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Author Topic: recommendations for sealing a broken pv panel (cheaply)  (Read 582 times)
marcus
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« on: June 29, 2020, 10:14:38 PM »

Hi all,

I took advantage of Navitrons recent warehouse clearance and got a bunch of 60w solar panels (thanks Navitron  Smiley ).

Sadly the carrier managed to drop one of the boxes hard enough to kink the frame of one panel and crack the glass. Navitron kindly refunded the cost of the panel, but I can't help wanting to make use of the panel for something - and for that i need to seal the west wales weather out of the glass - i think? (otherwise it'll be green and moss covered by september).

obviously the panel didn't cost much (and has been refunded) and it doesn't make sense to spend much on it as it'll never be as good as an unbroken one, so i was looking for a cheap way to seal the glass - preferably with something that won't yellow in the sun.

So before i do something irreversible to the panel I thought I'd ask here in case someone's got any ideas?
Or should i keep my money for a new, unbroken panel and just use this one as it is?

A quick search came up with these - but none are a clear winner to my mind:-

UV resistant clear resin - not seen for less than 3* the price of the panel.

Rust-oleum crystal clear - might be fine but £15 typically so still more than the panel cost.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rustoleum-AE0040001E8-400ml-Crystal-Clear/dp/B001W03PRM/ref=asc_df_B001W03PRM/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=208025721965&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2717713232026956067&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045389&hvtargid=pla-420462946486&psc=1

windscreen repair fluid - probably works well and at £2.64 very cheap, but I doubt that little bottle will do a whole 60w panel.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/362989498253?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=362989498253&targetid=908661474856&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9045389&poi=&campaignid=10195651586&mkgroupid=107296210212&rlsatarget=pla-908661474856&abcId=1145987&merchantid=6995734&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI76XogPKn6gIVS8KyCh0VTwVvEAQYAiABEgLI9PD_BwE

some sort of clear cheap sealant in a tube from screwfix - if it's a thick goo that turns rubbery it may end up green and mossy anyway.

or even: "museum clear uv protection window film" - about the price of the panel.
https://activewindowfilms.co.uk/122-museum-clear-uv-ultra-violet-995-anti-fading-uv-protection-window-film-clear-heat-rejection-sticky-back-film.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3fOP7u2n6gIVB7TtCh0REwzmEAQYBSABEgJZrfD_BwE#/length-1m/width-76cm

thx
M
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todthedog
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 06:14:34 AM »

I have used windscreen repair fluid to repair a cracked window with success. You use very little, it spreads hydraulically down the crack and is set with UV (memo to self do not repair in sunlight) The excess is scraped away with a razor blade leaving the crack virtually invisible.
You use it in situ in the frame, in my case, not bringing the two sides together as you would with a conventional glue.
Hope this helps
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stannn
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 07:10:58 AM »

Loads of videos on YouTube.
Stan
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al barge
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 01:52:46 PM »

@Marcus I also got 2 x 60w panels, and then when I wanted more they had all gone , so I got the last 16 x 50w.. so now I have a couple of 60w in the mix which I won't be able to get the extra 10w from anyway. So if by any chance you have 2 x 50w panels I'd be willing to swap my 2 x 60w?



*Edit (16x 50w not 14 x 50w)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 12:51:27 PM by al barge » Logged

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camillitech
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 02:45:43 PM »

I have used windscreen repair fluid to repair a cracked window with success. You use very little, it spreads hydraulically down the crack and is set with UV (memo to self do not repair in sunlight) The excess is scraped away with a razor blade leaving the crack virtually invisible.
You use it in situ in the frame, in my case, not bringing the two sides together as you would with a conventional glue.
Hope this helps

I feel like I should break something just to try this Tod, sounds like pure genius  Wink
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todthedog
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 03:20:08 PM »

It doesn't arf go off quick Paul.
I have used a diamond tip dentist drill in a Dremel to open up a windscreen screen chip then fag lighter on the inside to open the chip further and allow the glue to flow, a couple of drops of uv resin then outside for the sun to set it. Razor blade the excess and good as new. For cracks drill either end to stop the crack spreading Mrs T on the inside with fag lighter to aid the flow and open the crack a little, dribble glue and away you go. Don't overheat the screen otherwise it gets a tad expensive!! fingers crossed! sh*tfan
Fun but tests the nerves a bit
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Kidwelly South Wales
chasfromnorfolk
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 05:34:19 PM »

I posted results of ‘mending’ full size panels back in a 2015 bodge: https://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,25811.0.html

using a cheap UV bevel adhesive. They’d been catapulted by oiks. Worked ok, though I got the feeling dust was more inclined to hang about over the repaired surface. Never had a problem with water ingress.

