10 Simple & Effective Ways on How to Protect Solar Panels from Hail

Tim Hamlin
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10 Simple Ways on How to Protect Solar Panels from Hail

Bolt Down the Panels: Hail will bend the panels if they're not bolted down. Use proper sized stakes so the panels can't be blown into anything that can damage them.

Keep the Area Clear: Any plant life within 10 feet of the panels should be removed if possible. Nothing should be blocking the area around the panels where hail could impact them.

Installing a Grid-Mounted System: Grid mounted systems are very resistant to hail damage because the panels are protected and the area is clear.

Increasing the Height of the Panels: The higher the better as this will cause the panels to be further away from the hail.

Installing a Metal Roof: Roofs made with metal guttering are harder to impact than flat roofs.

Having a High/Rounded Yard Fence: A high and rounded fence is safer for the panels.

Well-Sealed Flexible Ducting from the Panels to the Inverter: Ducting should have air-tight seals to prevent hail from getting into the system.

Having Multiple Sleeve Fittings on the Ducting: This stops the hail from entering around the fittings as well.

Installing Grounding Ties to the Panels: Adding grounding ties will ground the panels and help to disperse the electricity.

Applying a Flexible Plastic Shield: Installing a flexible plastic shield will provide protection around the panels.

A Layer of Methacrylate

A protective layer of cover made out of methacrylate protects your solar modules from hail, wind and bird droppings.

That’s because methacrylate transmits around seventy percent of the light that hits it which means that solar panels covered with it will still produce electricity, even when they’re covered in snow and frost.

Methacrylate has to be applied using a special technique called vacuum bagging.

If you’re willing to pay for it and have the necessary knowledge, it’s better than nothing.

Spend More on the Right Quality PV Modules

The quality of the solar modules makes a big difference.

What you pay for expensive solar modules is investment because it protects them from destruction by hail.

Solar panels with lower-quality glass/cells are more susceptible to damage.

Solar cell types that are more resistant to damage include silicon monocrystalline (SM), poly silicon, some types of silicon alloy.

Arranging the Panels in an Angle for Hail to Slide

By slightly angling your solar panels in an east-west direction, it creates a natural slope for the hail, rain to slide off, and protects the panels from damage. It may seem like an insignificant amount of tilt, but it can prevent a lot of damage to your solar system. You can also pack up the cushions from your patio for further protection.

Do a Wider Research Based on Your Situation

Solar panel systems are really common nowadays. No matter if they are being used to charge mobile phones, laptops, or to power streetlights the numbers are increasing dramatically.

The main reason for that is because solar systems are providing clean energy, and therefore being widely used nowadays. If that is the case, people that are installing solar panels may be afraid that their investment will be in danger when a hailstorm comes.

In order to know whether or not people need to protect their solar panels from hail, we need to understand the risks these systems are facing. Also, we need to learn how solar panels are being affected by such weather conditions.

This information will make sure that we take care of our solar panel systems in the right way. In order to protect our investment, we must also know the risks regarding hail damage.

Always Be on the Lookout for the Weather Reports

Carrying out a building your own solar panels and investing in solar energy makes you feel as if you have completed half of the world’s energy problems. You can start this new and exciting adventure knowing that you are putting the environment in its proper place and making the world a much better place for your children.

After you learn how to build your own solar panels, ensure that you put them on the proper location. Just about anyone made of wood can be destroyed by a good hail storm, and solar panels are no exception!

Assess the area and look for a place where the solar panels will be protected from the wind. If possible, try to install the panels where they will also be protected from rain or snow.

Make sure that you check the weather report at least twice a day and always make sure you position your panels wherever they would be safe from the sun, rain, wind, and hail.

Protecting solar panels from hail can be done by installing a fence around them or by building your own solar panel covers.

If none of these solutions are available to you, then you can purchase hail-resistant solar panels.

Try to Fix the Damage in a Panel Instead of Buying a New One

Even if a solar panel is not working, you can still get some energy output from it if you fix the broken solar cell. If you are an owner of a solar panel, try to fix the broken panels instead of buying a new one to save your money.

To fix a broken panel, you need some glass fiber, epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth.

First of all, clean the glass that is located behind the broken solar cell so that you can have a surface to work on. Use the glass fiber to glue the broken glass with the clean one. Use this weight as an opportunity to let the glue dry.

