We depend on solar panels to generate renewable energy for us. But because of their immense size, at least when they are part of a grid, and their exposure to sunlight, it’s possible for them to be effected by thunderstorms, wind, and most crucially, hail. There are no covers that exist for solar panels because you always need them to absorb sunlight. Here are some interesting facts on solar panels and their durability against the elements of nature. We advise you not try to cover your solar grid.
Solar panels can be built to stand up to most hail. When you imagine small pieces of ice fall from the sky, one would assume that hail would pick up speed and velocity over a great distance from the sky to the earth, but that is not the case. Most cases of hail are very small, so because of their overall light weight, they do not have a fast terminal velocity.
Terminal velocity is how fast an object drops to the earth without any interference from other objects or people. When an object strikes a surface such as a solar panel that is at a flat 90 degree angle, the object would likely cause damage due to the impact that will cause more force.
However, most solar panels aren’t flat surfaces; they are positioned at a certain angle when it can capture the most sunlight. Because of this sunlight, solar panels can manage to take shots of hail easier due to not being parallel with the earth.
A stone of hail that is 1 centimeter in diameter travels to the earth at only 20 miles per hour. That is pretty big considering the frequency of hail that occurs. Most solar systems can withstand hailstorms that travel 50 miles per hour. If there is hail that gets bigger, then it would be time to worry; larger hail, more specifically, hail that is a whopping 8 centimeters in diameter, can drop to the earth at 110 mile per hour. Companies that generate solar power in Toowoomba can create high-end solar systems that can withstand hail travelling as fast as 260 miles per hour.
Most solar panels use a layer of glass, laminate, or acrylic to protect the main layer of crystalline cells. Companies that build systems to generate solar power in Toowoomba or around your area test the strength and durability of their grids by firing special guns at it. These guns fire small pellets to replicate the feeling of hail and other icefall.
If by chance that hail damages your solar system, talk with your insurance company for possible solar panel insurance. A damaged solar system will not be able to generate you much energy, even exposed in sunlight, and getting a new grid will cost a ton of money. Paying for one grid is enough for most people. They’re not like taking care of a car; solar systems are more valuable, and don’t come in used!
To sum this article up, the protective layer of most solar panels are made to stand against moderately strong forces of nature, and can last in harsh conditions like heat, cold, and downpours as well.
Talk with a specialist at a company that builds solar systems and ask them which kind of solar system would be right for your living situation. Also contemplate whether or not paying extra for a more durable solar grid is worth it, if hail in your area does not grow as large as 8 centimeters.