Solar energy is a sustainable and affordable means of generating electricity, and property owners are swarming it like hotcakes. However, if hailstorms are common in your region, you’ll naturally worry about their effects on the solar panels.
In the monsoon season, the chances of hailstorms increase. Of course, this is based on your region, but these weather occurrences damage car windshields, windows, and fragile equipment exposed to the elements.
Moreover, there are many ways to protect your solar panels if you worry about hailstorm damage, and we’ll explore them in this article. Keep reading to discover if fireworks or solar flares can damage solar panels. Dive in!
Are Solar Panels Susceptible to Hail Damage?
It’s no secret that the weather in some states, notably Colorado, is unstable. And there are about three hundred days of glorious sun yearly, but the remaining sixty are cold days. Thunderstorms, downpours, and hailstorms are typical yearly, making weather elements a considerable concern for homeowners.
So, we say yes to answer whether solar panels are susceptible to hail damage. However, home insurance policies will cater to it should it happen. But the chances of hail destroying your solar panels are slim.
They may be less efficient during a hailstorm, but the system will restore its usual energy production rate once the weather is normal. Solar panels aren’t bulletproof, but they’re often built to withstand the effects of many weather elements, especially hailstorms.
Hailstones are ice pieces, a form of precipitation that builds up and falls from the sky. They sometimes accumulate drops of water in their descent from the clouds. And when that happens, the chunks become more significant and more dangerous – sometimes the size of a tennis ball.
But often, a hailstone is the size of a pea, and it creates a star-shaped micro-crack that you may not quickly notice. The degree of damage depends on how the solar panels are installed and positioned on the roof, the system’s technology, hailstone size, and hailstorm length.
In a nutshell, hail can be a nuisance to homeowners with solar panels. It can puncture the glass surface or even create electric conductors inside the panels, making them ineffective.
Can Snow or Dust Storms Damage Solar Panels?
Dust storms are strong winds that carry clouds of fine debris, especially dust, over a large area, and severe ones can damage solar panels. And the same applies to snowstorms.
Little dustings of these weather elements won’t do much. But they affect the efficiency of your panels if you don’t clean them soon.
Can Fireworks Damage Solar Panels?
Naturally, when making an investment decision like installing a solar system, you’ll undoubtedly cross some things off a mental list. Safety is a valid concern, and in this context, we’re concerned about how fireworks affect solar panels.
The fourth of July celebration is always anticipated, but it may be a worrisome period for solar system owners. If you’re wondering if fireworks can damage solar panels, rest assured.
Unless the fireworks are aimed directly at the surface of the panels, there’s no need to worry about a fire hazard. The exterior is made of uppermost glass, which won’t burn well.
However, you may pay more attention to falling embers – if they land in unsuitable places, like unprotected parts of the roof or grass, a fire may erupt.
Can Solar Flares Damage Solar Panels?
Solar flares are brief eruptions of intense radiation from the sun. They’re associated with sunspots that cause radio and magnetic disruptions on earth. And the electromagnetic pulse or EMP can damage your appliances and make them useless.
They’re caused by nuclear atmospheric deteriorations, sudden flashes that release intense x-rays and gamma rays. When this happens, it exposes the electronic parts of your gadgets to damage.
You can protect them by using a surge protector. Or, consider adding extra layers of protection to your power strips and connecting your gadgets to them. Alternatively, you can disconnect all devices when a solar flare is happening.
Can Birds Damage Solar Panels?
It’s not uncommon to complain about or witness birds damaging someone’s property, but their threat to solar panels is significant. If they perch on the surface, their claws can scratch the glass. They can also leave dirt and droppings behind, reducing the panels’ efficiency.
Another problem is the corrosion their droppings cause, especially when it gets into the frame support. These creatures may also remove your insulations to build their nests. And when they fly into your photovoltaic cells, it may cost a fortune to repair.
7+ Smart Ways to Protect Solar Panels From Hail
Are you finally ready to install those solar panels in your home? If the answer is yes, you should consider hailstorms if you live in areas like Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and the other regions in the Midwest and Great Plains.
The annual hailstorms often climb to ten, commonly occurring between May and September. And you’ll be forewarned through the reduction in ground air temperature, which is usually caused by a cold front.
Property owners need to get familiar with the history and frequency of hailstorms in their region. That way, you’ll be better prepared for combating this natural occurrence; with knowledge about how to position the panels, the size of hail in the area, and how frequently hailstorms happen, you’ll make better decisions regarding solar energy.
