Solar energy is the safest and most effective alternative to the current non-renewable energy source. Solar power requires silicon-based solar panels, which has a little drawback. Solar panels are prone to bad weather, such as dirt and dust that can cover the surface to block the sunlight to them. Dirt and dust are cleanable, but a hailstorm is too much to ask for the safety of the panels.
Hail storms and hurricanes can damage your solar panels as the panels have silicon build and cover of tempered glass. If the hail and storm blow, it usually doesn’t hit the surface directly because of the panel’s direction. However, You must know How to protect solar panels from hail, which I’m going to help you with. Stick to the article to know how you can protect your solar energy source from hail storms.
Can solar panels get damaged by hail?
A hail storm can bow strong air, usually at 50 miles per hour, and can have hailstones of the size of a tennis ball. You can imagine how weak the tempered-glass silicon solar panel would be and make them prone to hail. However, your panels get mostly damaged because of the hailstones that hit the direct surface.
Hailstones can crack the surface and end up damaging the whole setup. Especially if you’re living in an area where hailstorms are a common phenomenon, your solar panels are in severe danger. Even if your location doesn’t usually have bigger hailstones, you’re still in danger because the panel surfaces are not metal, they are glass.
How to protect solar panels from hail?
Hailstorms are certainly a big threat to solar panels; they can badly damage the panel surface. You must know how to protect solar panels from hail, especially if you’re living in a location where hailstorms are common. Here are some steps that you can take if you’re planning to keep your solar panels safe:
Get the right panels
The protection for your solar panels should begin before you even purchase them in the first place. Do some research and purchase the panels that can stand against the maximum penetrative hailstones. Make sure the panels have a rigid corrosion-resistant bracket, a surface with tempered glass, and sturdy material. They will keep you worry-free about small hailstones and other dust and debris as well.
Set your panels correctly
Once you have the best panels in your hand, you have set them on your roof or backyard correctly. If you don’t set them correctly, they won’t make a sturdy array that can stand against natural disasters. Get them a rigid and sturdy metal frame that will hold the panels on and keep them steady. Secondly, you have to make sure the direction of the panels is set properly in angular motion, facing the south. It will help the panels stay out of direct hit from the strong wind and the branches it brings.
Give your panels protections
After setting the panels on the base frame, you have to give them some protection. It will include a bunch of metal frames around the panels, a good protective surface cover, and so on. You may already know about bird protection for solar panels, but you need even more for hail protection. Get a rail for the panels, attach clear protective covers to cover them up for an extra layer to stand against hailstone. They will also make it easier to clean them, which you have to do periodically.
Stay up to date about the weather report
As you’re trying to keep your solar panels safe from hail and other natural disasters, staying up to date is mandatory. If you know the forecasts about when the weather may go bad, or a hailstorm may come, you can act accordingly. If the forecast suggests that the panels are under massive danger, you can even remove them or put a strong cover over them.
Weather forecast precautions
Sign up for text alerts for weather forecasts so that you get notified if there is a danger coming ahead. If you find the text alerts expensive, there are many free apps on app stores that you can download and keep track of. If it’s a location where storms are regular, you can also set the panels removable. Whenever a natural strike comes into the play, you can remove them and keep them safe.
Keep regular maintenance
Give your solar panels regular maintenance to keep them on the safer side of the operation. Clean the surfaces periodically, hire a professional to inspect if there is an electrical fault. If you have any electrical fault, it may damage the panels, the inverter, or the switches because of lightning. Check the joints, and the connections for damage and corrosion, corrosion, or damages may make your panels weak. You can make your own solar panel covers using plexiglass to keep the panels from a direct hit and for easy cleaning.
How to Check Your Solar Panels for Hail Damage?
If your solar panels have to confront a hailstorm, inspect if they’re still functional and ready to serve. Here are some tips that can help you inspect the panels for hail damages to take actions:
Do visual inspections
If your solar panels get damaged with hailstones, they will have damage signs, do a visual inspection if there are any. You cannot repair a damaged panel, but panels with small damage should still produce voltages.
Check your meter or app
Inspect the voltage meter connected to the panels for proper voltage output and a steady current flow. If you have a mobile app to monitor the production from the panels, you can check if the production is lower than average. If it’s low, you can determine a problem in the panels caused by the hail that you need to pay attention to.
Frequently asked questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about solar panels and their rigidity that you might find the answers useful to:
Do solar panels break easily?
Solar panels don’t break easily; they usually come durable for more than 20 years. However, they are silicon sandwiches with a tempered glass layer on top, and glass can break up!
How long does a solar panel last for?
Solar panels usually come with a long lifespan at about 20 years or more than that if you can take good care of the panels. Make sure they don’t get hit by heavy objects as the glass can be fragile.
Should I wash my solar panels?
You must keep the panels on regular maintenance and keep them clean to make sure the dirt isn’t blocking the sunlight. You can use soapy water to wash the panels to keep them safe and clean.
The solar energy source may cost you a big fortune at the beginning, so you must make the investment worth it. It will be worth it only if you can get a long lifespan out of the panels as they cost you the most. Your panels are never safe enough to become tension-free if you have hail storms regularly. The solar panels usually go into a little angular direction to the south, and hail storms come from the north.
So, the strong wind may not damage the panels from the front; it certainly can tear the bottom of the panel up because they’re facing backward. Only knowing How to protect solar panels from hail won’t cut it, you have to keep updated about the weather forests too. Make sure you’re setting them correctly to stand against strong wind and have proper protection.