Solar PV panels are delicate, and even the best-made panels can be damaged, scratched, or rendered useless due to poor logistics. According to statistics, over 5% of panel damage occurs during solar shipping and transportation.
In the world most of the solar panels installed are produced in Asia, principally in Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines, with China accounting for around half of the rest. These modules have a long voyage to their objective. Consider modules made in China that travel by water to Europe or the United States, then after arriving in ports are transferred to transport wagons to continue their journey to their final destination.
What causes solar panels to be damaged during shipping?
Solar modules are exposed to a variety of hazards along their voyage. During the transit procedure, the module may be subjected to a certain level of mechanical stress. The causes can range from physically handling the packed panels to any kind of vibrations as well as shocks in the back of a vehicle, on the rail, or during sea shipment. Breakages and cracks in the solar panels and their cells are the most prevalent damages to solar panels. They are frequently visible immediately to the naked eye. Micro-cracks, on the other hand, are so minute that they are invisible to the human eye. These micro-cracks have a long-term negative impact on the panel’s life expectancy and performance.
With panels that left the manufacturer in fine condition but were damaged in transit, claims and disputes are likely to arise. During the logistics process, several parties may be responsible for all the damages that are occuring during transit. It’s critical to do a comparison between the panels as it leaves the manufacturer’s warehouse and the moment it’s unloaded. To be safe, collecting data on the voyage of solar panels by monitoring the environmental conditions during shipping can show damage hotspots and can also help with the claims process.
Steps to take to protect solar panels during shipping
- Before delivery, check the solar module for any visible damage.
- Vertically stack your panels. It will relieve stress on modules, and pallets will be fastened with separators to keep panels safe.
- Face the pallet with the sunnier side on up.
- Foam padding should be given around the solar panel’s frame.
- Make sure the last solar panel is facing the sun.
- Protect the edges with edge guards.
- Straps should be tightened around the corners, not in the middle!
- Wrap foil around the entire shipment
- Track the condition of the environment and the shocks throughout transit to gather data that will aid in the detection of any damages.
Damages in transit: recording and identification of shocks
The tracking device captures and tracks impacts, allowing you to better supervise the way your equipment is being handled or providing data for a transit compliance report. It can notify you in real time if potential damage events occur, or it can assist you in proving where and when damage is occurring by shock occurrences even when you are not covered.
Use the information gathered to reduce shipping hazards and adjust routing and product packing.
Reliable real-time shock profiles are available for the full journey from source to destination and aids in the identification of trends and the use of predictive analytics to link outliers to specific events occurring during transportation. Damage hotspots are identified as the basis for future planning in the thorough report on the complete details about the damages in transit. To effectively and efficiently manage transportation risks, the cargo owner can rely on previous data to plan the routes for future logistics planning and packaging design.
Keeping all these in mind can help you save money and save you from a bad solar shipping experience.