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Do solar panels degrade if being stored indoors away from light?

Dadoftheturkeykids

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Basically I'm wondering if solar panels degrade more if being used in the sun. I'm curious if it might be good or maybe even bad to store them.
 
I'm not an expert but I had one still in the box for almost a year. Just opened and used it the other day. Works just like new.
 
If I remember correctly when I was researching buying CIGS panels (not silicon like 99% of panels people have) there was a manufacturer recommendation not to store them for 6 months + in full sunlight without being connected. So a direct opposite of what you've asked :)

There was also something about them needing few hours in the sun to reach full power after very long storage in the dark.
 
I was just wondering about this topic myself last night - as I build out my system, it looks like I'll have 2 or 3 panels left over (purchased 20)

Storage wise it would be nice to leave them outside on the back porch in a shaded/covered area vs storing indoors or in the garage.
 
Well, as it turns out,
I had a single "sample" BP poly panel given to me in 2010, that was never used, stored in the back of a cold storage building unit 2021 when I put it to work.
It outputs close to the 200W the label indicates, when in direct good sunshine.
Seems they don't d-grade out of the weather from this one example.

edit: The BP panel was in a sealed cardboard box, original package so never exposed to any significant light for 11 years.
 
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Similar to comments above, I have some extra panels stacked under the house (little light) for about 5 years now. Pulled a couple out last year and they worked A-OK / parallel'ed in a couple of strings with active panels and got the expected power boost (but was not an 'exact' test).
 
As long as they arent exposed to moisture, id say they shouldnt degrade.
Odd that something that is designed to be in the weather would be damaged by moisture, but stale dark and wet, leads to corrosion and mildew etc. Not good for diodes, which is what solar panels are... a massive collection of diodes.
 
The major wear factors for panels are:

Temperature
Current
Humidity

Storing in a cool dark dry place will greatly prolong their life.
 
Don't forget to keep it dry. If the seals aren't perfect some moisture could enter.
If dark, temperatures below those that damage semiconductors should be fine.
Rapid temperature changes should be avoided, as well, to avoid stresses from
differential expansion of different materials.
Letting sun hit it if it's in a place where it woun't be cooled by convection could heat it enough to be an issue. I's a dark thing under glass, so it's subject to the greenhouse effect and has to dump the heat to avoid getting hotter than the surrounding air.

But, yes. if it's stored under non-extreme conditions it should last for decades without noticeable degradation. I'm not aware of any self-degradation modes that aren't driven by something external (except maybe wiring or chip oxidation if the seals and/or chip passivation are defective).
 
Don't forget to keep it dry. If the seals aren't perfect some moisture could enter.
If dark, temperatures below those that damage semiconductors should be fine.
Rapid temperature changes should be avoided, as well, to avoid stresses from
differential expansion of different materials.
Letting sun hit it if it's in a place where it woun't be cooled by convection could heat it enough to be an issue. I's a dark thing under glass, so it's subject to the greenhouse effect and has to dump the heat to avoid getting hotter than the surrounding air.

But, yes. if it's stored under non-extreme conditions it should last for decades without noticeable degradation. I'm not aware of any self-degradation modes that aren't driven by something external (except maybe wiring or chip oxidation if the seals and/or chip passivation are defective).
Biggest cause of degradation is actually chemical reactions in (low quality) plastic layers (mainly EVA) and adhesives, heat/humidity/UV-light working as catalyst. Actual semiconductor layer is not degrading so much.
 
Tell me about it! This is my side yard right now....

View attachment 216179

similar to my house -- ordered 20 panels from signature solar, (aptos 370w bifacials) and have gotten up about half of them. I originally only planned for a 10 panel install, but found some extra space here and there, so will probably max out at 16 or 17 panels.

The remaining 3 will probably be stored in shaded/covered area in the backyard. Tempting to sell them to recoup just a bit of cash but since panels are so cheap even new, I feel like it's worth it to just hang onto a few spares in case something happens.
 
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