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Author Topic: Solar Panel Theft  (Read 1645 times)
DonL
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2018, 03:18:19 PM »

The thieves struck overnight, cutting through the fence from the field next door and stole 87 Scheuten Solar 235w panels. The panels are marked with Smartwater and I have a log of their serial numbers.

I have no idea why they would steal them as they are out of date, and have been used for 4 or 5 years making their value very low.

Don

If insured, might you be well-rid?

https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/650000_solar_panels_declared_fire_risk_2356



Up to 650,000 Scheuten ĎMultisolí PV modules supplied between August 2009 and February 2012 have been manufactured with an alleged design flaw in the junction boxes. The modules in question are the P6-48, P6-54, P6-60 and P6-66 versions.

The NVWA said that there have been 15 fires across Europe directly attributed to faulty modules manufactured by the now-bankrupt Scheuten Solar Holding.


I was careful to buy panels manufactured after the fault had been identified and the junction box changed so unfortunately thay won't burst into flames for the new owner.

Don
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:21:16 PM by DonL » Logged

Schuco solar hot water - 3300kWh/annum, 16 BP 4175N PV panels - 2.8kWp, log burner and back boiler and 18 Ying Li 235 PV panels - 4.2kWp, 42kW ground mount PV, 9kW Panasonic ASHP
DonL
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2018, 03:30:54 PM »


Any ideas on security systems (other than landmines) that could help protect the installation?

Thanks

Don

As landmines are likely to need planning approval? Smiley

If you have space a ditch and a bank would be a good start. You then plant good old brambles as they have been called nature's barbed wire. Using real barbed wire just opens up a whole host of issues if some dirtbag goes and harms themselves on it.

Good idea, ditch or large log in the vulnerable gap. No problems with barbed wire, it's endemic around here. Don
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Schuco solar hot water - 3300kWh/annum, 16 BP 4175N PV panels - 2.8kWp, log burner and back boiler and 18 Ying Li 235 PV panels - 4.2kWp, 42kW ground mount PV, 9kW Panasonic ASHP
offthegridandy
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2018, 05:16:26 PM »

In the circs I think you are wise to consider security before fitting replacements.  If they had it easy one time they might keep an eye out so as to repeat the scam and this time get away with possibly new panels. You can get security "nuts" that have no flats on.  They have a chamfered screw driver slot.  Screw driver works when doing up but can't bite when undoing. Seen them somewhere on line, maybe screw fix maybe

 https://www.screwfix.com/p/easyfix-a2-stainless-steel-security-shear-nuts-m8-10-pack/6624t

these aren't what I was trying to describe but may do the job.

https://www.westfieldfasteners.co.uk/Bolts-Screws-Metric/Security-Screws-One-Way-M8x50-A2-Stainless.html?google_shopping=qty_A2_ScrewBolt_OneWay_M8_50=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr6nJuu-k3wIVzr3tCh0bIwYvEAQYAiABEgKp5_D_BwE.



Good  luck.

Andy
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 07:12:59 AM by stannn » Logged

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RIT
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2018, 12:40:41 AM »

Can everyone please remember that Navitron our forum hosts are also suppliers of PV panels.
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2.4kW PV system, output can be seen at  - https://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?userid=49083

Why bother? - well, there is no planet B
stannn
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2018, 07:15:01 AM »

Yes, itís easy to forget in all the excitement. Iíve deleted the competitor.
Stan
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2.45 kWp PV (Navitron supply), 40 evacuated tubes (Navitron supply), Clearview 650 log burner with back-boiler heating cottage and water, 2 off 50W border collies, 1 off 35W cat, 1 off 25W cat.
DonL
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« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2018, 05:19:53 PM »

So I've started to address the practicalities and the first one is to get some generation going again with the existing panels. We've re-mounted the 25 from the ground today and I'll start re-connecting on the next dry day. I'm just doing a temporary fix until I find a contractor to supply and install panels to replace the stolen ones.

The rear array had 4 strings of 23 panels and I have been able to install 2 strings of 23 which should be OK.

The front array had 2 strings of 23 panels and 2 of 22 panels. I have been able to install panels for one string of 22 and one of 21. Odds are they'll be on the same MPPT - the inverter has two. Would it be better to match the strings and leave one panel out or let the MPPT work with the imbalance? I know I could also rewire to get them on different MPPT's and am bearing that in mind.

