Replace solar panel

Submitted: Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 20:14
ThreadID: 128310 Views:2232 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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One of my 4 solar panels ( Kyocera) appears to be broken from a stone. Looks like a broken windscreen. Still performs to about half power. Having a look at replacing it, it seems that one would need a jack hammer to get it off.
Are they easy to remove or does one leave it and put on a new one in another place?
That would be 4 and half panels..Then again would the broken panel just get worse and be useless anyway. Any suggestions or experiences..

Cheers

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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 20:53

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 20:53
Hi Barrie

Ask Kyocera Solar if they cover that under warranty.

Our panels were screwed onto the rails and some of the screws needs a bit of encouragement - from an angle grinder.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Pixellator - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 21:45

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 21:45
Barrie

If you have CIL insurance cover, make a claim.

We had a similar broken panel... the original was a 125W panel and the replacement is a 135W, and a bit longer physically. Naturally, the damaged one fitted neatly as far back as the forward edge of the bathroom vent, so Bushtracker swapped the old passenger side one to there, and installed the new one where there was more roof space. May not be a problem if your van is larger.

All seamlessly done with no fuss at Bushtracker. Now there's a reason to come over east!

Bob
AnswerID: 584823

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 01:26

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 01:26
Bushtracker are usually liberal with the Sikaflex especially after one of mine and I know of 2 others got ripped off the roof is a very strong whirlwind. BTi replaced mine and at least one of the other ones so I didn't require an insurance claim.

I found that with a knife and screw driver it wasn't too hard to remove the panels.

I would get rid of the damaged one and fit a new one.

I believe that heat might cause the Sikaflex to let go so you could ask BTi about that if you are not making an insurance claim.

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Reply By: Boystoy - Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 05:43

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 05:43
Hi Barry,

Had a similar problem on the way back from WA in 2009.
CIL replaced it under their insurance cover.
Replacement was done very professionally by by Kyocera people Bluesky Energy in Sydney.
Old panel has now been sitting up on top of my garden shed since then, with a low-cost solar regulator from Jaycar, and powering a garden shed light.

Neil
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AnswerID: 584824

Reply By: BushBoss - Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 21:21

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 21:21
Hi Barrie
the broken panel should be easy to remove. There should be 2 pieces of aluminium angle screwed and sikaflexed to the roof. They remain in place. There is also 2 piece of aluminium angle screwed to the solar panel. The solar panel with the angle fitted fits inside the angle which is fixed to the roof and then screws hold the 2 pieces of angle in place.
To remove, undo the screws on both sides and lift the panel up.
If a different size panel is being re installed then maybe the width of the original fixings on the roof will have to be modified.
Hope this all makes sense. If not get up and have a good look and all will become clear.
Regards
Lance
AnswerID: 584825

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 23:58

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 23:58
Lance,
The only problem comes when too much Sikaflex has been used and it gets between the 2 pieces of angle. That happened on one of ours and it required a knife to cut through it before we could leaver them apart.

I know that we are mere amateurs but have you noticed how BTi screw through the thicker Aluminium angle into the very thin frame of the solar panel. We had a solar panel sucked off the roof in a whirl wind because the screws pulled out of the solar panel's thin frame. I have now pop riveted and bolted the panel frame to the angle as the screw into the thin frame was the weakest link in the original setup.

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Reply By: Maximus - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 04:18

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 04:18
Thanks everyone for your imput. I have decided that since we are off next year around Aus that I will get BT to do it. The safest option as far as I am concerned.
At least they are experienced in changing them over and I can get a few other things done at the same time.

Cheers

AnswerID: 584826

Reply By: Spydor - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:29

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:29
Hi Barrie. I agree with Bob. You obviously have the van insured!! Why travel half way around oz ( b/t factory) next year, with a dodgy power supply? The excess on the policy will be considerably less that the replacement cost of a new panel.
I backed under a tree last year and tore the top hatch above the toilet off. The insurance company organised a mobile caravan repairer to come to the house. job completed without any fuss and even though my hatch was not available any more, i got an updated model at no extra cost.
Cheers Spydor & Robyn
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Follow Up By: Maximus - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 21:35

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 21:35
G/day Spydor

Checked out the insurance and with excess and no claim bonus it is cheaper to pay for myself. Not sure how long it has been broken but with 4 panels it has not made too difference. As Bob said, a good excuse to go East. We are going there anyway, makes me happier to get BT to do it.
It is our home State so always enjoy being there.
By the way, had the 200kg ARB suspension done. Bit firmer but still rides well.

Cheers

Barrie
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 07:27

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 07:27
Have you checked with KyoceraSolar Barrie? I thought there warranty was pretty comprehensive and I'd love to know if they will pay on damage like that - worth an ask.

Kyocera Solar Australia Pty Ltd. (ABN 62 075 523 634)
L4 6 -10 Talavera Road.
North Ryde, NSW, 2113
Ph: 61 2 9888 9999
Fax : 61 2 9888 9673
info@kyocerasolar.com.au

Mh
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Follow Up By: Boystoy - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 08:25

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 08:25
Hi Barry,

Have you checked the price of a new Kyocera panel? you may be in for a shock!

Neil
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