Solar Panels...How tough are they?

hello everyone, Does anyone know or have any advice on just how fragile Panels are? I accidently knocked ours over and was just wondering if the odd bit of rough handling can hurt them!! thanks johno
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Reply By: Trev&Ness B - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 20:16

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 20:16
gday
if the glass aint broke and it still works its all good. They recon that you can drop a golf ball from about a 1mtr and the glass should handle it. Depends on the quality of the panel. I bought a cheep ass one and mounted it on my van so i didnt have to move it , because sooner or later i was gunner drop it or knock it over.

quiet solar camping the only way to go.

trev.
AnswerID: 483592

Follow Up By: johno59 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 20:44

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 20:44
Thanks T and B. I guess there got be reasonably rugged john
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FollowupID: 758862

Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 21:29

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 21:29
Sure hope they are tough. Stupid me just dropped our brand new one while unpacking it.
AnswerID: 483595

Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 22:13

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 22:13
I think some are better than others at impacts.
I have three panels, 2 unisolars, and one BP solar. Hail storm two years ago demolished the BP solar one placed next to the unsolars....unisolars are still working fine.
BW.
AnswerID: 483597

Reply By: Oz Rover - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 08:28

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 08:28
Hi Johno,

I can vouch for the indestructibility of Unisolar and similar panels. The two basic types of commonly available panels are crystalline panels (with a hardened glass (hail-proof?) cover over the cells (can be mono- or poly-crystalline)) and amorphous panels (such as Unisolar) which have a fairly uniform tough plastic-like layer of 'solar-cell' material on a stainless-steel sheet. Amorphous panels are not as efficient as crystalline types, so you need a slightly bigger panel for the same wattage rating. But they're very tough!

Some years ago a 32W amorphous panel came off the roof of our Discovery (long story...) and was run over by a truck before we recovered it. It was very bent and buckled and the aluminium frame & the plastic terminal box were destroyed. But after stripping off the remains of the frame and flattening the panel by driving the Disco over it while sandwiched between two pieces of carpet, it still put out close to its original open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current. To this day it's propped up in a window in our shed and keeps the tractor, generator and farm ute batteries topped-up during our regular long absences.
Ian
AnswerID: 483612

Reply By: energy marty - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 08:52

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 08:52
Have to agree with the other comments - tougness can depend on the brand.
Have found Kyocera to be pretty tough - withstand branches falling on them etc and still performing fine.

As long as the glass hasn't broken, you should be ok - best way to find out is try it out.

mh
AnswerID: 483617

Reply By: didjabringabeer - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:28

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:28
Hi. I had a BP solar panel propped up beside the wagon putting a bit in the batts.
Walked pass it and somehow knocked it over. The glass shattered, luckily my
insurance paid out on it. Was in the driveway at home.
AnswerID: 483636

Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 11:51

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 11:51
We have Kyocera panels on the caravan, and they have remained unscathed despite some pretty hard whacks from overhanging branches. They have certainly proved very tough.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 483647

Reply By: Drew - Karratha - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 13:38

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 13:38
I make my own panels - I use 4mm toughened glass on the front and a 40x40x3mm alumunium andle frame to mount them in. They are a bit heavy, but I havent broken one yet....
AnswerID: 483659

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 16:30

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 at 16:30
I have used solar panels on the roof of a 4WD MH for over 20 years.
I broke one when I backed into a tree and pushed the end in 100mm.
It still worked just the same, but I did replace it.
I walk on the Kyoceras on the OKA.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 483674

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