Can solar panels get wet? The answer is a simple Yes, solar panels can get wet but they are waterproof which means there is no direct damage to the body of solar panels.
The glass casting of the solar system is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions like snow, hail, and windstorms while the wiring equipment can get damaged when wet.
Portable solar panels have no limitations as they can be moved around with ease. Solar panels that are fixed on the rooftop have limitations, but there is no reported damage to them after a rainfall or regular cleaning session.
Solar Panels Are Waterproof
Solar panels are waterproof.
Solar panels are made of a glass sheet, a metal frame, mostly aluminum, and a polymer material for the back. The photovoltaic cells are placed inside this structure.
The glass sheet is super strong as it faces the sun and tolerates all sorts of weather calamities from light rain to heavy snowfall.
The exposed area i.e., the glass sheet is water-resistant and causes no damage to the solar panel’s efficiency.
You can wash your solar panels every now and then to clean all the dirt and debris that resides on their surface and it will enhance their ability to yield electricity.
Do All Solar Panels Come With A Waterproof Coating?
Over the years solar panels have evolved to become efficient and to provide maximum human comfort. The comfort a piece of equipment provides lies on top when it comes to adopting newer technologies.
Solar panels have different modules, shapes, and sizes and each has its features. Nowadays solar panels have protective waterproof coverings and are also portable.
Portable solar panels do come with waterproof coverings and they can also be moved around the place, however, stationary solar panels do have a limitation of not moving around.
But this doesn’t mean stationary solar panels are not waterproof, they are water resistant and can withstand rainfall.
What Happens When Solar Panels Get Wet?
Solar panels require solar energy for their operation. In areas with heavy rainfall or extended cloud cover, the efficiency may decrease because of reduced solar irradiance.
However, rain itself does not affect solar panels. If there is enough solar energy absorbed in the solar cells before rainfall, the energy output won’t be affected.
Wet solar panels do continue to work and generate electricity if they are wet on the surface only, because of the charge that has been produced earlier.
If unfortunately, water trickles down to the wiring equipment then there are high chances of damage.
Do Portable Solar Panels Get Wet?
Portable solar panels are moveable. When there is a cloud cover with incoming rain, portable solar panels can be moved indoors.
If you are traveling around and a portable solar panel is installed on the roof of your caravan then they may get wet. But just like stationery solar panels portable solar panels are also waterproof and can withstand rainfall etc.
The same is the case with garden solar lights, it is safe to leave them outdoors even in rain because they are water resistant and their performance is not affected.
What Should Be Done When Solar Panels Get Wet?
The most common causes behind wet solar panels are either extreme weather conditions or maintenance.
In case of rain, snow, or hail, wait for the weather to calm down, and then grab an extended rubber wiper, and wipe down all the water.
Take a lint-free soft fiber and dry the aluminum frame of the solar panel and make sure everything is dry and no water has reached the inside of the solar panel.
Solar Panels have a reduced efficiency when they are covered with dust and foliage. It is recommended to wash the solar panel to clean all the dust and debris with water and dry it with wipers and a microfibre cloth afterward.
After Heavy Snowfall
It seems impossible to clean off the snow frozen on solar panels. Solar panels are installed facing the sun so they will melt away automatically leaving behind clear solar panels.
It is never advised to scrape off snow from the solar panels because it will damage the surface of solar panels.
In some regions, salt is sprinkled on the snow to melt it.
What Are The Potential Damages If Solar Panels Remain Wet?
Solar panels are waterproof and their outer glass casting can resist water.
Reduced Power Output
Solar panels work on the mechanism of converting solar energy into electrical energy.
In this scenario, it is important to have a clean dry surface so that maximum solar energy can reach the surface of solar panels.
Wet solar panels won’t give the same energy output as compared to dry ones.
If solar panels are not dried carefully or rainwater trickles down to the converter and wire equipment. There are high chances of electric shock or even fire.
Although these parts are not directly exposed it is a sensible approach to keep the panels dry to avoid accidents.
The chances of getting electrocuted are minimal but if the wiring system gets exposed somehow and gets wet, there are huge chances of experiencing an electric shock.
It is presumed that rain will have a negative adverse on solar panels and their performance. But this is not the case. Solar Panels tend to perform well even after getting wet.
Solar panels are water resistant and getting wet poses no threat to the electricity output, their efficacy, or the surrounding environment.
Solar panels are made of glass sheets that are designed to withstand weather calamities like rainfall, hailstorm, and heavy snow.
The only reason a wet solar panel may have reduced yield is either the water droplets are blocking the passage of sun rays or water has reached the solar panel’s internal system.
It is advised to dry the solar panels after they get wet because you may get electrocuted and your house is more likely to catch fire after a short circuit.