Solar panel replacement

On the evening of the 13th Nov 2023, my solar panels took a beating from the hails storm in sandton. Golf ball or tennis ball size pelted down for about 15 minutes.

I’m mar2020, I had installed
18 x LG 340w mono panels (6120w)
1 x Victron 150/100 mppt controller

The LG a panels were destroyed by the hail storm. The “glass” is shattered. They are are producing less watts in the day time.

Now, the challenge is to find equivalent panels for the victron mppt.

The insurance assessor has made an initial recommendation which I rejected because the panels were poly and. It mono. The next recommendation is JA solar 370watts poly ( less than the number I have because the mppt cannot handle 18 x 370watts)

Considering that I chose the best panels that I could afford , in 2020, and I pay a decent insurance premium on my home, I want to make sure that I am not getting an inferior product irt the LG panels.

Thoughts , suggestions , please , thanks

Are you replacing all of them?

Yes , all 18 must be replaced

I would negotiate to replace the whole array with the best their is on the market for the same price (the insurance covers replacement cost)

You replace the MPPT to match the new array (500w, etc) and sell the old one …
Yes: You may have the redo some racking and cabling but I think that is worth it.
You will get much better output and even increase it given the cost of panels and the MPPT deals going to the moment (see Sonop thread)

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The mono vs poly panel discussion has faded. Do you have good reason for insisting on mono panels?

If installation on the existing brackets would not pose too much of a problem, I would go for the bigger 555W panels currently available and also upgrade the MPPT to the 250 | 100.

You are sure the sell the 150 for a good price and you may even save on roof space with the bigger panels.

Fully agree with this.

I prefer my solar panels like my wife.

Darker being better?

(mono panels are visually darker than poly)

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Well… I didn’t think about that so much, but that is indeed the case. A brown eyed brunette… oh man. The very first lady-picture I ever pinned up was of Cindy Crawford :slight_smile:

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Also known at the time as the Bold with the Mole I think.

My understanding is that monocrystalline panels are more efficient. i.e. the physical size can be made smaller than polycrystalline panels for the same wattage.
Other than that (besides bragging about your mono panels) there isn’t a big difference.
What has surprised me however is the array of different physical sizes of PV panels now available. I thought there was a lock-in standard but it doesn’t appear that way. Maybe I was always in the dark, so to speak…

A few years ago, you could bank on 2m x 1m for a 72 cell panel.
Then I think various market departments decided that the customers didn’t understand the difference between Watts/m2 and Watts/panel.
So they started to make the panels bigger.

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I settled on 12x 550w mono panels and a 250/100 mppt.
It working very well.

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Well that’s good to know especially if you don’t have unlimited roof space.
So I presume they haven’t made all the improvements in the physical size of the cells?? But I guess there’s a limit of how small these can be since the cells have to be exposed to photons to generate the power.

That’s the nice thing about “standards”.
There are so many to choose from.


A very cynical perception!
There are good reasons for having standards. The French revolution drove a universal standard for all measures that were around at that time. The world has benefited from this since most of the world adopted these standards.
The US must have paid a heavy price ($) by persisting with their Imperial standards. I still cannot grasp why they didn’t see the advantages of an international standard.

That’s actually quite an old joke in engineering circles. I’ve heard it at least a handful of times from different people, usually when lamenting two differing standards.


It’s like please follow best practices… there is no best practice, it’s like blue prints… they all only very applicable in the exact same circumstances where they were developed/tested…


I’m in for a … expansion of my array also next 12 months…
currently run AmeriSolar 330’s… split into 2 arrays, one East and one North,
Roof does not allow for allot so going to have to go next to house/against wall.
Might end replacing my north array with new panels/paired with panels against wall together with a new MPPT.
Have to first see how i can install, how many… not to over hang boundary wall.


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