Fitting solar from scratch

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by 1973daisey, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Your right Pickles, the interpretation i understood is wrong

    "You have six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland.

    This doesn't mean that a product has to last six years - just that you have this length of time in which to make a claim if a retailer refuses to repair or replace a faulty product."

    however i still think he has a right to a repair due to the fact he advised them they were faulty within the 12 month period (or refund or discount dependent on the traders attitude ), i know its an hassle but dependent on the cost of them it may well be financially worth it if not mentally .
  2. The six years is just down to the limitations act.
  3. Although the order was placed with I live in France and the panels and controller were delivered to France. The Consumer Rights Act may or may not be applicable but in practice I’m sure I would be simply throwing more money away and I have no intention of pursuing a claim through the small claims court.

    According to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, ‘If a fault develops after the first six months, the burden is on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time you took ownership of it. In practice, this may require some form of expert report, opinion or evidence of similar problems across the product range.’

    I cannot prove that the product was faulty at the time I took ownership of it and I’m sure the cost of an expert report would exceed the cost of the panels. I have attempted to discover if other Eco Worthy panels have failed and have only found two others – hardly evidence of a common problem across the product range.

    And while I can prove when the order was placed I cannot prove when the panels were installed and first used because I installed them. Actually, I don’t believe the panels were faulty when I received them, something happened between receiving them and discovering the problem several months later, but I don’t know what.

    I received the panels last October, they were stored in a dry but unheated garage in the original packing until I fitted them to the bus in June this year. The bus is used regularly, but not daily, and it has certainly been left out in the sun and the panels would have got hot and the bus would also have been in partial shade so part of the panel would have been hot and the remainder relatively cool. I don’t believe these conditions are unusual. The panels have not been physically damaged, they have not been subjected to hail or a lightning strike and they have only been wet a couple of times. Visually the panels are exactly the same today as when I fitted them back in June, to me they look perfect; but they’re not.

    Incidentally the cost of the panels was £136.98 each they were purchased with a MPPT controller, the total order value was £353.91
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  4. That was easier than I thought, the top just unclips. Inside is filled with silicon, no obvious defects but I don’t want to start digging into the silicon just yet and even if I did I wouldn’t know what (or how) to check.
    IMG_5377 (Large).JPG
  5. I'm pretty sure somewhere back in this thread, someone mentioned how to detach panels from roofs, cutting through Sikaflex. @pkrboo maybe? Cheese wire was mentioned I think. Seriously, what's best? I don't have a cheese wire, I don't have a piano, and my guitar strings are for a bass so probably a bit thick! The panel's gotta come off, so if it's really cheese wire I'll get one, and then I assume some sort of solvent for the remaining glue?
  6. Someone did mention cheese wire but isn’t yours bolted on with brackets?

    What has Photonic Universe said about the problem? Are they sending you a new panel?
  7. You're going to have to mechanically remove most of the glue from the roof Sarah, then something like this on what remains
    These polymer removers are based on terpenes, so maybe hit the panel with a few of your branches first in an expression of your displeasure
    scrooge95 likes this.
  8. It's on brackets, but also bonded to the roof ridges.
    They say it's the panel, but also they aren't happy with the way it is mounted.
    According to them a ridged roof like mine should have a more rigid panel, aluminium reinforced, and that the air passing under mine may have caused the panel to bow and break internal contacts.
    I thought that was the point of flexible - and also @1973daisey has the same panel on the same roof ridges with apparently no problem. They have offered me a highly discounted reinforced 'flexible' panel which is more appropriate to the job. I'm not sure I have the strength to fight this one. And at the end of the day, they could be right.
    Either way, my panel appears to be duff so it might as well come off.
    If I don't replace it, I've got a few lovely holes in my roof now which will need fibre glass patching, and those in the actual metal, welding. So I'm in for some expense anyway.

    Basil Fawlty impersonation at the ready!
    Cheese wire to get under it, and then razor blades I guess. Finally some of the sealant remover. And then a good polish. At least it's on the fibreglass I suppose.

    This was meant to be so easy :rolleyes:
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  9. That’s what I thought too. :)
    theBusmonkey and scrooge95 like this.
  10. Maybe bring your duff panels to next techenders for a post mortem to see if anyone can work out why they failed. This may help us all out.
    Lasty, paul2590 and scrooge95 like this.
  11. The short circuit test doesn’t really short circuit the panel. It puts a resistance in series with the panel and measures the voltage drop across it.
  12. Sure, it's unlikely done any other way with a cheap meter, but how much resistance do you think? Bear in mind, too much and you form a potential divider between the device under test and the meter.
  13. I guess my point was, to explain my reasoning a bit further, is that the panels must look somewhat like a current source, rather than a pure voltage source, say like a car battery, hence a low resistance across them isn't likely to kill them since they have a reasonable high internal resistance.

    But I'm no panel expert and I haven't researched what the curves look like for the photo-sensitive devices.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  14. Thought I’d be clever and try to measure the meter’s resistance with another meter but my other meter must be out in the van.
  15. I’ll be in the UK next week but at the time of the next group pi55-up, sorry weekend of technical learning and/or teaching, I’ll be in France.
  16. Be interesting to find out what an affordable meter really uses for a current sensor, but then again so much of this stuff nowadays is just a box around an off-the-shelf chip it's unreal.

    In my naivety, I would have expected a current sense to be relatively low impedance, just like a voltage sense is high impedance so as to avoid loading down the device being tested.

    My original thinking was that if a panel can happily work into a couple of ohms load it must be pretty bomb proof to electrical problems. Any untimely death must then be due to physical issues, like overheating or broken connections due to flexing etc.
    mikedjames, Lasty and Valveandy like this.
  17. It was another sunny day here today and I had the bus out of the garage, the panels are doing nothing and the controller is ‘snoozing’. I put a thermometer on top of the panel and it reached 48c in just a few minutes, mid-summer and they would probably been at 60c or more. But plenty of others have panels that quite happily tolerate high temperatures – apparently.
  18. I agree. It does look like scrooge95's panel may well have suffered from a physical issue but 77 Westy's is hard to explain.

    Heat could have been the reason, but as you say they all get very hot in full sun, especially flexibles. Mine were too hot to touch during the heat wave but still kept producing a healthy current when the fridge was running.
  19. Perhaps drop the panel off to someone, whereabouts are you going to be?
    And I'll deny it's a pi55-up if there is any chance the wife is looking:):burp:
    Iain McAvoy and Lasty like this.

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