Solar electricity is, without a doubt, the best renewable energy source available. The majority of the investment will go into solar panels which will harvest DC electricity from the sun. All panels will be installed on the roof or in an open area directly under the sun, with no cover. Because they lack protection, their exposure to the open environment puts them in danger.
On the other hand, solar panels are often sturdy and rigid enough to last for more than 25 years of continuous use. When it comes to whether you can walk on solar panels, the simple answer is yes. What you’re doing and how you’re doing are determinants of the answer. What if you already have a broken panel in your possession, will it work on the cracked surface? Continue reading to find out if your panels can break and if they will still work after being broken.
Are solar panels susceptible to damage?
Solar panels are the most expensive component of a solar power system, for a good reason. As a result, being robust enough to survive a long period is critical, as money’s value depends on it. Keeping this in mind, solar panel manufacturers strive to create products that are as durable as they are feasible.
Thus, solar panels aren’t too fragile to be damaged by a minor hit. Solar panels are resistant to hailstones, tiny branches, dust, and dirt on the surface. If necessary, you can even stomp on a solar panel if it has a good framing that supports it uniformly from every corner.
What if you are unable to avoid stepping on a panel?
If you find yourself in a situation where you must walk across a panel, there are a few things you can do to reduce the possibility of inflicting damage:
- You can spread your weight out by staying low and moving on all fours, minimizing the amount of pressure you place on any single location.
- Move gently, as moving rapidly means you’re pushing harder and putting down more pressure.
- Keep all points of contact as near to the panel’s fixed location as possible. This puts a greater strain on the panel supports than it does on the panel itself.
Is it possible to get electrocuted while walking on solar panels or solar cells?
The answer is perhaps. Solar panels and solar cell installations are designed to be safe for humans who work on them regularly; they are grounded in the same way that any other electrical installation would have a ground wire set up. This is to protect against shock hazard or electrocution if an accident occurs that causes electricity leakage from the panel itself onto your body (elevated voltage). Of course, this assumes that the solar panels have been properly mounted and earthed.
If a solar panel is broken, there is a risk of electrocution if the panel is exposed to rain or moisture. This can occur when panels are put incorrectly and are not earthed, allowing electricity to spill onto your body from an electric current in moist conditions (elevated voltage).
This is why, if you’re walking over solar cells, you should wear rubber-soled shoes or boots.
Walking on solar panels: Safety Tips
- As we have often stated in this essay, avoid going up on your solar roof if at all possible. Consider hiring a contractor with experience working at heights and the necessary safety equipment.
- Solar panels are made of glass and silicon, so they can be slippery when wet.
- Stand with your feet flat on the solar panel surface without allowing your heels to slide. Avoid wearing shoes with metal or plastic soles since they can damage the solar panel surface.
- Wear shoes with rubber soles
- Do not walk on any part of a panel that has been damaged or is not functioning properly.
- If you slip, try not to panic, as this will only make it much more difficult for you to get up.
- Walk slowly on the panels.
- Try to use your hands and feet together so that if one slips, the other can help you keep your balance.
- Walk only in one direction on the panels; do not turn around or back and forth.
Is it possible to use a broken solar panel?
Solar panels are sturdy enough to withstand a significant amount of impact. However, the surfaces are composed of tempered glass, which is brittle. The question is whether they are sturdy enough to allow you to walk on solar panels. Will it still work if you wind up with a broken panel? How much output can you expect if it works? Let’s see how it goes!
Understand what is broken
Encapsulant, crystalline cells, and back sheets are sandwiched between the glass and frame to form solar panels. The major workers here are the crystalline cells, which absorb photons from the sun and convert them into the current. A single solar panel contains numerous Crystalline cells that operate independently.
Most of the time, the impact that breaks it down is directed at the upper glass layer. So, under the broken glass, the Crystalline cells are still doing their job, which means they are still creating electricity. However, if a Crystalline cell is broken, it will stop operating and produce less voltage.
Cells may deteriorate beneath the surface.
You may believe that you can leave it there and still get current with the broken glass on the panel. Wait a minute; you can’t just leave the panel with the crystalline cells left to the outdoors. Because they are tempered, they will not just break and fall off the panel. They will shatter like a vehicle window, resulting in a pattern break and an opening to the cells.
When it rains or piles up on dust and debris, it will undoubtedly get inside and damage the crystalline cells. If the crystalline cells deteriorate, they will become weaker and provide less current. If you receive a crack or an impact on the glass, you must fix it if you want to get a long service life out of the broken panel.
Repair the panel
You can fix a shattered panel with broken glass and intact cells and continue to use it. To fix the glass, you’ll need epoxy resin, a mixing dish, and something to force the resin onto the glass. Make certain that the epoxy you purchase is waterproof and will not fade in bright sunshine. Before beginning the repair, remove the panel from the frame, place it on a flat surface, and carefully clean it.
In a bowl, combine the epoxy resin and apply it to the surface, spreading it around from edge to edge. Don’t make the application uneven. Maintain it dust-free, and let it dry. Once the epoxy has completely dried on the surface, apply 3-4 more coat layers to strengthen it. Check the panel before beginning the repair process and again after it has been repaired.
Tips for cleaning and maintaining solar panels
Solar panels are durable and powerful enough to survive harsh weather for decades. However, taking appropriate care of the panels can help you attain the desired lifespan with good service. Here are some must-know recommendations for caring for your solar panels and getting the most out of them:
- Keep your solar panels out of the shade by positioning them such that no tree stands between them and the sun. It would be ideal if you could mount them on your roof and clear the passage of sunlight to them.
- Check to see if your solar system generates the correct voltage and operates at full capacity. Examine the inverter to see if the light is green, indicating that the solar system compensates for your energy expenses.
- Perform regular maintenance on the panels to ensure that no dust or debris accumulates on them. Make certain that the joints do not corrode or rust over time, weakening the system.
- Clean the panels with soapy water and a soft sponge brush, and keep the surfaces fully exposed to sunlight. It’s critical because they can’t produce current if they don’t get enough sunshine.
- If you cannot clean the solar panels regularly, you can install an automatic cleaning device. Water sprinklers and automatic wipers will be included in automatic cleaners, often known as robotic cleaners.
Here are some of the most asked questions regarding solar panels and how they work, which you may find useful:
Is it possible to use a broken solar panel?
A broken solar panel can still produce voltage and function normally if the break is not too severe. It will provide less output because some of the panel’s blocks are not operational.
Do solar panels work when they’re covered in snow?
Solar panels require exposure to sunlight to generate electricity through photon extraction. If they become coated with snow or dirt, sunlight cannot reach the surface and function effectively.
Is it possible for hail to damage solar panels?
Solar panels are typically built to endure severe weather, such as thunderstorms or hail. On the other hand, the panel has a glass-made surface, and glass is easily broken by extreme hail.
Installing a solar power system necessitates a large one-time investment. If you must tread on your solar panels for any reason, ensure you acquire the right solar panels when you buy.
If you have the right panels and a solid arrangement, you can walk on solar panels. However, avoid walking or putting weight on them while cleaning because glass is delicate and slippery. If you end up with a shattered glass layer on the panel, you can still fix it, unless the cells are broken.