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Solar panel damage? Question for somebody with knowledge of panels...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Electricfan, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Hi, they are installing solar panels on my roof, hoping to go live in a week or two. But today was the first day any panels were on the roof. (still have 4 more to go). My question is, is this panel damaged? Most of the panels look clean, but a few have hand prints, and this one has some sort of discoloration. They are telling me they will clean the panels at the end of the install and this is no problem, but sad to say you really can't trust any contractor 100% in my experience. Please reply if you have experience and knowledge of solar panels. Guesses are welcome too, but really hoping for someone with first-hand knowledge to reply.
    solarpanel3.jpg
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Looks like cleanable smudgework to me.
     
  3. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    I agree. Might be sunscreen. Try cleaning off a small area with some dish soap on a sponge.
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Depending on location it's not unusual for panels to get dirty during install. Look at the marks from an acute angle and you'll see if it's surface dirt then give it a wipe with a wet sponge; you'll know if it's under the top surface.

    Ideally you are also installing some sort of monitoring system (not critical but ideal to have) which will show if any given panel is not producing properly.
     
  5. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    I remember see foot prints on some of my panels when they installed them. :) They are very tough and wash off easily.
     
  6. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    I would assume it's okay. The panels can easily take the weight of a person on them, so I don't think that's a concern.

    Looking at yesterday's pictures, I'm not a fan of the mounts they are using, because you really need to know what you're doing so you don't get leaks down the road.

    Why do I say this?

    It looks like your installer is using a simple aluminum flashing with a penetration to the rafter that's sealed with a roofing tar-like substance called Chemlink (hopefully not silicon). If it's not installed correctly, its going to leak. The alternative that I prefer would be to use a flashing like QuickMount PV, which diverts water away from the penetration.

    Again, I'm not saying this is a problem. Good installers know how to make the penetrations watertight and last 25+ years. but since you raised some concern with other aspects of the installation, I thought I would mention it.
     
  7. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    Looking at your other thread, you have Enphase 215 microinverters? Hopefully you also speced the Envoy monitoring system (worth the extra $500, IMO). It will let you monitor the output of each panel individually. If there's a weak panel it will be obvious.

    I had a 20 panel system installed last month. Looking at lifetime generated power the weakest panel is 45.9 kWh, and the strongest 47.4 kWh.
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I just use a mop with soapy water on a long handle extension to clean mine at least once a year.

    f9b26544-ee8c-4e46-993d-d6ef92041fcc.jpg
     
  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #9 nwdiver, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Solar modules are A LOT more durable than most people realize...
     
  10. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Thanks. I was nervous, but not anymore. My panels went online today, and I've made 15 kwh so far (very cloudy today, naturally). That was a fantastic video on how strong the panels are. I had no idea.

    - - - Updated - - -

    No, I didn't specify it but I got it anyway! I have been watching it anxiously! They told me I'll get an email after the system has been working for about 48 hours, and I'll be able to log in and also use the apps for it.
     
  11. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Awesome!

    Please consider joining pvoutput.org and joining the Tesla Owners team.
     
  12. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    I guess they set it up for you and that's why you don't have access yet? I have the same system, but I set up the envoy myself so I had full access from the beginning. I like the envoy website. They let you enable a public access where anyone can see (some) data on your system. Very helpful when friends and coworkers want to know more. I've had half the subdivision cruise down the alley looking at mine (I'm the first one to get solar).

    Here's my public link:

    Markus 5kW

    - - - Updated - - -

    My 5 kW system makes 28-29 kWh on a good day in Dallas. You can expect your 6.6 kW system to produce about 38 kWh. Should have no problems keeping the Tesla topped off.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm on pvoutput but I never made it pull any data from the envoy site. It just says "this system has not recorded any data". Any ideas what's wrong? I followed their instruction and got a key from envoy but no go?
     
  13. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    Awesome video! I knew they could hold up to hail, but cars driving on them? Wow!
     
  14. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Someone should make frickin' solar roadways! :)
     
  15. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    How long ago did you try? There have been some major changes to the Enphase interface with PVOutput in the past two months. Could you look again and see if there's a new error?
     
  16. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    #16 zwede, Aug 3, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
    Huh. I clicked around in my settings, didn't really change anything and suddenly it managed to do a pull. There's some magic involved there somehow.

    Also managed to import a CSV file with my old data.

    Markus 5kW 5.000kW
     
  17. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Excellent!

    Here's the link to the Tesla Owners team: Tesla Owners and Friends 21.200kW
     
  18. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    Ok, I joined.
     
  19. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I tried to join and input my data into the PVOutputs but not sure I did it right. I'll check again tomorrow to see if it added me to the Tesla Owners and Friends group.
     
  20. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Thanks for joining! It looks like you're uploading data to PVOutput. I will look tomorrow and see if you're adding to the team.
     

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