Category Archive DIY Projects

ByDonna Vanpelt

How to Protect Solar Panels from Hail

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.

ByDonna Vanpelt

Solar Panels Series Vs. Parallel – A Guide on How to Wire Solar Panels

If you’re a newbie to the inner workings of solar energy systems, you might feel a bit lost when you first encounter the topic of parallel and series wiring – the major methods for installing solar panels. The way your panels are installed is crucial as it influences the performance level of your panels and even the type of inverter you need in your setup. To make this easier, there are handy solar panel series and parallel calculators online that can guide you through the process.

Continue reading to understand both wiring methods, how to install your panels in parallel and series, how they compare against each other, and which one is better.

Solar Panels in Series

This wiring method has to do with the solar panel terminals, both the negative and positive terminals. To form a series connection, you have to wire the positive terminal of one panel to the negative counterpart of another panel. With this wiring method, you create a photovoltaic source circuit, resulting in at least two panels stringed from positive to negative terminals.

The major highlight of this wiring method is that it will enhance the pressure or force moving your electric current through the circuit. However, the supply of electric current is constant. Let us quickly paint a practical installation scenario for you to understand it better. If you’re installing solar panels with a rating of 60 volts and 10 amps, stringing four of these panels in series will give you a total voltage of 240 volts and a total amperage of 10 amps.

This is the primary reason solar installers use the series wiring method to improve the voltage, which is essential for the solar inverter to function properly. For instance, if your inverter’s voltage requirement is 480 volts, you need to install 10 panels with a 48-volt rating in series to meet that requirement.

Wiring Your Solar Panels in Series

Let us show you how to wire your solar panels in series, one step at a time. We’ll begin with the materials needed for this process.

What do You need?

∙ The required number of solar panels you need. (Ensure that they are identical. For some reason, if you can’t get identical solar panels, at least ensure that their current ratings are similar)

  • Multimeter
  • Blankets
  • The Wiring Process
  1. Pinpoint the negative and positive solar wires, so you don’t mix them up when the process is underway. Some cable manufacturers make it easier by marking their negative cables with (-) and positive cables with (+). If you’re not so lucky to get these kinds of solar cords, it’s not a big deal. Aside from checking the cables, you can also check the junction box or the MC4 connectors.
  2. For some reason, if there’s no indication whatsoever on your cables, you can use a digital multimeter to check the open circuit voltage of your panels. If your meter displays a reading for negative voltage, the cable connected to your meter is the negative cable. On the other hand, if the meter displays readings for positive voltage, the cord connected to your meter is the positive cable.
  3. Spread a blanket or a very large cloth on the floor before turning your panel upside down so its surface will be face down on the covered floor. The blanket will prevent scratches on the panel’s surface. Turning your panel upside down will expose its wiring and prevents it from receiving solar energy from the Sun.
  4. Get the positive cord from the first panel and the negative cable from the second one and join them together by plugging one into the other.
  5. To connect more panels, join their positive solar wires to the negative wires of the panels you’ve strung so far. That’s how you wire panels in series.

After this, you can link your charge controller to the batter.

Then link your charge controller to the panels.

Return the panels to their original position.

Solar Panels in Parallel

Unlike wiring panels in series, which involves joining the positive cable of one panel to the negative cable of another panel, wiring panels in parallel requires linking the positive cable to the positive cable of the other panel, and the same applies to the negative cables as well. There’s usually a combiner box containing the negative and positive connectors. The positive cables are fastened to the positive connectors in the combiner boxes, and the same applies to their negative counterparts. The aggregate of all these connections (with more than two panels) creates a photovoltaic output circuit.

In sharp contrast to wiring panels in series, wiring in panel enhances the amperage produced by the panels while the voltage remains constant. Using the same scenario as before, stringing four 60-volt panels (with an amp rating of 10 amps) in parallel will create a total voltage of 60 volts and a total amperage of 40 amps. This kind of wiring helps you meet the amperage requirements of your inverter. For instance, if the minimum amperage requirement is 60 amps, you must wire at least six 10-amp panels.

Wiring Solar Panels in Parallel

man wires solar panels

What You Need

  • Identical solar panels (if you can’t get identical panels, at least get panels with similar amp ratings)
  • Y-branch connectors
  • Multimeter

The Wiring Process

  1. Like in the first step with the first wiring method, pinpoint the negative and positive solar cables.
  2. Same as step 3 under wiring solar panels in series.
  3. Once you have easy access to the panels’ wiring, link the solar cables to the Y-branch connectors, the positive wires of two panels should go to the FFM side of the connector, while the negative solar cables should be joined to the MMF side.
  4. If you’re wiring multiple panels in parallel, get the connector that will be compatible with its number. For example, if you want to wire four panels in parallel, purchase a pair of 4-in-1 connectors. The Y-branch connector was compatible only with wiring two panels in parallel. That’s how you wire panels in parallel.
  5. Link the charge controller to the battery.
  6. Then link the panels to the charge controller
  7. Return the panel to its original position.

Which Method is Better?

Well, let’s see. Wiring panels in parallel has one advantage over wiring in series; the whole setup still generates electricity even if one of the panels is faulty. You can’t say the same for wiring in series. However, both methods have obvious disadvantages which complement each other. For wiring in series, you may be unable to meet the amperage requirements of the inverter. On the other hand, you may not meet the voltage requirements of your inverter with parallel wiring. The solution will be to combine both wiring methods for your solar system to meet the amperage and voltage requirements of the inverter.

ByDonna Vanpelt

How to Install Solar Attic Fans in 13 Steps

Installation of solar fans is easy, but you need to follow certain steps to place them correctly and function as to how you want them to be.

It is good to consider solar fans since solar power counterbalances over 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year in the US. Please continue reading to learn more about solar attic fans and how to install them.

What Are Solar Attic Fans?

An attic fan acts as a ventilation system that decreases the temperature in your attic by releasing hot air and bringing cool air in.

Temperature is reduced, and your air-conditioner is not overworked because the cool air decreases the temperature in your attic, so there is less heat going through your roof.

You do not need to keep your solar attic fan up and running all the time. You need a solar fan when direct sunlight goes on your roof tiles to make space underneath hot. Your solar fans start to function when the sun shines on the solar panel, which generates energy.

How to Install a Solar Attic Fan

Supplies You Need

Flat pry bar
Finish hammer
Reciprocating saw
Utility knife
Drill or driver

Installing a Solar Attic Fan in 13 Steps

  1. Mark the location of a solar outlet between 2 roof rafters in the attic.
  2. Place a nail in the middle of the area where the vent is.
  3. Put fall-arrest and roof support structures to the roof.
  4. Using a homemade dowel compass, outline the vent’s flashing on your roof.
  5. Using the utility knife, cut the shingles along the outline.
  6. Pull out the nails and take off the shingles.
  7. Using a compass, outline the hole for the vent onto the roof sheath.
  8. Use the reciprocating saw to cut a hole in the roof.
  9. Take off the shingles around the opening of the vent.
  10. Put roofing cement on the sides of the hole.
  11. Put the roof vent on the hole and screw the flashing to the roof.
  12. Put additional caulking near the flashing.
  13. Change the roof coverings with one and a half-inch nails around the vent.

Final Words

Finally, you have a better understanding of what solar attic fans are and how to install them. You can save money when you decide to install solar attic fans. You need to follow the installation steps to ensure that you put them correctly and benefit from energy savings.