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Old 22-07-2018, 08:05   #1
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Solara deck mounted panels and heat...?

I have installed 3 Solara panels that are walk on deck mount type. They are mounted exactly as recommended by the manufacturer. The installation is excellent and we love the panels. They appear to be very high quality. The location and power generation is good....etc.

But we have noticed that with this type of install with no air circulation around the underside of the panel a tremendous amount of heat is generated. The underside of the deck just below the panel can be quite hot to the touch. The overhead paint work just below the panel appears to be "scaling" or cracking. The Admiral spent a lot of time and effort in this department... hence this post .

So curious if there are any opinions or concerns that the Forum can share?

I realize that electrical production efficiency is affected by heat. But this is baked into the equation. More curious about other issues with heat.

There have been some reports of roof fires on home solar installations. But I am not sure if they were accurately reported or perhaps electrical and not heat related.

In my mind I can not imagine these panels generating enough heat to cause combustion. But maybe there are others that have had issues of some sort...

Just thought I would throw this out there to see what you guys think.

Thanks,

SnJ
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Old 23-07-2018, 18:43   #2
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Re: Solara deck mounted panels and heat...?

What would happen if you threw a bucket of water on it? Salt or Fresh Water?
Is that going to crack the cells?
What if you just wiped it with a wet sponge several times then used the bucket?
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Old 24-07-2018, 06:34   #3
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Re: Solara deck mounted panels and heat...?

Not really concerned about the heat of the panel itself. Thats normal.

More the heat transfer to the deck......

Epoxy is heat sensitive. Paint can be as well....
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Old 24-07-2018, 07:54   #4
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Re: Solara deck mounted panels and heat...?

Just curious: How much reduction in panel output due to high temps have you figured into your installation. If you are concerned about degradation of the gel coat underneath, it has to be pretty hot. I will bet the cells themselves are near 120 F.


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Old 24-07-2018, 08:26   #5
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Re: Solara deck mounted panels and heat...?

Thats a good question. I have used the performance specs for the panels to determine output. We currently have 370 watts installed with room to expand in the future. This amount of power potential should meet our needs. But real world is always different than performance specs from the manufacturer. And the heat generated on this install I am sure is different than ideal lab specs to determine performance. So the plan is to expand if performance is lacking or our demands change.

How much degradation ....I don't know. We have not put full demand on the system or batteries yet. What little demand I have put on the system has not gotten us out of "float charge." Just a few LED's and a few fans at this point. We are in the process of completing the build and not yet living aboard full time.

We are a wooden boat........epoxy composite. Epoxy and paint are not fond of high temps. But like I said, I am not concerned about the boat spontaneously combusting........ But it is pretty damned warm!!!!
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