Replacement modules for the solar system - important to note

Photovoltaic systems can fail for various reasons. A storm can damage one or more modules, causing the entire system to suddenly produce less electricity. Likewise, a module can break down over time due to wear and tear. In these situations, repair is necessary and various questions arise. The most important thing: can the defective photovoltaic module simply be replaced and what about government subsidies?

In this way, the state subsidy is retained even after the repair

Of course, legal regulations and technical details must be observed during repairs. In order to ensure the continuation of the state subsidy, exactly the same service must be provided after the repair as before the repair. Furthermore, the damage must have been caused by force majeure (storm, hail, etc.) or by theft. If the manufacturer replaces it for warranty reasons, the state subsidy is also retained.

Replace a defective module with an used one

Photovoltaic spare parts warehouse from SecondSol

If a module of the PV system is defective, it can ideally be replaced with a new module or replaced with an used module. This can be useful, for example, if the manufacturer of the module originally used is no longer represented on the market or the corresponding model can no longer be purchased in new condition. The use of used modules also has the advantage that these are usually cheaper than new ones.

With a new as well as with a used spare part, care should be taken that

– the size of the module fits into the system.

– the performance matches the old solar modules.

– the current and voltage of the modules are identical.

– ideally the same module type is used (polycrystalline, monocrystalline or thin film).


Exchange for a replica

If a spare part can no longer be bought and a repair therefore seems impossible, replacing the module with a replica can be a solution. There are various companies that have specialized in module reproduction and therefore offer a replacement module for every repair that fits perfectly into the system, both in terms of dimensions and technical details. Of course, when using replica modules, it must also be noted whether the defective module was a polycrystalline, monocrystalline or thin-layer module.

Technical details must be observed during repairs

However, before a defective module can be replaced, the technical details must be observed. A replacement part or replica must fit into the module string in terms of its performance and provide approximately the same performance as the defective module. In addition to performance, current and voltage are also important indicators that have to match the rest of the system. Because the entire system was adjusted to this and a repair or overhaul must restore this original condition.

A suitable spare part is particularly important if all solar modules of the system are in a small space with little distance from each other. If the replacement module is too large, it may not fit in the gap left by the defective module. If a size difference between the old and new module cannot be avoided, the replacement can still be carried out by placing an undamaged edge module in the middle and mounting the new, larger replacement module on the edge. At this point, a deviation of a few centimeters usually doesn't bother, since more space is available on the outside. This problem often occurs with solar systems that are mounted on the roof of a building, since space is often tight here and there is little room for maneuver. PV systems outdoors or in solar parks usually offer a larger distance between the individual solar modules, so that repairs with a non-original module are usually a little easier.

Where can I find the right replacement module?

Repairing or repairing defective solar modules can cause problems, since the new module has to fit the existing system. In view of the fact that there are more than 64,000 different solar modules on the market, finding a replacement module is often very difficult. The online marketplace SecondSol, where both used and new parts can be bought and sold, is the ideal platform when it comes to repairing and exchanging solar modules. Many earlier models can usually be found on the online marketplace as well as the latest technology. It can be worth taking a look at it to quickly find the spare part you need if you need a repair.

Renewable Energy Sources Act - EEG

§ 51 paragraph 4 EEG 2014 (§ 32 paragraph 5 sentence 1 EEG 2012)

"Installations for generating electricity from solar radiation energy that replace installations for generating electricity from solar radiation energy due to a technical defect, damage or theft at the same location are, in derogation of Section 5 number 21, up to the amount before the replacement installed capacity of systems for the generation of electricity from solar radiation energy at the same location are to be regarded as having been put into operation at the time the replaced systems were put into operation. The entitlement to funding for the systems replaced in accordance with sentence 1 is finally lost."

§ 38b EEG 2017 – value to be applied for solar systems

(2) Solar systems that replace solar systems at the same location due to a technical defect, damage or theft are, in derogation of Section 3 number 30, up to the amount of the solar system capacity installed at the same location prior to the replacement as put into operation at the time to be considered at which the replaced systems were put into operation. At the time of replacement, the payment authorization loses its effectiveness for the replaced asset and instead covers the replacing asset.