Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

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Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

Postby RodneyB » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:36 pm

I amnot sure if this is the correct forum to get this advice from.

I have been in the design and installation of solar panels for 10years and today is the first I have had this problem.

I removed the solar panel200 Watt from the box and before I could connect it the class started to crack into what looks like lots of little pieces.

Any ideas what could have caused this to happen
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Re: Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

Postby lantern » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:43 pm

Was it twisted in any way?
The glass is "Toughened" much like a car windscreen.
Must say I've seen many smashed but never had one that "started" after pulling it out of the box.
What brand?
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Re: Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

Postby australsolarier » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:06 pm


the panel has been damaged by transport. anywhere along the chain of shipment. it has happened to me. the panel was in the original cardboard box.
yes the glass disintegrates into small pieces, that is what hardened glass does and is meant to do.

so, you take a picture, get into contact with the supplier and get him to send a replacement. they usually have insurance.

after a few weeks of waiting and half a dozen phone calls i received a new one. (the old one was sent back)

if you have really ten years of experience of installing solar systems i am amazed you are asking for advice on this forum.
no worries
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Re: Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

Postby Tracker » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:57 am

RodneyB wrote:......Any ideas what could have caused this to happen

You give NO details about the brand etc. And ask what could CAUSE a problem..

The BRAND would be the place to start asking experiences with..

I broke a frameless FS panel by just gently standing on concrete, where (presumably) one point scratched the edge and bang.. PSI can be a powerful source of issues.. :idea:
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Re: Solar panel Cracked for no apparent reason

Postby malb » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:31 pm

Sounds like a classic toughened glass reaction to stress. As said previously, exactly like the older toughened glass car windscreens. I have seen similar fractures in a number of different circumstances, and can say that you should regard yourself as lucky that the glass panel was bordered by the the surround on the PV panel.

My first experience of a toughened glass shatter (other than a windscreen) was 1974 when I was studying Engineering at RMIT. One set of labs that we used had benches with copies of common device data sheets on the timber surface, with 1/4in toughened glass resting on top, and no surround. In the course of laying out metalwork for the chassis of a project, I accidentally dropped an automatic centre punch onto the top from about 10 inches. The centre punch landed on its tip, did its thing, and rebounded a few inches and I caught it in the air on the rebound. At the same time as I caught it, the glass began to crack at the point of impact, and then proceeded to shatter in slow motion, taking about 90 seconds to reach the extremity of the 12x 3 foot bench. The top was cracked but fixed in place until the fractures reached into the last corner of the top, at which point all of the stress in the top was released instantly, and all the fragments for about 10 inches around the edge exploded around the room with a sound like a shot. Despite a major cleanup, we could still find fragments in that lab and in equipment from the lab when I worked for the department 10 years later.

I have also experienced explosive fractures on toughened panels in household sliding doors as a result of stone strike while mowing. In one case of a heavy strike, the panel shattered and collapsed immediately. In another strike by a much lighter stone on a hot day, the panel appeared undamaged immediately afterwards, but shattered and collapsed later in the early evening when the panel was shaded and cooling down, as a combination of expansive stress (heating through the day) the impact, and contractive stress (cooling during the evening).

After these and other experiences, I have considerable concern about the use of toughened glass in many situations.
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