Meanwhile, find a shade and cover the panel with a shade that does not work. Put something so that the shade touches the surface of the panel. Meanwhile, make a hole with a diameter with the diameter that is similar to the thickness of your cloth in the center of the shade with the help of a drill. Cut out the cloth from the cloth that is wider than five centimeters. Use the cloth and glue it to the back of the panel to make a new cover over the hole. Use the epoxy to glue the cloth to the same spot in the panel. It means that your object is to fill the hole and use the cloth to patch the hole.

Cleaning Robots

Anything and everything can be cleaned by the use of a cleaning robot. As one of the most versatile tool you can have over your side, it is important to note that you may also encounter some problems in using it.

For one, once you reach the limit of the cleaning robot’s reach, it may start to move a bit erratically, leaving a few areas with the cleaning prowess it provides. If you also try running it in the same place for a prolonged period of time, you may notice the same areas also collecting more and more dirt and grime. Furthermore, even though cleaning robots are built to resist most suds and harmful chemicals thrown at it, it still it allows some of these to seep through. The resulting residue is left there to fester, not being cleaned up by the robot.

Dealing with these problems without taking the time to clean up the entire space your robot can cover with ease is where a cleaning robot maintenance guide comes in handy. So if you want to keep your robot in good shape, here is an infographic to help you with that.

Get to Know your Product: How Much Damage Your Solar Panels Can Withstand

Before you do anything you need to know the damage thresholds of your solar panels. Different kinds of damage will impact how your solar panels will work after they take a beating.

Cracks to the Panels

The glass that covers the solar panels doesn't last forever and the sooner you start thinking about protecting your solar panels from hail damage the better.

Panels have a scratch resistant glass covering them. They are not scratch proof and even a rock the size of a pea could cause cracks and make your solar panels lose efficiency.

Panels can be covered by warranty.

So you don't want to wait for a hail storm to come along and find that out. Damage to the photovoltaic cells (cells produce DC electricity)

This is one of the most important details you need to know about protecting your solar panels from hail. It is far cheaper to protect your panels from hail compared to a reduction in electricity flow from damaged cells. Cells are not always protected and this can put them at risk. Panels themselves are not necessarily at risk when cells are damaged.

Panels have circuit breaker systems in place to cut off the power from damaged cells. The downside to this is the cost of electricity. You will still be putting up with a loss in efficiency if you want to keep your system running after such a beating.

Keep a Constant Eye on the Performance of Your Panels

One of the simplest ways to protect your solar panels from hail is to watch the performance of your panels. Monitoring the performance of your solar panels can help you determine how well they are performing and if there are problems that need to be fixed. It will also help you determine if they need to be adjusted, if they need cleaning, or if they need to be replaced or repaired.

Make Sure the Energy Usage is Always on Point

Hail damage is not the only negative effect of bursts of thunderstorms. Energy companies look at the damage done to solar panels and will raise service fees. If you want to save money in the long run, it’s important to make sure you don’t exceed your electricity limit.

Most energy companies have a cap, where the usage is free after a certain amount. Once you get past that amount, you pay a percentage. You may even have to upgrade your service plan. Therefore, even if you have energy-saving LED bulbs and solar panels, you can still rack up expensive bills if you don’t pay careful attention to your energy usage.

It’s also essential to check your usage often so you can find out if there is something you can do to even out your energy consumption, or if there is a consumer in your home that is using the energy.

Call for a Technician Once or Twice a Year

If you're going to skip the DIY method and hire a technician, look for one who has experience in solar panel installation and who has a good reputation among your friends or colleagues. If you find such a person, stop asking about who's the best technician out there, and instead just call him.

What's the worst than can happen? He says… "Hello? Who is this?" and you just hang up.

You either go with him or with someone else, but you cannot fail with a good technician.

Final Thoughts

Hail can cause great damage to solar panels and the more panels on your roof, the more likely it is that your roof will be hit by a hail storm. If a storm is coming, we suggest you pay more attention to the weather forecast, so you can take the necessary precautions.

Also, we hope that the points listed above have been useful for you and if you’d like to contribute more interesting or funny details, we’ll gladly read them and we guarantee that we’ll include them in the compilation.