You could void your warranty doing this stuff

It’s a beautiful, cool sunny day here in NW Florida and you’re right, John, you can knock a hole in a solar panel and it’ll still work.  Just don’t try it with a hammer, because there is a tough plastic layer under that glass and another on the backside.  You need to be forceful to get a hole. I started with a Suntech STP280 that got hit with a tractor.  Yup, that’s a busted one!

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 The frame is bent, the glass is cracked, the J-Box and all the wires were ripped off, the cells are cracked and it has been left out in the weather for a few years.  I soldered on some wires and new diodes, then I took it down to a safe place and wired it up to some batteries on the solar jalopy.  It was making a decent charge 

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 I had a little test in mind.

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 So I shot it with a .45 pistol and it was still making a charge.

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 So I thought I’d try to make a bigger hole with a 12 gauge “ring load”.  Nice, but no change.  So I went with straight bird shot and that was better.  Then I backed up and gave it some more bird shot.  Then I shot it some more with the .45.  Hey, I could go broke on ammo before this thing quits!

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 Since I was out of ammo, I unhooked the batteries and connected an offroad driving light to it… it still works!

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 Now it is really busted up, but still runs.  Hey John, is this still under warranty for output? 

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 Now we know.  Look for test results under the “Inquiring Minds” post. 

By Neal Collier