mention about flammability.
Back Sheet Tedlar/PET good to 107°C and no mention of flammability.

I'm assuming a hot spot on the panel starts the plastics on fire, and it spreads to adjacent panels. The field wiring should be UL-94 for flame travel like most electrical plastics.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 06:25:20 pm by floobydust »
 
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Offline orion242

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2019, 07:35:28 pm »
It doesn't sound like anything with the panels themselves but the installation in general.

When morons use bolts for fuses, walk on the panels, mis-match the DC connectors, and ignore ground-fault alarms coming from "de-energized" systems, things are bound to happen.

A read of Walmart's court filing is pretty interesting.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/eevblab/eevblab-64-tesla-solar-panels-are-catching-on-fire!/
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 07:38:41 pm by orion242 »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Walmart sues Tesla over solar panel fires
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2019, 09:12:30 pm »
Perhaps someone shot them?  :-DD

Lots of people shooting guns around Walmart I understand.
 


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