Cheers,
Chas
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marcus
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 08:21:09 PM »

Al: sorry, no 50w panels to swap - pity as I'd got 18 from navitron - which would've divided nicely into a 6x3 array or a 2x9 array - and now i have 17! I may have to mount the broken panel anyway for aesthetic reasons.

Tod you're the glass repair guru! I am leaning towards the chip repair as it seems to be cheap - don't think i'll be trying a fag lighter on the panel tho. Although, rationally, i'm not sure it justifies even the time i'm spending on it.

Going off topic slightly: your talk of drilling toughened glass brought another mad idea to mind:- I inherited a large old, falling down, wooden conservatory when i bought this place and noticed the glass was toughened when it fell down in a storm and the glass just bounced off the concrete. I now have a large stack of these glass sheets waiting to be used for something but the thought of building proper frames for them was offputting - but did have the idea of drilling 2 holes and using them like slates on a roof - which i dismissed as i assumed toughened glass would shatter if drilled. But...

back on topic:

Interesting thread Chas - the beveladhesive sounds good, but at £10 +p+p it doesn't stack up for one 60w panel. Did you keep your  4x250w panels? just wondering if they kept working past the end of your thread? Your last update suggested they might be deteriorating - or they performed worse under direct summer sun rather than overcast winter?
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biff
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 09:09:41 PM »

Al
   You should be able to use your 60watt panels with your 50watt ones.
The 60s imp@ 3.33a is only above the 50s  @ 2.77a not below, so you should get at least 50watt from them.
  .66 x 18= 11.88watt you lose.  freeze
       Biff
  Still getting 48watt+ each from the 2 x 60watts.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 09:11:58 PM by biff » Logged

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al barge
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 10:10:54 PM »


Yep, the 60w will be in the mix, as your calc's show they'll basically output a similar amount as the 50w panels when mixed which is still a useful amount, and helps with my 3x6 plan for them. Just aesthetically and mounting it's made it a bit awkward, but I have a plan, my welder is fixed and I'm waiting for aluminium angle to arrive.   stir bike

Sounds like the uv adhesive is a good idea, surely £10 to protect an £8 60w panel is still a great deal!?

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38m Barge, Victron Multi 24/3000/70-16, Victron CCGX, 420Ah (c5) Used Forklift Batts, Smartgauge, 800w Kinve Panels, 720w Yingli panels, DIY wood Stove, DIY diesel drip stove heat exchanger circuit, 750l Akvaterm Thermal store - to be connected.
chasfromnorfolk
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 11:46:54 AM »

bevel adhesive sounds good, but at £10 +p+p it doesn't stack up for one 60w panel. Did you keep your  4x250w panels? just wondering if they kept working past the end of your thread? Your last update suggested they might be deteriorating - or they performed worse under direct summer sun rather than overcast winter?

Well, depends on budget of course, but you’ll have about £8’s worth of glue in store for other projects... I ‘glued’ the broken fragments of a coldframe together rather than cut a piece of glass.

I shifted the panels (again) around the garden only the other day. I don’t suppose anyone near Norwich would like them and about another dozen to get them out of my way? They weren’t tested after I took them down, but I just shoved a probe up one and on this dull day it shows 35.2 so, something’s showing willing.


Cheers, Chas
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marcus
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 10:54:40 PM »

Hi Chas,

thanks for the update: it suggests that they to maintain some output for a few years - so may well be worth trying the repair - although the west wales climate is a lot more destructive than norfolks to anything that can be degraded by moisture ( i lived in Bungay before i moved here - i still remember leaving tools in the garden shed for 3 years with the door open and them not rusting at all).
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