As far as security is concerned I'm considering the log/ditch approach, marking with Smartwater (again), a wired security system and/or utilising the alarm relay in the inverter to sound an alarm/security lights/release fierce dogs/telephone me.........

I don't think security fixings are going to be much help with the existing aluminium support system. I'm not convinced they even undid the clamps - they may have just undone the end clamps and then levered panels out. The aluminium does a good job under design conditions but is a bit soft when addressed by a gorilla with a crow bar.  Sorry to all gorillas for that comment - most insensitive of me.

Thanks for all the advice.

Don

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Schuco solar hot water - 3300kWh/annum, 16 BP 4175N PV panels - 2.8kWp, log burner and back boiler and 18 Ying Li 235 PV panels - 4.2kWp, 42kW ground mount PV, 9kW Panasonic ASHP
kristen
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« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2018, 02:39:36 PM »

Any ideas on security systems (other than landmines) that could help protect the installation?

We had some Yobs come over the fence and smash some things.  Annoying ...

I bought some day-glo "CCTV" signs and put them up first.  There were some on eBay, self-made I guess, and I reckon the Vendor had had a run in with some Yobs necause the wording was things like "If you can read this you've already been recorded on my CCTV system" Smiley I just went with "CCTV Keep out" ...

Then I bought some "Trail (Wildlife) Cameras" (e.g. Bushnell) They were about £100 each (20MP rather than lousy definition models). Batteries last months and they take 30 seconds of video each time they are tripped.  They are strapped to trees, I know where they are but I still have to faff about with the ladder actually locating them when i want to "service" them, so I'm fairly sure Pikey won't spot then easily.
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DonL
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« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2018, 05:32:24 PM »

Any ideas on security systems (other than landmines) that could help protect the installation?

We had some Yobs come over the fence and smash some things.  Annoying ...

I bought some day-glo "CCTV" signs and put them up first.  There were some on eBay, self-made I guess, and I reckon the Vendor had had a run in with some Yobs necause the wording was things like "If you can read this you've already been recorded on my CCTV system" Smiley I just went with "CCTV Keep out" ...

Then I bought some "Trail (Wildlife) Cameras" (e.g. Bushnell) They were about £100 each (20MP rather than lousy definition models). Batteries last months and they take 30 seconds of video each time they are tripped.  They are strapped to trees, I know where they are but I still have to faff about with the ladder actually locating them when i want to "service" them, so I'm fairly sure Pikey won't spot then easily.

Thanks Kristen - interesting. We had the police in today and they mentioned camera traps as an option and security lighting and CCTV on top of a power post (don't tell Western Power). The optical fibre loop system is looking like a couple of grand  Sad

So I'm looking at pricing and choosing from: log or ditch or stakes or concrete blocks by the fence, security loop through panels, CCTV, camera traps, security lights, signage and land mines. I know which I prefer but I'd probably end up standing on one myself.

Don
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Schuco solar hot water - 3300kWh/annum, 16 BP 4175N PV panels - 2.8kWp, log burner and back boiler and 18 Ying Li 235 PV panels - 4.2kWp, 42kW ground mount PV, 9kW Panasonic ASHP
kristen
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« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2018, 06:45:37 PM »

Never sure if security lights will wash-out the CCTV - which will be in Night Mode and will take a moment or two to switch to Day Mode .... dunno if it will do that fast enough to actually catch some footage. Probably worth a test before "assuming" ... either way, I think Night Vision photos are rarely good enough for a Collar.

We have CCTV on the house / outbuildings and inside.  50% Overt, the rest Covert - I'd like a decent picture of the blighters to give to Plod. The Overt are to encourage them to go and bother someone else, the Covert are in different places to Overt - where there is a good chance that they don't bother to pull their hoodies up ... in case the Overt doesn't persuade them.
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DonL
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« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2019, 02:52:38 PM »

So the array is all working again with the 86 remaining Scheuten 235W panels in the back array and 82 new BYD 275W panels on the front to give a total of 42.76kW as compared with 42.77 before to retain MCS accreditation.

Good support from NFU on the insurance claim and a local contractor to supply and install the new panels. The inverters had suffered no damage and just went straight back to work without any changes.

I have put in place a number of security measures which I won't describe in open forum so let's hope there are no further thefts.

Don
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Schuco solar hot water - 3300kWh/annum, 16 BP 4175N PV panels - 2.8kWp, log burner and back boiler and 18 Ying Li 235 PV panels - 4.2kWp, 42kW ground mount PV, 9kW Panasonic ASHP
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