Can hail damage your solar panels? Learn how to protect your investment.

Yes, hail can damage solar panels. While solar panels are designed to withstand different weather conditions, they are not indestructible. Hailstones can range from small, pea-sized pieces to large chunks of ice the size of a tennis ball or larger, and when they hit solar panels, they can cause some damage. Here are some things you should know about hail damage to solar panels:
  • The size and hardness of the hailstones determine the level of damage to solar panels. Large hailstones can crack or shatter the glass covering of a solar panel, causing significant damage to the photovoltaic cells beneath.
  • Hailstones also have the potential to misalign or dislodge the solar panel from its mount. Misaligned panels can result in lower energy production.
  • The degree of damage to solar panels due to hail depends on various factors such as the angle of the panel, the speed of the hailstones, and the build quality of the panel.
  • Regular maintenance and inspection can help detect damage early and prevent further deterioration. Inspect your solar panels after a hail storm, and if you suspect any damage, call a professional to assess the panels’ condition.
  • Fortunately, if you have adequate insurance coverage, it can cover for hail damage to solar panels. So while hail is an unavoidable weather condition, proper maintenance and insurance can help mitigate the damage and restore your solar system’s efficiency.
So, it is essential to ensure that you select high-quality solar panels that can withstand tough weather conditions and perform routine maintenance to keep them in excellent condition.
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Understanding solar panel durability during intense weather conditions

Solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions including hailstorms. Manufacturers subject panels to rigorous testing to ensure that they can endure the impact of hailstones, wind, and other severe weather conditions that may occur in the area. While hailstorms are inevitable, they do not always pose a significant threat to solar panels. The resistance of a solar panel to hailstones depends on its materials, structure, and installation. It is essential to note that while solar panels may withstand impact from hailstones, they are not hurricane-proof. During extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, solar panels can be torn away from their roof mounts. Additionally, high winds may result in structural damage to buildings or properties that can affect their solar panels.

What happens when hail strikes solar panels?

When hail strikes solar panels, the glass or plastic covering of the panel may crack or shatter. The impact may also cause external damage such as dents or scratches, reducing the efficiency and lifespan of the panel. While hailstones generally bounce off angled panels, flat-mounted panels may accumulate hailstones on their surface, increasing their susceptibility to damage. Moreover, particles from the damaged panel may contaminate the internal components, leading to malfunctioning of the panel. Damaged solar panels may also pose a safety hazard due to exposed internal electrical components.

Signs of hail damage on solar panels

Here are some signs that your solar panels may have been damaged by hailstones:
  • Cracks or chips in the glass or plastic covering the panel
  • Dents or scratches on the surface of the panel
  • Loose or broken electrical wiring
  • Damage to the frame of the panel
  • Reduced energy output
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If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to contact a professional to assess the damage to your solar system.

How to assess and repair hail damage on solar panels

If your solar panels have hail damage, it is vital to have them inspected by a professional. The first step in assessing the damage is by checking the connected monitoring system or tracking the energy yield of the system continuously. A professional will then inspect the panels and the electrical wiring to determine the extent of the damage. The repair or replacement process of the damaged panels depends on the severity of the damage. If the damage is minor, replacement of the glass covering or the panel frame may suffice. However, if the damage is significant, a complete replacement of the panel may be required. Note: Repairing damaged solar panels without a professional’s assistance may void your warranty, so it is essential to consult with the manufacturer before making any significant repairs.

Does homeowner’s insurance cover hail damage to solar panels?

If you have homeowner’s insurance, solar panels may be covered after a hailstorm. However, it is essential to check with your insurance provider to understand their policy on solar panels’ coverage. It is also essential to confirm that the policy covers the cost of replacing the panels, considering that damaged panels may reduce the system’s efficiency, leading to financial losses.

How to prevent hail damage on solar panels

While hail damage may be inevitable during hailstorms, several measures can be taken to reduce the damage and increase your solar panels’ longevity. They include:
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  • Installing angled solar panels to reduce the amount of hailstones that stay on the panels
  • Installing protective barriers such as hail guards over the panels
  • Regular maintenance of the solar panels
  • Early detection of hailstorm by weather monitoring systems

Additional tips for maintaining solar panels during severe weather conditions

Apart from mitigating hail damage, here are additional tips to maintain your solar panels during severe weather conditions:
  • Regular cleaning of the panels to increase their efficiency
  • Regularly trimming trees around the solar panels to reduce the risk of branch damage or shading of the panels
  • Reinforcing the roof mounts of the solar panels for longevity
  • Investing in lightning protection to prevent damage during lightning storms
In conclusion, while solar panels are designed to endure severe weather conditions, hailstones may cause damage to the glass or plastic covering of the panels. Homeowners can take precautions such as installing angled panels or protective barriers to reduce damage. While assessing and repairing damaged panels should be left to a professional, regular maintenance of your solar panels is essential to increase their longevity.

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