Science and Tech

Can photovoltaic panels be stepped on?

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Many people believe that solar panels are very resistant and nothing happens if they are stepped on. We even constantly see pictures on the internet of people doing work on the panels, cleaning them or just doing checks. Nevertheless, photovoltaic panels should not be stepped on.

Unfortunately, those kind of photos are not true photovoltaic professionals. They are photos made to sell them to magazines or internet portals. The problem is that they do not seek advice from an installer and they take photos with very nice poses, but without any technical rigor.

In addition, in these types of photos or YouTube videos people are not using any security system. Any photovoltaic technician knows that to work on a roof you must have a lifeline and technicians must go with their corresponding safety harness and always tied to the lifeline.

Problems that arise when stepping on solar panels

Photovoltaic collectors are designed from a sheet of glass and silicon wafersto capture sunlight. However, they are provided with a frame and an aluminum back sheet to give them some consistency. In addition, this frame serves so that they can be fixed to photovoltaic structures, which are the ones that must provide the necessary rigidity so that the panels do not suffer.

Because the base of the photovoltaic panels is glassthese are fragile and stepping on them can cause small breakseven if they don’t see each other. Actually, photovoltaic technicians call them microcracks.

Apparently the solar collector is fine, but internally the photovoltaic cells have broken. With this little fracture there is a break in the electrical connection or in your case it has weakened. From this different effects are derived that they will harm our photovoltaic installation.

Decreased performance

Solar panels have small diodes that act as a gate for electricity. These They are used so that in case of shadows or failures in a solar cell, the passage through said area is cut that the diodes cancel the affected part of the solar panel and not the whole panel.

To understand why this is done, we must know how a photovoltaic installation works. The panels are joined so that the voltage or intensity is increased. In this way, the necessary values ​​for the electrical supply are achieved. When a board fails, it can cause all boards that are connected to it to shut down..

In the case of a micro-tear, produced for stepping on the solar panels, we are overriding part or an entire collector. A priori, an inexperienced person would think that only the energy generated by that plate or part of it is lost, however, we are losing all the work of the plates that are connected with the affected one.

✓ Appearance of hot spots

In the place of a solar panel where a micro-break has occurred, electricity tries to pass, but finds a more difficult path. that’s when small electrical arcs, sparks and a rise in temperature occur. These areas are called hot spots or “Hot Spots” and must be located before they cause major problems.

That is why during maintenance tasks or when the inverter indicates a problem, an analysis of plate temperatures should be done. Technicians will inspect the plates to find hot spots and replace affected plates that are causing a decrease in electrical generation.

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If the hot spot problem is not solved, andThese can lead to fires that destroy our entire facility or part of it.

Decreased lifespan of solar panels

When a photovoltaic installation is calculated and installed correctly, photovoltaic collectors can last perfectly 30 years. In addition, we must carry out an annual review or maintenance, to carry out small checks on the state of all the components, the cleaning of the solar panels, check their electrical connections and the state of their anchorage.

When a micro-tear occurs in the plates, these can be affected in their duration. So in After 30 years of operation, they can stop working or lower their performance sensibly long before. In some cases even they can keep only 10 years of useful life.

Taking into account that the amortization of the plates occurs between 7 and 9 years, the reduction of the useful life due to stepping on the solar panels, can leave us without the expected performance. Thus, families and companies that are betting on self-consumption they can see their investment frustrated, by a few simple steps on the solar panels.

How to ensure a productive photovoltaic installation?

Going to experienced professionals is essential for our photovoltaic installation to have the right performance. With the correct calculation of needs and the proper dimensioning of the installation (panels, wiring, inverter, structure and electrical safety), we will enjoy free electricity.

In addition, we must follow the advice of the installer and carry out the appropriate checks and maintenance to ensure that everything continues to function as it should. For example, it is necessary to proceed to clean the plates to eliminate the dirt, dust or grit that is deposited on them, as this dirt causes a decrease in performance.

Focusing on the solar panels, it is very important that the calculation and dimensioning is correct, so that the number of plates suitable for our consumption is installedas long as we have enough space and that they are not affected by shadows.

Wanting to take advantage of every square meter of our roof to place panels without taking into account the shadows that are produced, it is an error, since the shadows cause the performance of the panels to drop. The problem is that not only is the plate with the shadow damaged, but all plates that are connected to it are affected.

For this reason, having a qualified installer carry out a study of the situation, analyzing the shadows and looking for the most appropriate location and orientation of the panels is relevant. Definitely, our advice is go to a real professional and from Hogarsense they help us to find the best.

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