There are several ways to prevent solar panels from hail storms, such as using tempered glass to cover the panel, erecting a wire gauge cover, or ensuring that the panels are made of high-quality materials. Although solar panels are renowned for their sturdy nature and ability to withstand most weather conditions, these tips will bring maximum protection and sustain their lifespan.
Unlike rain and snow, hail is like precipitation of solid ice and can damage cars, houses, aircraft, solar panels, etc. Due to its dangerous nature, most solar users seek how to protect solar panels from hail and use them longer. This article shares seven tips that can help in that regard. But before that, let’s grasp a little information about hailstorms and solar panels.
Hailstorm and Its Impact on Solar Panels
Hailstorm is one of the most severe weather conditions in the world. They form when thunderstorm updrafts carry raindrops into extremely cold regions of the atmosphere, freeze, and drop them. Since they can damage the windscreens of vehicles, houses, and even aircraft, they can cause significant damage to solar panels.
Solar panels are sturdy as they’re made of amorphous, polycrystalline, and monocrystalline silicon. Notably, the panels protect the part of your roof where you mount them. However, if a hailstorm drops for days or weeks without a break, it can affect strength.
Hail can damage the external surface of the panels, exposing the internal components to danger. When this happens, the panel may not maximize its function. Instead, it may malfunction, showing difficulty in charging, an undetected energy source, etc.
Providing additional protection to your solar panels is advisable in areas where hail is common. Regularly inspecting your solar panels can help you detect and fix early or potential damages on time.
On the other hand, getting insurance coverage for your solar modules can also be a protective measure. Since most home insurances cover the damage of weather hazards on your property, your solar panels are covered.
Another way to protect your panels is by providing regular maintenance. Solar panels are nearly indestructible, but you need to check and provide maintenance services occasionally. This can facilitate their durability and performance.
7 Smart Ways to Protect Your Solar Panels from a Hailstorm
Solar panels comprise amorphous, polycrystalline, or monocrystalline silicon. Thus, they can endure the worst weather disasters. But frequent weather conditions like hail can cause huge damage to your panels over time. These tips can help protect your panels from hail damage and make them last longer.
1. Monitor the weather forecast
Technology has advanced, producing devices with accurate weather predictions. Using a radar, or the weather forecast app on your device, you can tell what’s about to drop from the sky and when it will drop.
Dual polarization radar tech can assist in detecting if precipitation will come with rain, snow, ice pellets, and hail. Forecasters will examine the historical data to confirm their reading. Once an upcoming hailstorm is confirmed, you should take precautions immediately to protect your panels and other property that could be damaged.
2. Buy high-quality solar panels
Investing in a high-quality solar panel can be enough to guarantee maximum protection. Panels rated IP68, UIC 61730, or UL 61730 are ideal solar panels that can withstand time.
So before buying or installing solar panels, confirm that they meet these rating standards. However, if you already got panels without these ratings, consider replacing them or protecting them with the next tip.
3. Use hail protective covers – Methacrylate
The best hail protection cover for a solar panel is Methacrylate. As a unique monomer in polymer plastic, it’s the most suitable cover that protects your panels from weather conditions like rain, snow, high winds, and even hailstorms.
Covering your panels with a methacrylate layer can keep your panels safe throughout all weather conditions.
4. Build hail-proof netting
Building a hail-proof net is like getting insurance; you spend less to avoid huge losses. Also, it’s a cost-effective measure to protect your solar panel. It lasts, helping to deflect hail stones from directly hitting the panels.
The best part is that hail-proof netting can work perfectly with impact-resistant mounts. Combining these two methods will give your panels the best and most durable protection.
5. Use tempered glass
Tempered glass is an ideal solar panel protection cover. Most solar panels come with tempered glass surfaces because they’re more resilient to breakage from a hail storm. If your panel has a glass casing at least 6-7mm thick, rest assured it can survive hailstorms.
So, whether you’re planning to get some solar panels or protect RV solar panels, go for ones with a tempered glass surface. They are not susceptible to harsh weather elements.
6. Invest in an automatic solar panel angle system
This system can go a long way in protecting your solar panel from a hail storm. You can tilt the solar panels away from the hailstones dropping from the sky. Afterward, you can tilt it back to the appropriate angle so it can absorb energy from the sun.
While this can protect your panels, you may need a professional to help set them at the right angle. Also, you may need to work with the weather forecast while using the system.
7. Get a wire gauge cover
Creating a wire gauge cover can help protect solar panels from hail. However, you must determine the wires and PVC materials you need. You don’t want to cover the panels from sunlight. Building a wire gauge is cost-effective, yet it is an ideal cover for your solar panel.
Ground-mounted or rooftop Solar panels are more like a one-time investment. So, caring for them is not a waste of time and money. Seeing how disastrous a hailstorm can be, you must consider these protective tips for your solar energy system.
Monitor the weather forecast, invest in high-quality panels, use hail-protective covers like Methacrylate, and hail-proof netting. Furthermore, install solar panels with a tempered glass surface, erect a wire gauge cover, or invest in an automatic solar panel angel system. These actions can prevent solar panel hail damage.
Can solar panels withstand hails?
Solar panels consist of polycrystalline, amorphous, and monocrystalline silicon. So, it’s certain that they can withstand hail and other weather elements.
What is hail-proof netting for solar panels?
Hail netting or hail-proof netting is a leno woven net mounted to protect solar panels. It prevents direct strikes from hail storms on the solar cells.
How often does hail damage solar panels?
Depending on the composition of solar panels, there are very rare cases of hail damage on them. However, improper maintenance and protection measures can make solar panels susceptible to weather conditions.
What happens when hail drop on solar panels?
If it hails drops on solar once in a while, there are no effects to worry about. However, a consistent hailstorm on solar panels can reduce their performance, either by making them slow to charge or damaging the casing of the panels.
How can I protect my solar panels from damage?
You can protect solar panels from damage by providing regular maintenance and quality checks. That way, you’ll be able to find minor issues that could become worse if not addressed on time. You can further protect your panels using the tips mentioned in this piece.
Do solar panels require extra protection from hail?
To prolong the lifespan of solar panels, they need protection from hail, although they’re built to endure all weather elements.
Does home insurance cover hail damage to solar panels?
While most insurance policies don’t cover damages caused by weather elements to solar panels, some do. Whether it’s attached to your property or mounted in the ground, home insurance policies provide coverage for damages to solar panels.