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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2019
    Long story but I had two indentical solar panel systems installed next to each other on a roof.

    One consistently produced about 10% less than the other, I discovered one panel was overheating (using IR Camera).
    After much waiting and not getting any joy from installer I have given up and decided to go directly to manufacturer.

    They insist on the serial number of the panel before you can make a claim.
    So the only way was to take panel off and obtain serial number.

    When removing I discover that instead of connecting "faulty" panel into the string they had connected it to itself ie shorting it out.
    The string was then connected up missing out this panel.

    The question is the panel now knackered from being shorted for a considerable period of time.


    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2019
    The intertubes suggest there's no problem, and if the panel is now faulty then that in itself is a warranty claim. e.g. https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/18092/solar-panel-short-circuit

    I'd suggest testing it, and if that's OK connect it back in and see what happens (it won't take the inverter overvoltage or anything will it?). Off the top of my head, I'd say it was worth advising the manufacturer what you found but perhaps worth reading their technical docs and warranty first to see if they mention anything.
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2019
    I have plugged it all back together and the inverter is up and running.

    I have no idea if that panel is generating anything though.

    I will have to compare production over the next week and see if it compares more favourably with the other system.

    If I hadn't had another identical system there is no way I would have identified the problem in the first place.
    I wonder how many other installations have either faulty panels or poor installations and there is little you can do to make sure its working properly unless you have access to an IR camera maybe.
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2019
    Posted By: nigelI wonder how many other installations have either faulty panels or poor installations and there is little you can do to make sure its working properly unless you have access to an IR camera maybe.

    In the case of my system I can see the production of each individual panel, and so can Enphase, who manufacture the microinverters. So they should alert me if they detect a problem.

    In general though I've found the PVGIS system is pretty accurate at predicting system output, so I might be able to detect a problem using that, though it would take some time.
    you could test the panel with a dc volt - clamp meter for amps , to see what the output is.
    VOC ( open circuit voltage) should be close to spec irrespective of irradence
    Isc (short circuit current) is proportional to irradence.

    If you test one of the other panels at the same time that would give you the figure your looking for.

    You could test at the isolators for the same , total figure for each array , that's what the installers should have done and they should have spotted one wasnt connected.
    You're dealing with high DC voltages there though so not for the novice.
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