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New FWC Solar Panels


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#11 ckent323


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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:31 AM

Rando, et al,


I wonder about the failure mechanism of the panels.  Perhaps the adhesive used to attach some of the failed panels directly to the roof is not thermally conductive. Or maybe the panel material had poor thermal conductivity.  I wonder if that material is the same on the new units now.  I wonder what they changed?


perhaps a chemical interaction of panel material and adhesive?   It seems to me that there are there are a number of possible failure paths.


It seems to me that bonding the panels to the roof would stiffen the roof up a bit and that makes me question a vibration related failure related to bending. I doubt the deflections are very large.  That written if there is data on work hardening of the panel materials that would be interesting to see.


Without data all we can do is speculate, I would very much like to see  the panel failure analysis data.

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#12 Vic Harder

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:00 PM

Well, it occurs to me that the heat sink idea won't work, as between the solar cells and the roof is a nice layer of insulating plastic that cells are encapsulated in. 

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#13 rando


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Posted 06 June 2018 - 07:48 PM

Agreed that the plastic is not a great thermal conductor, but it is much better than air. Some of the flexible panels use an aluminium backing sheet, but that seems to be rare.

My point is that it is not clear to me that air space behind the panels will make any thermal difference and promote/reduce failures.
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#14 pghjon



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Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:43 PM

all I know is an air gap is required/recommended by solar installers and resellers like overland solar. They dissipate heat off the back side. If the panel heats up, efficiency is reduced and it fails faster....google tells me so (and overland solar, the reseller of these panels told me).


online for instance - 




When permanent fitting is required it is important to leave a minimum 10mm air gap underneath the panel to allow for heat dissipation. Solar Fitting Kits ensure the correct air gap is achieved. Fitting Kits are simple to use and full instructions are provided."
will is pretty well versed on solar as well - 

Edited by pghjon, 11 June 2018 - 05:56 PM.

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