General Question

jca's avatar

Can the solar panel on an outdoor solar light be replaced if it stops working?

Asked by jca (36043points) June 8th, 2012

I just purchased and hung up a really cute outdoor decoration that has a solar panel and light as part of it. I am curious, if the solar thing ever becomes broken when it gets old, can it be replaced?

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6 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Not really, and it would be cheaper to get a new one. Not worth the trouble to replace it, I’ve taken apart loads of these things. Solar panels really don’t stop working anyways, unless you wire it wrong or apply power to them, the only thing is tha tperformance decreases when there’s dust on them so keep it clean

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see why not. It just might be tough to find the same size solar panel so it looks right.

XOIIO's avatar

@JLeslie Nope, it’s in a think peice of plastic which is joined with the rest of the case, or a section of it is plastic welded to the rest, so you would need a dremel and a way to re-welding it so it’s watertight and doesn’t come apart. You would also need to be sure it’s the same voltage, there can be higher performance models at the same size.

JLeslie's avatar

@XOIIO Makes sense.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m guessing the item you bought was made in china and will be considered a fossil in a year so the store does not have spare parts. The part that usually fails is the internal energy storage device – the battery. Cheap units are not built with good voltage regulators and the solar cell output soon damages the rechargeable batteries if used in a bright, hot location.
They could make the battery replaceable by adding a screw and a door and adding 50 cents to the price so it will last for years. But they have discovered that consumers are willing to throw the whole thing out and buy a new one, maximizing their profit.
They benefit from our naivete and wastefulness. And we let them do it again and again. .

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy That makes sense too.

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