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How does hail affect solar panels?

When you go solar, you can be assured the solar panels used for your project are the product of rigorous testing including hail tests.

It’s a common worry that we hear from potential solar customers as they’re exploring a solar installation for the first time: What if we get a hail storm?

Solar panels wouldn’t be much good if even a minor hail storm rendered them useless.

Thanks to durability standards and tests required by the International Electrotechnical Commission solar panels are made to perform well even after moderate hail events.

Picture the testing process: In a laboratory environment, ice balls are taken from a freezer and within a minute (to minimize melting and therefore shrinking) are propelled at different parts of a solar panel at approximately the speed of hail’s terminal velocity, 50 miles per hour.

hail impact test chart (2)

Ranging from half an inch to nearly 1.4 inches in diameter, the simulated hail stones are fired on the panels and as the test methodology and results show, defects like cracks or scratches are rarely found. By comparing solar energy outputs from the panel before and after the test, scientists obtain data on the panel design’s and materials’ resilience to hail.

Worried about bigger hail? Keep in mind that essentially your whole home has homeowner’s insurance in effect. Check your declaration page for coverage details, and read through it to see what the language is about your roof and any systems located on it, in case of what’s commonly called a force majeure also known as an act of God, like a tree falling or tornado force wind event.

Hope your solar installation enjoys good, sunny weather. But when it comes to hail, your panels are up to a little rough weather and shouldn’t be much worse for wear! A storage system like the Tesla Powerwall could also help power your home during an outage if damage does occur. Do you have more questions about how a solar panels installation would work for your home? Consult with our trained experts now – the first step is to register!

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