Solar Panel Hail Damage: What You Need to Know
Solar panels are an excellent investment that may lower your carbon footprint and help you save money on energy costs. Yet they are also susceptible to hail damage, a form of extreme weather that may seriously injure solar panels. In this post, we’ll look more closely at what you should know about solar panel hail damage.
Impact of Hail on Solar Panels
Solar panels may experience considerable physical damage from hail, which might lower their performance and longevity. Several variables, such as the size and density of the hailstones, the angle and orientation of the panels, and the kind of solar panel construction, will affect how hail will affect solar panels.
Solar panels’ glass or frame may sustain fractures, chips, or other physical damage as a result of hail, which may result in water penetration and other types of deterioration. This damage may lessen the solar panel’s efficiency, reducing its ability to produce electricity and raising maintenance expenses.
The severity of the storm, the standard of the solar panels’ materials and construction, and the steps taken for maintenance and repair after the storm will all affect how much damage hail will cause to them. Hail and other types of weather-related damage to solar panels can be reduced with routine inspection and maintenance. Moreover, purchasing insurance coverage and storm-resistant solar panels might offer extra defense against potential hail damage.
How to Protect Solar Panels from Hail Damage
There are several ways how to protect solar panels from hail:
- Install Hail-Resistant Solar Panels: Installing hail-resistant solar panels is one of the greatest methods to prevent from solar panels hail damage. These panels are built using reinforced materials that are less prone to shatter or crack and are intended to resist the impact of hailstones. Tempered glass, which is more resilient and less prone to break than standard glass, is a feature that certain manufacturers provide in their solar panels. Panels with a polymer backsheet or a specific coating that can withstand the impact of hailstones are available from other manufacturers.
- Install Protective Shields or Screens: Installing guardrails or screens is another option to lower risk of solar panel hail damage. They can be constructed from sturdy materials that can survive the impact of hailstones, such as metal, polycarbonate, or other materials. Screens can be erected a few inches above the solar panels to provide a buffer zone, while protective shields can be installed right on top of the panels. Any protective screen or shield must be carefully placed to avoid blocking too much sunlight and impairing the efficiency of the solar panels.
- Regular Maintenance and Inspection: Solar panel inspection and maintenance can help find possible problems early on before they become serious ones. After a hailstorm, it’s crucial to check the solar panels for any obvious evidence of damage, such as cracks, chips, or dents. The solar panels can also benefit from routine cleaning to get rid of any dirt that has built up on the surface since this might potentially result in damage in the case of a hailstorm.
- Obtain Hail Damage Insurance: Another choice for protecting solar panels against potential damage is hail damage insurance. Solar panel hail damage is covered by certain insurance policies, which can help with the cost of repair or replacement in the case of damage. It is crucial to thoroughly check the conditions and exclusions of the insurance policy to make sure it offers sufficient protection.
- Opt for a Sturdy Solar Panel Mounting System: Also, selecting a reliable solar panel mounting method can assist shield solar panels from hail damage. To avoid any movement or displacement during a storm, the mounting system must be able to resist the force of hailstones and be securely fastened to the roof or the ground.
- Consider the Location and Orientation of Solar Panels: Solar panels’ susceptibility to hail damage might also depend on where they are located and how they are oriented. The danger of damage can be reduced by positioning solar panels in an area that is less vulnerable to hailstorms or by angling them in a way that limits their exposure to hail.
- Install Lightning Protection: Thunderstorms that frequently accompany hailstorms can also harm solar panels. Solar panels can be protected from electrical surges that could be brought on by lightning strikes by installing a lightning protection system.
- Install Solar Panel Hail Protector: One effective way to shield solar panels from hail damage is by using a solar panel hail protector. This innovative solution provides an additional layer of defense against hailstones of varying sizes. The hail protector typically consists of a durable material that can absorb the impact of hailstones and prevent them from causing direct harm to the solar panels. This layer acts as a buffer, reducing the force of impact and minimizing the risk of cracks or fractures on the panel surface.
Solar panel owners may further lower the danger of hail damage and safeguard their investment in solar panels by taking these extra precautions. Before making any alterations or improvements to the solar panel system, it is crucial to seek advice from an experienced solar panel installation or specialist.
Who’s Responsible for Fixing Hail Damage Issue?
The cost of repairing hail damage to solar panels is determined by a number of variables, including the origin and severity of the damage, the solar panel manufacturer’s warranty policy, and the solar panel owner’s insurance policy.
The manufacturer is normally in charge of repairing the damage if the solar panels are still protected by their warranty and the damage is covered by it. Nevertheless, the guarantee could not apply if the damage was brought on by outside forces like hail or other weather-related incidents.
The owner of the solar panel would be responsible for rectifying the damage in such circumstances. The cost of repair or replacement might be covered by the solar panel owner’s insurance policy, which covers hail damage. The cost of repairs or replacement would have to be covered out of pocket if the owner of the solar panels lacked insurance.
Owners of solar panels should frequently check them for any signs of damage and take the necessary precautions to guard against potential harm, such as installing shields or panels resistant to hail. By doing this, the possibility of damage is reduced, and prospective expenses for repairs or replacement are also avoided.
Owners of solar panels should be concerned about hail damage, but there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of solar panel hail damage. Solar panels that can withstand hail may be selected, protective shields can be installed, a strong mounting system is chosen, position and orientation are taken into account, and lightning protection can be installed.
Furthermore crucial are routine inspections and taking the proper precautions when a severe weather event occurs. Owners of solar panels may safeguard their investment and guarantee long-term performance by following these guidelines.