7 Ways to Protect Solar Panels from Hail

Written By: | Last Updated On: December 5, 2022
How To Protect Solar Panels From Hail

If you have solar panels installed on your home or business, it’s important to take steps to protect them from hail damage.

Hail storms can cause significant damage to solar panels, reducing their efficiency and lifespan.

For this reason, it’s important to know how to protect your solar panels from hail damage so you don’t have to worry about how much it will cost for repairs later on.

The good news is that there are some easy solutions to this issue!

Here are 7 ways to protect your solar panels from hail, so you don’t have to worry about them anymore.

Are Solar Panels Susceptible To Hail Damage?

Solar panels are really durable and can withstand a lot.

In fact, most high quality solar panels can withstand a hail of up to golf ball size (one inch in diameter) with no problem.

However, during an intense hailstorm, the hailstones may cause some damage to your solar panels, depending on how often it hails in your area and how large the hail is when it strikes.

There are usually two types of damage caused by hailstorms:

First, is damage to the glass surface, the solar panel glass can crack; which is really easy to fix and solar panels can work with cracked glass.

The second type of damage is damage to solar cells; this can be expensive and difficult to fix, but not impossible.

However, you shouldn’t worry about hail this much, as most companies that sell panels offer some sort of warranty in case your panel gets damaged from a hailstorm or other weather events.

How Can You Prevent Hail Damage To Solar Panels?

There are many ways to protect solar panels from hail, here we will go over how each method works and how effective it is.

1. Get The Right Panels

Not all solar panels are made equally. Some are more durable than others and can withstand more severe weather conditions.

So, how do you know if yours will withstand hail?

First of all, before installing solar panels, you need to make sure the solar panels are rated for high wind and snow loads with a hail test certification, as this will make sure they are less likely to be damaged in a hailstorm.

You can find this information on the product specification sheet or on the manufacturer’s website.

Next, check if there are any other customers in your area who have purchased panels recently from this company.

If their solar panels have withstood a hailstorm in your area without any damage, then you’re probably good to go.

The last thing to do is check the warranty that comes with the solar panels.

Most high-quality solar panels will have a warranty that covers hail damage.

So, if your panels do get damaged in a hailstorm, you should be able to get them replaced or repaired for free.

By getting the right solar panels, you can rest assured knowing that your investment is protected from hail damage.

2. Install A Solar Panel Protection Cover

6in X 100ft Solar Panel Bird/Critter Guard Roll Kit | 60 Fastener Clips | Used for Bird/Critter proofing Solar Panels | Removable Without Damage

Solar panel protection covers are one of the most effective ways to protect your solar panels from hail damage.

It can best be described as a durable cover that fits over your solar panel, protecting it from getting damaged by hail or heavy rain when necessary.

It’s important to note how this works though: these won’t prevent damage when there is intense wind, they are only effective in hail or heavy rain.

Different types of covers work differently, some have a solid bottom with holes for the solar panels to come through, while others are mesh on top with no bottom at all.

If you’re looking for maximum protection from debris, then choose one that has solid sides and holes for your panel’s legs to fit through.

On the other hand, if you don’t want your panels covered up and would rather let the rain pass right through onto the solar panel itself, choose a mesh top with no bottom at all.

There are also some covers that have only one side open so it’s easy for workers to fix anything without having to remove the cover entirely.

Pricing for these panels is relatively low, usually around $30 per panel, which isn’t too bad when you consider how expensive it would be to fix broken solar cells on your own if they get badly damaged by hail or heavy rain.

However, one of the most important things about using a protective cover is how effective it is.

Studies show that most strong covers can protect your panels from hail up to one inch in diameter, which is about the size of a large marble or small gumball.

On average, these solar panel covers are between 80 and 90 percent effective against debris, hail, and heavy rain.

Just make sure to clean the protection covers regularly to prevent any dirt or leaves from building up and blocking sunlight.

The best way to clean these covers is by spraying them with a hose and wiping it down every now and then.

3. Add A Layer Of Methacrylate To Your Panels

Methacrylate is a protective material that is known for its great resistance to hail.

There are two different types of methacrylate that can be used on solar panels: sprayed onto the glass surface or added as a thin layer over the top of your panel itself.

If you choose to spray it, make sure not to cover up any part where electricity is conducted through (the metal areas), as this will cause your panels to short out.

It’s also important how much methacrylate you use since too little won’t be effective, and using more than necessary can block the sunlight from entering the panel.

Adding a layer of methacrylate is considered by many to be more cost effective than using solar panel protection covers since it’s a one-time cost instead of an ongoing expense.

The price for methacrylate varies depending on how you get it and how

In fact, you can buy this type of protective layer for as low as 50 cents per square foot, which means that covering all your panels will only end up costing around $50 total.

