Do Broken Solar Cells Work?
Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to produce power.
They’re affordable, efficient, and will help you save money on electricity costs.
But out of the blue, your precious solar panel cracked. It could be during installation or simply because of hail – life happens, right?
So, will a cracked solar panel still work?
Well, that depends on a number of factors such as the severity of the crack, how your panel is connected, and whether your solar panels have built-in bypass diodes or not.
If you are looking for a detailed answer, then you are just in the right place.
After reading the following article, you will know everything there is to know about a cracked solar panel and whether it can still work.
We will also explain how to fix your cracked solar panels and give you some tips on what to do and not to do.
It may be helpful for you to bookmark this post or share it on social media, as we will update the article if there are any significant changes in future years.
Why Do Solar Panels Need Glass?
To understand whether a cracked solar panel will work or not, first, you need to know why solar panels have glass.
The reason why solar panels have glass is for protection. It has nothing to do with how solar panels work.
In solar panels, the glass encapsulates the solar cells, protecting them from radiation, dust particles, and other elements that can damage the delicate electronic devices.
Additionally, it is well-known that glass doesn’t burn, so it also protects your solar panel from fire damage.
Finally, glass is totally impenetrable, meaning that water can’t penetrate it, which really slows down the aging process and provides your electronic circuit extra protection.
How Are Solar Panels Connected Together?
The second thing we need to know is how solar panels are connected together.
Solar panels are connected in series, meaning that the current will flow from one solar panel to another in a straight line.
The problem with series connection is that even if one solar panel is damaged or shaded, then the whole system output will be dramatically reduced.
On the flip side, in parallel connection, if one module is damaged or shaded, then only this module’s performance will be affected and other solar panels will work with the same original efficiency.
Why does this matter?
Well, if your solar panel is cracked, it might still work.
However, in the case of a series connection, a cracked solar panel can bring down your whole system performance, so in some cases, it might be better to remove it from the string.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the difference between series and parallel connections to make an educated decission.
Does Your Solar Panel Have A Bypass Diode?
In simple terms, a bypass diode is an electronic device that allows an electric current to flow from one solar cell into another, bypassing a defective or shaded cell.
In other words, if there is any problem with just one of the cells in your solar panel -a cracked solar panel for example – then it will not affect the total output of your system, as the bypass diode will just pass the current through for other panels.
Do Cracked Solar Cells Work?
It depends on the damage.
If the damage is cosmetic and only the tempered glass is cracked or the frame is bent, then yes, it will work just fine.
However, with the lack of protection provided by the glass, rain and debris can get in and damage the panel’s electronic devices.
On the other hand, if there is damage to the wiring inside the module itself, then the solar panel’s efficiency can dramatically decrease and in most cases, it won’t produce electricity at all, bringing down your whole solar system.
How To Fix Cracked Solar Panels?
If you have a cracked solar panel, then we will assume that the glass is broken and there isn’t any damage to the wiring.
The first thing you need to do is read your owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer for specific instructions on how exactly they recommend their customers to deal with such situations.
Most solar panels have around 10 to 15 years of product warranty, so if that’s the case, you will need to take the solar panel back and they will fix it for free.
In case there is no warranty, then we recommend that you contact a professional repair service provider that will be able to not only handle this situation in an efficient manner but also will provide valuable advice.
If you want to fix the cracked solar panel yourself, then the easiest way to do this is by wrapping the panel’s surface with transparent film.
This won’t be as efficient as glass, but it’ll do the trick just fine and with minimum hassle.
In conclusion, will a cracked solar panel still work?
The answer is yes, but if the damage to your solar panel exceeds cosmetic issues and there is any damage inside -to wiring or electronics- you might want to have it replaced.
In most cases, instead of taking a risk with repairing your system yourself by using transparent film or some other kind of DIY solution, it will be best to contact a professional repair service provider.
There are companies out there that will provide you with the necessary repairs in an efficient manner and will educate you on your options so don’t hesitate to go for one of them if this is what seems like the right choice after reading our article.
Do you have any questions about solar panels?
If so, please share your thoughts with us using the comment box.
In the end, we really hope you enjoyed this article as much as we enjoyed creating it.