Without further ado, here are eight ways to protect solar panels from weather elements:
1. Use Protective Covers
These are temporary covers made of clothing materials to protect solar panels from scratching and light debris. It also protects the surface from hail damage or destruction by other weather elements.
However, they’re not effective against strong winds. When choosing one for your roof, ensure it has solid sides and holes to pass the panel’s legs through. But if you don’t want to cover them entirely, opt for one with a mesh top and no bottom.
Some protective covers also have side openings designed to make it easy for workers to repair without dismantling much.
Studies have shown that durable protective covers can protect solar panel surfaces from hail with an inch diameter. It’s eighty to ninety percent effective against weather elements. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are required to prevent dirt buildup.
2. Use A Layer Of Methacrylate
Methacrylate is a common monomer in polymer plastic that can protect your solar panels from weather elements like rain, high winds, and hailstorms. This material is particularly renowned for its resistance to hail.
A Plexiglas shield is a transparent material for protecting solar panels from even the most severe weather activities.
And because of its transparent structure, it doesn’t impede sunlight, which means the efficiency of the solar cells won’t be affected. Therefore, the sun can still pay your bills even if the weather changes.
It can either be sprayed on the surface of the panels or added as a thin layer. However, it’s ideal to avoid areas that conduct electricity, such as the metal parts, if you’re spraying.
And if you don’t use the right amount, it’ll also be ineffective. Too little won’t work, and too much will impede the sun’s access. Many homeowners claim that this is the more cost-effective method of protecting hail solar panels from hail, and they’re right.
You only need to purchase this spray and dedicate some time to applying it to the solar panels.
3. Purchase The Right Panels
It’s a no-brainer that all solar panels are not made the same way.
The quality of materials may be better suited for different climates, so choose one appropriate for yours. Ensure it’s been tested for hail damage before buying from any brand; you’ll see a “hail test” certification on the structure. Or, you can check the company’s description on the internet.
It’s also best to check the years of warranty the brand offers. It’s one of the things that help you decide if the solar panels are protected even when there’s harsh weather.
4. Build A Wire Gauge
Another option is building a wire gauge to protect the solar panels. You need wire mesh or the material used for PVC pipes to make this protective cover, but you won’t spend more than $50.
However, you must consider some things, such as the number of wires that’ll adequately protect the panels from wind and hail. And they must not affect the penetration of sunlight.
5. Get An Automatic Solar Panel Angle System
An automatic solar panel is a device that ensures you always have access to sunlight, regardless of how harsh the weather elements are. The angle that’s most accessible to sunlight is also the most exposed for solar panels, where hail is concerned.
If you install an automatic solar panel angle system, you’ll use a remote to adjust the angle, which gives you more control over what hits the surface. The weather forecast will be your friend; watch it before leaving home to know the most suitable protection for the panels.
6. Pay Attention To Weather Forecasts
This is another essential point property owners with solar systems must consider. You can work with this technology to prolong its lifespan and ensure better efficiency by keeping up with the weather forecast.
It helps with maintenance, such as allowing you to prepare adequately for the weather change, determining how often to clean, and how to protect from water damage.
Consider apps that monitor the weather, designed especially for property owners with solar systems.
7. Inspect The Solar Panels
Although solar panels are durable, they won’t last as long if you don’t regularly maintain them. Intense wind, hail damage, and other factors can spoil the structure, but when you check regularly, you can salvage the condition before it worsens.
Inspecting the panels is easy – there are no special skills for it. The first step is checking the glass for cracks; they often affect the system’s energy production capacity.
Another thing is inspecting the frame of the panels. If they’re bent or warped, it may indicate that something’s amiss. You should also check the racking system for signs of weather damage, such as warping, bends, cracked metal parts, and corrosion.
The most insignificant crack can affect the whole energy production of this technology. So, you need to pay attention to it when hailstorms are more frequent.
You must also check the grid inverter; if there are abnormalities or indicators that it’s spoiling soon, it’s best to invite a professional.
8. Use A Monitoring App
It’ll be easier to keep up with system performance if you pay attention to things like the voltage meter. And when it dwindles, you’ll know the proper steps to take.
Solar panels are worthy investments, and property owners are no longer snoozing on them. However, just like other significant appliances in the home, we must care for the system to increase longevity and durability.
If you live in an area with frequent hailstorms, it’s normal to show concern about protecting the delicate glass surface of the solar panels. And this blog post has covered that area; keep the eight tips for protecting solar panels from hail in mind, and you’ll enjoy your sustainable energy source for decades.