Solar panels are a valuable investment in our homes. Because of the benefits we derive from having it installed, it has been an indispensable resource.
Solar panels are known to be highly resistant to weather conditions like sunshine and rainfall. But are they resistant to the effect of hails?
It is important to find out if your solar panels can be damaged by hails, read on to explore more.
Can Hail Damage Solar Panels
Yes, hail can damage solar panels. However, it is very rare to experience hails damaging a solar panel. Most solar panels are manufactured and designed to resist all forms of unfavorable weather conditions, including the influence of hail.
Even if you have hundreds of hail falling on your panel, there is a higher chance that it won’t get damaged.
But generally, the size of hails could be a factor that will determine if your panel will be affected or not.
Most hails released into the earth are within a 1-inch diameter, just within the size of a golf all, and this would rarely cause any significant effect on your solar panel.
However, if the hail is much larger, which you would barely experience, there is a high chance that the solar panel will be damaged.
Till today, the largest hail (with a diameter size of 8 inches) that had been recorded was the one that happened in South Dakota in 2010. This kind is too large and could cause much damage to the solar panel.
But you would not likely experience this, so you don’t have to bother.
Until hails have their way into the internal part of the solar panel, they cannot cause any harm to the panel.
The solar panel is usually protected by thick tempered glass, which protects them from all harsh weather conditions.
If this glass, which is the outer part of the panel, is only being damaged or broken, then your panel would still function perfectly as the internal structure is not tampered with.
To make solar panels even more durable, most manufacturers had had the panel tested and certified against the influence of hails.
How To Check For Hail Damage
Whenever you experience hailstone, it is best to check the solar panels to ensure it is not affected.
The first thing to do is to check your inverter out to see if it’s giving any sign or not. Check its screen to see if it’s giving any alarming signs.
These signs could show red light or indication of faults like ground faults. In some cases, it could seem like there is no power output. If you notice any of this, you need to call on your installer.
Also, you could check the solar panel from a distance to see if its protective glass layer has not been hampered; if you notice any damage to the glass, you would need to call on the installer.
Climbing the roof to check it for yourself might be dangerous as there might be voltage leakage.
How Do I Protect My Solar Panel Against Hail
Use hail net protective cover
As soon as you get your solar panel installed, ensure you have another protective layer fixed on it.
Protective layers like hail-proof nets are relatively low in the price purchase, but they could be effective in protecting your solar panel from harsh weather conditions
To increase the net’s protective effectiveness, consider using it with a mount-resistant layer for your solar panel.
Get only durable solar panels
Many companies ensure that their solar panels meet the minimum test requirement for hail resistance. But only some companies ensure that their quality is far beyond the minimum requirement.
And when we talk about solar panels, the most important component is the solar cells, so when purchasing, ensure that this and the other parts are made of highly durable materials.
With this, it is more unlikely that your solar panel will get damaged.
Select the most proper area for Solar panel installation
If you reside in areas where hails are common, you would have been familiar with the particular section of the home where the hail is most frequent.
When you take note of this, try as much as possible to avoid installing the panel at that spot.
Check for tempered Glass
Apart from the solar cell, another part to check out is the tempered glass. While some manufacturers use this, others do not.
The tempered glass helps ensures that no harm is done to the internal part of the panel. They are usually 6 to 8 millimeters thick, and this typically prevents them from breakage whenever there is hail.
What Do I Do if Hails Damage My Solar Panel
Contact an Installer
If you notice a significant fault in your solar panel, you should invite a solar panel to check it out. If only the outer part of the panel is damaged, you might only need to replace the tempered glass.
However, if the damage is done to the internal part, then your installer would recommend what should be done based on the volume of the damage caused.
Consider your Insurance Scheme
A home insurance scheme is a good way to replace any damaged solar panel. Most homes cater to this, but you must be sure if your home insurance policies do.
If it doesn’t, you might want to consider a separate insurance scheme for the panel. The amount you will spend on this will depend on the size of the solar installed.
Your solar warranty could help
If your solar panel is being damaged by hail, you would want to reflect on your warranty. You could consult the company you bought the panel and lay out your complaint.
While some panels’ warranties do cover the impact of weather conditions, some do not.
This is why you should check the warranty policy before purchasing a solar panel.
And also, if your solar panel is installed by an individual who is not certified, then you might not be able to claim the warranty as it automatically becomes void.
Only large-sized hail can damage a solar panel. So far, the hail is still within the size of a golf ball; your panel solar is safe. However, to be safer ensure you protect the solar panel by all means.