Ways to Protect Your Solar Panels from Hail Storm Damage

Matt Keane
April 1, 2023

As homeowners adapting to a renewable energy lifestyle, it can be unpleasant to discover that even something as environmentally friendly as mother nature's elements can threaten solar panels.

In our case, the threat comes in the form of hailstorms - a common occurrence here in Ireland. Hailing could cause considerable damage to your expensive and fragile solar panels if not properly safeguarded against these icy projectiles from the sky.

This article will offer practical tips on effectively shielding your panels from such occurrences and ensuring they enjoy an extended lifespan, providing you with more return on investment over time. Let's dive into keeping your precious green asset safe!

Can Hail Damage Solar Panels?

Hail can indeed cause damage to solar panels, with the likelihood of such damage varying depending on a number of factors.

Susceptibility Of Solar Panels To Hail Damage

Hailstorms can indeed damage solar panels. Although manufacturers design these panels to withstand harsh weather conditions, they're still vulnerable to strong impacts such as hailstones.

Materials like methacrylate or a protective cover provide an additional layer of safety, allowing sunlight through while shielding from the dangers of hail. High-quality panels are particularly important because their durability helps resist impacts and potential cracking or shattering.

Even with durable materials, correct installation is crucial for limiting vulnerability to weather extremes, including violent hail showers. Following the manufacturer's guidelines aids in minimising possible harm - the placement and angle of the panel play a significant role here too.

An automatic solar panel angle system might help you adjust positions during storms to avoid direct strikes from downward-driving hailstones. It wouldn't hurt to be proactive about where to install them on your property - some locations may naturally offer more shelter than others!

The Potential Impact Of Snow Or Dust Storms, Fireworks, And Solar Flares On Solar Panels

Snow or dust storms, fireworks, and solar flares can harm the performance and longevity of your solar panels. During snow or dust storms, thick layers of snow or dust can accumulate on the surface of the panels, reducing their ability to absorb sunlight effectively.

If promptly cleared, this decreases energy production and potential damage to the panels. Fireworks can pose a risk, with debris potentially landing on the panels and causing physical damage.

Solar flares, on the other hand, emit bursts of electromagnetic radiation that can disrupt the functioning of solar panel systems. It is important to be aware of these potential hazards and take appropriate measures to protect your solar panels from such events.

The Potential Damage Caused By Birds

Birds can potentially threaten solar panels, causing damage that can affect their performance and longevity. They may perch on the panels, leave droppings and debris behind, or even peck at the surface.

These actions can lead to scratches, cracks, and other physical damage compromising the panels' efficiency. Homeowners need to be aware of this risk and take necessary measures to protect their solar panels from bird-related damage.

Effective Ways To Protect Solar Panels From Hail

To effectively protect ways to protect your solar panels from hail storm damage, homeowners can use protective covers or coatings, choose durable and hail-resistant solar panels, build a wire gauge for added protection, install an automatic solar panel angle system, pay attention to weather forecasts, regularly inspect the panels, and use a monitoring app for real-time updates.

Use Of Protective Covers Or Coatings

Protective covers or coatings are an effective way to protect your solar panels from hailstorm damage. These covers act as a barrier between the panels and the hail, absorbing the impact and preventing damage.

For example, applying a layer of methacrylate on the panels can allow sunlight to pass through while protecting against hail. This ensures that your solar panels remain intact and functional even during severe weather conditions.

Using protective covers or coatings is an important precautionary measure that homeowners should consider to safeguard their investment in solar energy systems against potential hail damage.

Choosing Durable And Hail-Resistant Solar Panels

Choosing those durable and specifically designed to withstand hail is important when selecting solar panels. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. High-quality materials: Look for solar panels made with high-quality materials such as tempered glass. These panels are more resistant to hail damage.
  2. Robust construction: Opt for panels with sturdy frames and strong junction box connections. This helps to ensure that the panels can withstand the impact of hailstones.
  3. Hail testing certification: Check if the solar panels have been tested and certified for hail resistance. Look for certifications such as IEC 61215 or UL 1703, which indicate that the panels have undergone rigorous testing.
  4. Panel thickness: Thicker solar panels are generally more resilient against hailstorms. Consider choosing panels with a higher thickness rating to enhance their resistance.
  5. Warranty coverage: Examine the manufacturer's warranty coverage. Some manufacturers provide specific warranties against hail damage, giving you added peace of mind.
  6. Professional installation: Ensure that the people installing your solar panels are qualified experts who adhere to industry best practises. Proper installation can help protect the panels from hail damage.  

