How to Fix Solar Panels

Solar panels are either made from crystalline silicone or amorphous silicone formed into small thin layers.

Start a green lifestyle by installing solar panels in your home.Start a green lifestyle by installing solar panels in your home.
The most common and older panels are crystalline silicone which are made into small discs, fused together and laid in a grid and covered with glass. Hail, falling branches, aging panels or even rocks can damage a solar panel. If the cells in the solar panel are still emitting electricity, it is less expensive to repair the panel than replace it.

Check the panels and locate the problems. It might be a simple repair or something more extensive. By identifying the problem, you can gather the materials you need and begin work immediately.

Look closely at the glass. If there are edge cracks, use glass tape over the cracks by pressing the tape on top of the cracked area gently, thoroughly covering the cracked areas. If there is extensive damage the glass will have to be replaced.

Put on work gloves and remove all the broken pieces from the panel frame. Be sure to get the pieces embedded in the frame side. Do this gently and try not to touch the discs under the glass. Examine the discs and make sure they are all intact.

Place a thin bead of glass cement around the inner part of the mount. Ask a friend to help you lift the new panel. Gently place it inside the mount and push it easily, but firmly, into place.

Lock the glass in place via the locks on your panels. If they are swing-over latches, make sure that they are perpendicular to the side from which they are attached for the best hold.

Use solar panel cleaner and microfiber cloth and clean the new piece of glass before you complete the project. This will ensure that you maximize the light coming into your home.

Things You Will Need

  • Solar panel repair kit with glass tape
  • Work gloves
  • Glass cement
  • Solar panel glass cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths

Tip

  • Keep a solar panel repair kit handy and make sure you keep the panels clean by routinely sweeping of the surfaces and using the special solar glass cleaner.

About the Author

Based in New York, Tim Burgone has been writing technology-related content since 1991. His work has appeared in “Wired” magazine and “Mac Addict” magazine. Burgone received the Frank L. Kern Literary Award in 2002. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from St. John’s University in New York.