Did you know that pure water is an insulator? It won’t conduct electricity. Now forget that. When water ingress or any other fluid breaches the protective layers of your solar panel there are enough impurities to cause a catastrophic failure. Water in your solar panels is not good. However, you didn’t come here to read that, did you?

What causes the highly undesirable effects of solar panels ingress and what can you do to ensure it never happens to you? Perhaps you’ve discovered solar panel ingress occurring within your solar panels? Then read on, as this is your guide to better knowledge for the cause, side-effects and prevention of solar panel ingress.

Ingress - Solar Review

 Accelerated death. 

When moisture finds its way into the solar module protective layers and comes in contact with the internal electrical circuit, solar panel ingress has occurred. Accelerating the solar panels degradation resulting in the inevitable severe failure of the solar panel.

Causes.

If the protective front glass is free from shatter, how on earth can solar panel ingress occur? Either through two means, poor sealing of the solar panels protective layers or humid air absorption. Both of which are majorly controlled by the climate and the EVA formulation. Water vapour enters the solar panel through the back sheet surface, and molecules enter through the encapsulation materials until they get to the solar cell and front glass.

Ingress - Solar Review

Delamination.

Disintegration between the back plastics and the front glass. Delamination often arises from within a specific manufacturing series. Delamination is a sign of poor or contaminated production as many leading manufacturers by volume are too hasty to meet consumer demands, thereby leading to low-quality checks.

Product Assembly.

Inferior product assembly facilitates micro glitches. Although a solar panel may appear well finished initially, time and exposure to the environment uncover manufacturing glitches which are detrimental to sealing the solar panel against the elements.

Material Selection.

The often deemed Tier-1 manufacturer places cost above quality and efficiency. Often arising when internal solar panel components don’t endure the same rigorous quality selection criteria as alternative components within the product line.

In many solar panel ingress cases, all above three causes are presented as proof that manufacturer neglect often occurs on more levels than one.

Side-effects.

Ingress - Solar Review

Although the wording below is strong, the resulting side-effect of solar panel ingress are real and can often impact more than just the affected solar panel.

Corrosive Destruction.

Corrosive internal destruction of the solar panels internal electrical components. Salts and impurities contained within the solar panel ingress deteriorate and destroy the solar panels metallic electrical components and expediting a reduced lifespan.

Mechanical Distortion.

Solar panel ingress alters the mechanical properties of encapsulates and back-sheet materials (polymers). Once occured the severity of solar panel ingress multiplies at an expedited rate.

Critical System Failure.

Not only are the solar panels induced with ingress affected, but the entire system will experience an earth fault. Solar inverters are programmed to shut down in the event of an earth fault, therefore making the entire system and series of solar panels inoperable.

Prevention.

Ingress - Solar Review

Research, research, research. Some Tier-1 solar panel manufacturers have learned from past material qualification mistakes and improved product lines. Others continue to fight it out at the cheap end of the market while still requiring a profit. Fact is that despite whatever warranty you are promised, avoiding the hassle of solar panel ingress is a priority. Don’t believe everything someone tells you as they are always trying to sell you.

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We would love to hear your thoughts on solar panel ingress. Please leave your comments below and join the discussion!

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