2009: Three sets of solar panels blown off Quonset roof

all seem to be OK, in spite of creasing and some minor delamination!

In early January strong winds ripped some of the solar panels off the Quonset roof. It seems that the 3/8" steel eye bolts could not carry the strain on the cables, and they bent open releasing the cables and the panels underneath. The wind reached 62 mph at a nearby weather station, and was probably stronger up on the 20' tall roof of the quonset. 1-8-09

By May, the winds had ripped off the rest of the panels on the west end of the building. They were buried in snow until mid-May, when we were finally able to straighten out the panels. New snow then covered them for several days. 5-13-09

At the beginning of June we cleared the new snow off the straightenend panels and inspected them for damage. The creases in the panels flattened out as the panels warmed. 6-2-09

The above photo shows what appeared to be worst damage to the panels, a square foot or so of delamination. 6-2-09

To test the panel's electrical power output, Station director John Smiley set up a test assembly. This included two 50% discharged 12-volt auto batteries wired in series to make a 24 volt drain for receiving the panel output. 6-2-09

Each panel was then connected to the 24-volt drain so that the panel was charging the battery. An ammeter was then placed in series with the panel output so as to measure the charging current. All 18 panels showed a strong charging capability of 5-6 amps when the sun was shining on the panel, indicating little of no damage to the panel's electrical output. 6-2-09