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Old 06-28-2011, 12:08 AM   #1
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solar panels problem, questions

SMB West installed Solar Panels on my penthouse 6 years ago. I have been very satisfied with them. Today one of them blew off the roof at 70 mph on I 5. The glue appears to have separated from the panel, as the glue is still attached to the penthouse. The screws pulled loose. So check your installations. I had last looked at mine about a thousand miles ago and they looked fine. Will the house battery still charge form the alternator or shore power, or has the loss of the panel broken the circuit? What should I use to patch the screw holes in the penthouse? I'm in the PNW so get a lot of rain. Is there any chance the panel still works? It looks just a little bent on the corners. I'll call SMB in the morning. Thanks for any suggestions.
Dave
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: solar panels problem, questions

You can connect a voltmeter directly to the panel to see if it's outputting. My 185w put out something like 24v in sunlight.

I'd say butyl, small washer and screw in each hole without seeing them.

Everything else should be fine, taking the solar out shouldn't affect the rest of the system charging.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: solar panels problem, questions

I agree with Jage's post.

Those solara panels are pretty tough and it still might work. There is a recent post on a replacement flat flexable panel here but they are costly. Solara is no longer doing business in the US. One of the problems I had with them was the panels had a clear skin over the cells that started to de-laminate and haze over. I soon lost the max output they had once put out and went with a glass panel. So far the glass panels have worked OK but I blew one out 2 weeks after install when the CB antenna hit the glass...kind of expensive for a 2 week period. YMMV

Good luck
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Re: solar panels problem, questions

thanks for the response
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
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Re: solar panels problem, questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
You can connect a voltmeter directly to the panel to see if it's outputting. My 185w put out something like 24v in sunlight.
Our Solara panels developed cracks in the copper traces between the individual cells. At rest they would show full voltage, but as soon as a load was applied they couldn't supply any current and the output voltage would drop to nothing. A panel that fell off a moving vehicle may exhibit similar symptoms, be aware.

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