The best part about how this works is that it won’t affect how your panels work, so you don’t have to worry about any negative impacts on performance or other things like that.

4. Build A Wire Gauge To Protect Your Panels

If you don’t want to go with either solar protection covers or adding a layer of methacrylate, building a wire gauge can be a great option.

You’ll be using wire mesh or something similar-like PVC pipes to cover your panels so that they remain protected from big hail.

The best part about using a wire gauge is how easy it is to build and how cheap the materials are, with most people spending around $20-$30 total on a set of materials for their entire solar energy system.

Just make sure to build the frame correctly or the entire thing will topple over in a big storm.

5. Install An Automatic Solar Panel Angle System

An automatic solar panel angle system is how you can make sure that your panels always get sunlight no matter how strong the wind blows or how much rain falls, but it can also be really useful at protecting solar panels from hail.

This is mainly because the angle of your panel plays a vital role in how much damage hail can have on them.

When you install solar panels, you mainly tilt them towards the sky to increase the light receiving area and get the most of sunlight.

This also makes your panels more susceptible to hail damage.

However, if you have an automatic solar panel angle system, you can easily adjust the panels to make them vertical, which significantly reduces the surface area, resulting in less risk of being hit by hail.

One disadvantage of this system is that you need to manually adjust the angle using a remote, so if you are not home or you simply didn’t watch the weather forecast, then it would be useless.

6. Follow The Weather Forecast Predictions

This brings us to the sixth tip to protect solar panels from hail, which is to stay up to date with the weather forecast.

By doing this, you can easily make sure that your panels are protected from hail as soon as it starts to rain or storm.

You can also find out how long the storm is expected to last and how big the hailstones are going to be.

This way you can take proper measurements to better protect your solar panels.

For example, if the weather is going to be bad in a few days, you can easily fully cover your solar panels with a tarp or something similar.

The most important thing is to be prepared and take action as soon as you know that a storm is coming.

Some solar monitoring applications have built-in weather forecasts that can give you some predictions on how the weather will be tomorrow, so this is definitely something to look for.

7. Regularly Inspect Your Solar Panels

As mentioned before, solar panels are very durable. However, if not maintained regularly, they will be weakened by all the wind and hailstorms and will eventually break.

This is why you should regularly inspect your solar panels since it’s one of the best ways to protect them from hail, especially if there are any signs that something might have damaged them.

So how exactly do you inspect them?

The first thing that you need to check is your solar panels’ glass.

If they are damaged or have small cracks, you should consider replacing them.

The second thing is how the frame of your solar panels looks like since it’s another indicator that there might be something wrong with them.

You need to look at the racking system, if there are any signs of damage such as dents, bends, cracks in the metal parts, rusting, etc, you should call your solar installer immediately.

Even a small crack can jeopardize the whole mounting system’s structural integrity, so you should really pay how to protect solar panels from hail and check it.

This is why we recommend getting a professional inspection every few years to make sure your solar system is in good condition.

Finally, you should check your system performance by inspecting the voltage meter, which is connected to your panels, and make sure the voltage output hasn’t dropped significantly.

If you have a monitoring app, then you can use it to check whether your system’s production is lower than average or not.

If it’s low, then this could be an indicator of hail damage.

FAQs

Can Solar Panels Withstand Hails?

Yes, solar panels are extremely durable and can withstand hail up to 1 inch in diameter falling at a speed of 50 miles/hour.

How to Protect RV Solar Panels From Hail?

The best way to protect RV solar panels from hail is by using a solar panel protection cover.

This cover will slow down hail stones and break larger ones so they don’t break your solar system.

How Much Does Hail Damage Solar Panels?

Hail damage to solar panels can vary depending on how big the hailstones are and how fast they’re falling.

Most of the time, the damage is not severe and can be easily fixed. However, in some cases, hailstorms can severely damage your solar panel components.

How to Fix Hail Damage Solar Panels?

If you have hail damage on your solar panels, the best thing to do is to call your solar installer or a professional solar panel repair company.

They will be able to assess the damage and give you the best solution on how to fix it.

Can I Claim Insurance If My Solar Panels Are Damaged By Hail?

Yes, you can claim insurance if your solar panels are damaged by hail.

Most installers offer solar panel insurance that can last up to 20 years. This insurance can protect you in case of hail, wind, rain, or any manufacturing defects.

Last Words

Protecting solar panels from hail is something you should definitely consider if you want your system to last as long as possible.

If they are damaged by wind or hail, then this will lead to a big financial loss for you since it can affect the amount of electricity that gets produced and how much you can save on your electricity bill.

However, if you keep in mind these 7 tips and they will definitely contribute to protecting solar panels from hail.

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