Modern solar systems are built to withstand the elements. However, while solar panels are exceptionally sturdy, that doesn’t mean that they can never crack.
Following proper solar panel cleaning procedures and knowing how to use your solar panels safely is a must if you want to make the best of your solar experience. If you want to learn more about maintaining the integrity of your panels, the leading solar installers in Rancho Bernardo, CA are here to provide you with all the information you may need.
Do solar panels crack?
While it’s true that solar panels do break sometimes, it usually doesn’t happen the way you may think. Sure, a fallen tree or a particularly impactful baseball throw can cause your panels to crack, but these scenarios happen very rarely. It’s also important not to hose down your solar panels with freezing cold water when they are scorching hot, as it may lead to some fracturing.
Most of the time, cracks in solar panels are much less apparent than most solar users seem to expect. The most common type of damage to solar panels are micro-cracks – tiny breaks in your solar cell wafers caused by chemical, mechanical, or natural factors.
Micro-cracks are invisible to the naked eye and present one of the most common reasons why a solar system loses some of its efficiency. Unfortunately, these small cracks are nearly impossible to avoid and typically happen:
- During the manufacturing process: micro-cracks can occur during the manufacture of solar panels. Fortunately, reputable solar panel manufacturers employ several quality testing techniques to ensure the optimal integrity of their panels.
- As a result of improper handling during installation: poor installation and irresponsible transport can create cracks in your panels. As you won’t even be able to tell if your new panels have cracked, it’s essential that you rely on dependable installers.
- Due to natural causes: micro-cracks can be triggered by environmental factors, such as severe cold, sun, wind, and hail. Breaks can also occur as a result of the cells’ thermal cycle which involves expanding, contracting, and flexing of their metal contacts.
What happens if a solar panel breaks?
As micro-cracks occur, solar panels lose some of their power and efficiency. This is because the cracks happen on thin conductors located on the front of solar cells. If these connections break, power won’t be able to move through the cell and the solar panel. However, cells that are slightly cracked will still produce some of the voltage, with the overall loss in efficiency depending on the extent of the damage.
Can you walk on solar panels?
Theoretically speaking, it is possible to walk on solar panels. That doesn’t mean that it’s advisable, however. Walking on your solar panels is not a good idea, whether you wish to climb on them to fix them or just admire the view from your roof. Not only is it not safe, but the pressure may also cause micro-cracks to appear. In any case, it’s always better to leave any solar system repairs to professionals.
Rely on the best solar installers in Rancho Bernardo, CA
Whether you need help turning off your solar panels in case of a blackout or wish to discover tips on using your solar system properly, the professionals at Action Solar would be happy to assist you. We are the leading solar panel company in the San Diego area, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you live near Lake Hodges or anywhere else in the region. Call us today!