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Old 02-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #1
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My solar Panels are Delaminating

Yes they are. These are the Solara flexible panels that SMB was offering in 2007. See the pics. It's hard to tell how this is affecting performance. Are they soon to be history? So much for high end european engineering…



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Old 02-10-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Mine didn't even last as long as yours, but mine weren't bonded to the PH top (assuming yours are), they were built with a minimalist frame and the constant flexing of the panels led them to an early death. The thought was that the panels wouldn't get as hot and would therefore wouldn't lose efficiency. Doesn't make sense why yours are delaminating.

Good luck.


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Old 02-10-2014, 10:51 PM   #3
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Mine are doing the same thing.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

That is totally sad. It's bad enough to spend big bucks for a system only to find out its installation (or p&p) is defective in the first place.

I'm buying panels for my build from AM Solar. They are telling me to leave ~1/4" around the edges for expansion. Donno how I'm going to do that and still bolt a pair together; but I'm workin' on coming up with a synthetic washer that contracts to use as a spacer on my bolts. At any rate, apparently these babies really move around. I think that's one reason why the panel framing is kinda on the flimsy side.

Regarding attaching panels directly to ANY surface . . . not so good. I saw a Utube recently touting why to leave room for air circulation underneath solar panels. The RV's roof was warm but not so that it kept the demonstrator from putting his bare knees on it. But with high sun, the panel's putting out max amps out, and the panel not tilted, he fried an egg on the same roof directly under the panel. That means it had to be NLT 140*+.

I'm told "monocrystilene" vs poly- last longer in our hot climes. Donno why.

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Old 02-10-2014, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Welcome to the club Jeffery Mine were mounted just like yours and failed by 2009. Surprised yours lasted so long.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #6
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCTex
That is totally sad. It's bad enough to spend big bucks for a system only to find out its installation (or p&p) is defective in the first place.

I'm buying panels for my build from AM Solar. They are telling me to leave ~1/4" around the edges for expansion. Donno how I'm going to do that and still bolt a pair together; but I'm workin' on coming up with a synthetic washer that contracts to use as a spacer on my bolts. At any rate, apparently these babies really move around. I think that's one reason why the panel framing is kinda on the flimsy side.

Regarding attaching panels directly to ANY surface . . . not so good. I saw a Utube recently touting why to leave room for air circulation underneath solar panels. The RV's roof was warm but not so that it kept the demonstrator from putting his bare knees on it. But with high sun, the panel's putting out max amps out, and the panel not tilted, he fried an egg on the same roof directly under the panel. That means it had to be NLT 140*+.

I'm told "monocrystilene" vs poly- last longer in our hot climes. Donno why.

JC
These panels were designed for marine use and made to walk on. SMB thought that would be the lightest most durable option compared to glass panels. They were supposed to handle flex and objects dropping on them w/o causing damage. Solara quickly started having problems with sun delamination and hightailed it out of the US.
I lost 3 of them but the fourth is stowed under my bed and rarely see's sun. It looks and works great as a portable panel but they sure can't take everyday exposure to sun.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:05 AM   #7
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCTex
I'm told "monocrystilene" vs poly- last longer in our hot climes. Donno why.

JC
Poly crystalline panels have an efficiency of 13% to 16% efficiency while mono crystalline panels have an efficiency of 15% to 20%. Mono crystalline panels also have better performance when the temperature goes up.
Most polycrystalline panels have a warranty of 25 years. Mono crystalline could last up to 50 years. Of course the advantages of mono crystalline comes at a cost, as in higher price.


I also see AM solar is not recommending flexible panels they were looking at. http://www.amsolar.com/home/amr/page...lar_panel.html

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Old 02-11-2014, 03:13 PM   #8
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Sorry to see that Jeffrey. On the bright side, solar panel pricing has come down a ton since you bought your van. We bought our's at almost the same time but only did the solar prewire due to costs. We put a panel on about 2 years ago. It is a 130W Kyocera glass panel and I think the price was around $350 delivered. They now offer a 140W panel for $265 - http://www.solar-electric.com/kyocer...lar-panel.html. I would definitely recommend Northern Arizona Sun and Wind if you go this route (that is where the link is from). Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

My friend Jeff (Canyonclan) had the same solar set up and he wasn't that thrilled with their efficiency either.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: My solar Panels are Delaminating

Thanks everyone for the great info.

Geoff, you're right. I'm looking at these (or similar) now on ebay. Don't see a downside, and I'll go from 130 to 200 watts. Monocrystaline. These will fit on the mounts I already have and hope the wiring will be obvious. Whatdya think?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2PC-100W-Watts- ... 3f309e9a26
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