If you're looking for ways to protect your solar panels from hail storm damage, contact BuildTech today! Connect with Top-Notch Home Improvement Professionals like BuildTech for planning consultation, architectural design, interior design, home renovation, home extension, deep retrofit etc. 

Building A Wire Gauge For Added Protection

Consider building a wire gauge to protect your solar panels during hailstorms. This can act as a barrier against hail and help minimise damage. It is important to install the wire gauge properly, ensuring that it covers the entire surface area of the panels. By creating this protective barrier, you can defend your panels against hail and protect them from potential damage.

Installing An Automatic Solar Panel Angle System

Installing an automatic solar panel angle system is a smart way to protect your solar panels from hailstorm damage. This system allows you to adjust the angle of the panels during hailstorms, minimising the risk of damage. With this technology, you can ensure that your panels are positioned to deflect hailstones and prevent them from directly hitting the surface. An automatic solar panel angle system can safeguard your panels and prolong their lifespan.

 Additionally, choosing the right location for installing the panels and using tempered glass can further increase their resistance to hail. Installing hail netting can also provide an extra layer of protection.

Paying Attention To Weather Forecasts

We should always pay attention to weather forecasts to protect our solar panels from hailstorm damage. We can proactively safeguard our panels before a hailstorm hits by staying informed about the weather conditions.

If a severe storm is predicted, we can cover the panels with protective tarps or blankets or even bring them indoors. Additionally, by regularly monitoring the weather updates through a mobile app, we can receive real-time information and act accordingly to minimise potential damage.

Awareness of the weather forecast is important in protecting our solar panels and ensuring their longevity.

Regular Inspection Of Solar Panels

Regularly inspecting your solar panels is essential for maintaining their performance and protecting them from hail damage. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Visually check the panels for any signs of cracks, dents, or other physical damage.
  2. Inspect the mounting system to ensure it is secure and intact.
  3. Look for any loose or damaged wiring connections.
  4. Clean the panels regularly to remove dirt, debris, and bird droppings that can affect their efficiency.
  5. Check the surrounding area for trees or branches that may pose a risk during a hailstorm.
  6. Monitor the performance of your solar panels using a monitoring app or system to identify any potential issues.

Using A Monitoring App For Real-Time Updates

We recommend using a monitoring app to stay updated on the performance of your solar panels in real time. By downloading a reliable monitoring app, you can easily track important information such as energy productionsystem efficiency, and potential issues or malfunctions.

This lets you promptly address problems and ensure your solar panels function optimally. With real-time updates at your fingertips, you can have peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected and that you are maximising the benefits of your solar panel system.

How To Handle Hailstorms And Protect Solar Panels During The Event?

Cover solar panels with tarps, blankets, or tents during a hailstorm to provide temporary protection. If possible, bring the panels indoors to safeguard them from potential damage.

Covering Solar Panels With Tarps, Blankets, Or Tents

Covering your solar panels during a hailstorm is important to protect them from hail damage. Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Use tarps, blankets, or tents to cover the solar panels.
  • Secure the covers tightly to prevent them from blowing away in strong winds.
  • Ensure that the covers completely shield the panels from hailstones.
  • Remove any accumulated ice or snow from the covers to maintain their effectiveness.
  • Keep an eye on weather forecasts and cover your solar panels if a hailstorm is predicted.

Bringing Panels Indoors, If Possible

To protect your solar panels from hailstorms, consider bringing them indoors. This will protect them from any potential harm that the hail storms may cause. It is highly recommended that you temporarily have a garage or storage space to place the panels during a hailstorm.

However,  by bringing the panels indoors, you can prevent any hailstones from directly hitting and potentially causing damage to your solar panels. This precautionary measure can help ensure your solar panels remain safe and in good condition even during severe weather events like hailstorms.

Final Thoughts 

To protect your solar panels from hail storm damage, it is crucial to ensure the longevity and performance of your investment. By using protective covers or coatings, choosing durable and hail-resistant panels, building a wire gauge, installing an automatic angle system, and staying informed about weather forecasts, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage.

Regular inspection and monitoring are also essential for early detection of any issues. These steps will help safeguard your solar panels and maintain their efficiency for years.

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*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.

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