If you live in a region which falls in the zone of hailing, especially in the northern USA, you might need to think before installing the solar panels in your hailing zone area. Solar panels cost about thousands of $, they are an expensive investment and not that cheap. A nature’s rock like hail storm can do significant damage to your solar panels. If you live in a hailstorm zone and want to install solar panels, here’s a brief guide about if solar panels withstand hail?
Type of Solar Panels:
To know if your solar panels withstand the hail, that hugely depends on the type of solar panel you choose. Some solar panel companies, especially in the hailstorm region might give a hailstorm tolerance. However, solar panels with hailstorm protection are significantly more expensive than the regular variants.
If you’ve a limited budget, then you can go with solar panels that don’t offer protection. They are regular solar panels that would not cost you no more than 100$ for a 60W plate. However, in a hailstorm, these unprotected solar panels can get damaged due to no-protection of the panels.
How Hailstorm Protection Works in the Hailstorm:
The hailstorm protection on the solar panels is a thin film of mirror and plasti. It is built on the same concept as a smartphone protector. It involves a thin film of plastic on which a thin layer of mirror is placed.
When a piece of hail falls on the panel, the PVC film of protection spreads the impact all over the corners. These impacts prevent the force to affect on a single point of surface. The protection spreads out the impact all over the plate which reduces the net force. Hence, the solar panels stay protected.
However, this protection can only offer the protection against the hails with a limited momentum. It usually ranges between the hails of 3-6 cm in size. The bigger the hails in size, the more efficiency of the film will be reduced.
Size of the Hails
The size of the hails plays an essential role in the efficiency of the protection film. It’s the momentum that affects the efficiency. Momentum is the product of mass and speed. The speed of free falling hails will stay constant no matter what the weight is. However, the weight influences the momentum.
The bigger the hails are, the momentum they will gain. The higher the momentum, the lower the protection the film will provide.
The higher momentum hails will hit the plate. It’ll apply a force at the one point that will damage the film. An easy equation is:
Momentum ∝ Damage
How likely is it that solar panels will be damaged by hail?
The chances of your solar panels being damaged by hail is not high. Solar panels are designed to withstand fairly extreme conditions, from a drop in temperature to hail storming or even direct impact from lightning strikes. The most damage will be from ice pellets in the hail storm, which are tiny stones that break off the surface of rain clouds and fall to Earth.
The biggest danger to your solar panels is when a hailstorm hits directly and you have a large amount of rain water on the roof. This can cause problems for the solar modules and their wiring. But it’s unlikely that any tears or cracks will develop into anything more serious in the long term.
Hail is usually not harmful to solar panels unless it’s very large like 7-8 cm and lands directly on them. The larger the hailstorm, the more likely it is that some damage will occur on the solar panels.
How to Check for Hail Damage in Solar Panels?
The 1st thing to do when checking for hail’s damaged parts is to look at the panels themselves with your naked eyes. You can inspect them closely and notice if there are visible cracks or chips in the panels on the, but on the roof panels. If there are any, this could indicate that hail has damaged your panels and you need to replace them as soon as possible.
Next, check out your inverter and see if there are any signs of hail damage on it too. The inverter is where all the magic happens so it’s worth inspecting closely just like the panels themselves.
If you notice any signs of hail damage here too, this may indicate that your entire system has been affected by weather conditions over recent days or weeks and should be replaced immediately if possible.
What You Should Do in Hail Damaged Solar Panels?
Check your panels for hail’s damaged parts as soon as possible after the storm ends in your area. If you see any physical damage like cracks, breaks or holes, then try to get pictures of the area and take steps to repair it with your ease.
The best way is to contact your local solar company for an inspection. The company will check the situation and determine if any repairs needed can fix them. It may be necessary to replace them all at once if they are irreparably damaged by hail storming.
You can also think of getting a new system installed at this time if your existing one is compromised by hail damage. This will ensure that you have enough energy coming into the house during times when you are not able to generate enough power through the use of solar panels alone.
Also Read:Can Walking On Solar Panels Break It?
Do solar panels get damaged in hail?
Solar panels can get corroded by hail, especially if the hailstones are bigger and travelling at high wind speeds. The severity of the damage depends on multiple factors. It includes the size and density of the hailstones, and the angle at which they hit the panels like in 90 or 180 degree.
How well do solar panels do in hail?
Solar panels can withstand hail to a certain level, but the severity of the damage depends on multiple factors. It includes the size and density of the hailstones, and the angle at which they hit the panels like in 90 or 180 degree.
How often are solar panels damaged by hail?
It all depends on the magnitude of hail storm. If a hail storm of higher magnitude hit the panels, then they are likely to be damaged.
Which solar panels are hail proof?
There is no such thing as a completely hail-proof solar panel, there’s no armoured solar panels. But some panels are designed and tested to be more resistant to hail damage than other panels. Panels with thicker glass or tempered glass are generally more hail-proof than those with thin or standard glass.