There are many advantages of using solar power. The main advantage is that maintenance is less as it does not have any moving parts. When there is sunshine, you definitely get free electricity.
With improvements in technology, system efficiency has gone up and costs have come down for sure. This has made it possible to tap solar power for many more applications.
Though solar power offers so much when it comes to clean energy production, some problems, with solar panels and equipment required to bring system power output to your home or any other point, do crop up.
The solar panels that are available commercially are relatively trouble free. These are generally Photovoltaic (PV) systems and come with a guarantee for their construction and power output for a specified period of time. You may be aware that the efficiency of solar cells comes down over a period of time. Often, it takes more than twenty years for this to happen.
Very large installations like home or business power supply units use commercially available panels. It is true that the technology is well established over the years, but problems like failure of components do happen over a period of time. Smaller units or do-it-yourself (DIY) projects face more problems, if utmost care is not exercised at the time of construction.
Almost always problems are due to electrical faults in the panel and along the supply chain of controllers. Fires have happened due to short circuit in solar panels, but very rarely. If moisture is there inside a panel that is operational, there can be a lot of problems. It obstructs light and slowly corrodes the electrical contacts.
Corrosion in turn increases resistance to current flow and the efficiency of the solar cell reduces. This causes a knock-on effect. Once one cell becomes weak due to corrosion, the nearby cells also get affected due to heating and current flow changes.
If the power output rating of the panel is high and greater resistance is developed, the potential for shorting and serious damage to the panel are very high.
Problems do come up in solar system controller and inverter as well. Sometimes animals cause damage to the wiring. If the power output is coming down slowly, it could be due to the problems in the solar array.
Each panel’s output will have to be checked to find out if it is due to one panel or the wiring of the cells within the panel. The container that you construct for your do-it-yourself solar panel must be watertight and secure. It is recommended that you use a sealed aluminum casing and silicon sealing to prevent moisture entering the system.
You can also attach a packet of silica gel inside the panel to absorb the small amount of moisture that will be present in the air inside the panel. It is a good idea to use a comprehensive guide to build a safe and secure solar panel, especially if you are planning to make a solar panel by yourself.