It’s finally here. You have received your solar panel shipment, ready to partake in the solar revolution. To your dismay, you notice that along the way the cardboard box of the packaging you received it in looks a bit beat up. When you open your box, a variety scenarios can happen, anything from slight cracks that are visible to the eye, to a seemingly looking enact solar panel hidden with microcracks. To prevent a situation like this from happening to you, continue reading to learn how to protect solar panels from external transportation or shipping damage.
Solar PV Systems – Logistically speaking…
Unfortunately, due to the PV industry being a younger industry, there currently is no widely-accepted standard manual pertaining to how PV modules should be packaged, loaded, transported, and unloaded. This is due to there being many PV manufacturers manufacturing many types of modules that require specific handling unique to their properties. Which is why anytime you are dealing with PV transportation and shipping, be extremely mindful of who you choose to business with, and make sure they have a proven track-record when it comes to handling logistics.
The dangers of bad packaging with solar panels
Solar PV modules can be extremely sensitive to mechanical pressure. Which is why when they are stacked horizontally, it can result to microcracks not always visible to the eye. This can adversely affecting how your PV system operate in the future. Although there is normally a plastic separator or paper carton that is used in horizontal stacking, it can be ineffective towards combating the pressure of heavy PV systems. To avoid the possible adverse effects of horizontal stacking, vertical stacking is an alternative that is optimal for minimizing pressure that can affect PV modules.
Another point to keep in mind is what material are your PV modules packaged in. In the industry, cardboard boxes are commonly used for shipping photovoltaic systems. However, even though this option is less expensive in price, consider the disadvantages of cardboard packaging:
- Limitations on amount of weight carried
- More delicate exterior
- Vulnerable to environmental stresses
While some products are certainly ideal to ship using cardboard packaging, PV systems are hefty in size and are very sensitive to mechanical stress. Think about your cell phone, although you do not need to have a case and screen protector, they are worth their initial investment when it protects your phone from that scenario we all know too well… where you are left to either paying the cost towards fixing it or seeking a full replacement. And that’s when the scenario is under your control, with a product that is easy and quick to replace.
From a logistics perspective, distributors and shipping probably won’t handle your packaging with the care that you handle your phone with. Shit happens, and most likely if a worker even notices that something was mishandled or affected, they have no reason to report anything, so they probably won’t. Depending on if you have some type of insurance or how noticeable your damage is, it takes much more time, effort, and money to wait for some sort of replacement. If the damage is not noticeable to the eye, there could be microcracks, which would affect the longevity of your system and the efficiency it can operate it. If you PV system is not operating at full capacity, this can not only lower its lifespan but its energy output, hence costing you the extra energy you could be producing and its potential profits.
Fig. 2 (b) Diagonal crack (45+); (c) Diagonal crack (-45); (d) Parallel to busbars crack; (e) Perpendicular to busbars crack; (f) Multiple directions crack
Types of cracks reported from “The impact of cracks on photovoltaic power performance,” Journal of Science: Advanced Materials and Decies 2 (2017) 199 209.
A solution to protect solar panels from external damages: Sympack Technology
Smarter, innovative solar packaging solutions start here. Our heavy-duty ISPM15 compliant crate design is engineered and designed for shipping solar technology anywhere in the world, protecting solar contents every step of shipping process. To avoid the possible dangers of cardboard packaging, we use wooden crates, the option ideal for handling heavy mechanical stress and heavy loads. We understand that along with durability, simplifying logistics is also crucial. Which is why Sympack Technology was designed to be warehouse friendly, and to be compatible for any type of distribution center and logistic company.
When it comes time to order your next PV shipment, utilize smart packaging solutions to protect solar panels from external hazards, and feel assured that the PV panels you receive are in, and will, operate at the highest caliber.
As well as offering innovative packaging solutions, Symtech Solar is the only solar company to acquire the TUV SUD certification, in accordance with the IEC 60364-1 standards, for our certified PV powering generating units. This certification provides safety to installers, livestock, and property real estate against dangers and damage which may arise in the reasonable use of electrical installations, as well as providing for the proper functioning of installations. If you are a business, government agency or NGO looking to not only protect solar panels from damage, but receive complete PV solutions, contact us with any questions or inquires you may have.