How to Protect Your Solar Panels From Hail Damage

solar panels hail damage

With hail season in full swing, protect your solar panels from hail damage to keep their energy supply in working condition. 

Solar panel hail damage happens in the blink of an eye. One minute the sun is shining bright across the Lone Star state, then suddenly, debris the size of golfballs rattles down and wreaks havoc that’s often expensive and stressful to repair. 

Needless to say, there are several ways to mitigate Mother Nature’s actions to ensure your safety at all times. If you’re curious as to how you can stay ahead of any potential problems, here’s how to protect your solar panels from hail damage: 

Know What Your Solar Panels Can Withstand

According to research from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a survey of 50,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013 found that only 0.1% of them were damaged or classified as malfunctioned each yearly review. 

This means that solar panels have outstanding durability when it comes to extreme weather patterns. In fact, manufacturers actually test their solar panels to ensure that hail storms won’t be an issue. 

Generally, solar panels can endure hailstones up to one inch in size (25mm) at a falling speed of 50 miles per hour. To give you an idea of how this translates in a real scenario, back in 2017, the NREL campus in Golden, CO faced a devastating hail storm that shattered car windows and left dents in homeowners’ roofs. Surprisingly, of the 3,000 panels on their building, only one was broken, which means you can trust that your panels hold up pretty well in the face of danger.

Stay Up-to-date with Local Weather Reports

Now that you know how resilient your solar panels are, your next best move is to stay up-to-date with local weather reports so you can anticipate any serious strikes. 

There are some great resources that residents in North Texas can take advantage of when it comes to weather preparedness. Here are a few of them to consider:

  • Sign Up for Text Alerts: The Office of Emergency Management in Fort Worth offers a free text alert system for anyone who inquires. All you have to do is text your zip code to 888777 or register online. Within minutes, you’ll get a detailed report that notifies you about any impending hail storms or severe weather attacks. 
  • Download Weather Apps On Your Phone: Thanks to technology, you can get access to detailed weather reports in a matter of seconds by downloading weather apps on your smartphone or mobile device. Weather Underground, The Weather Channel, and RadarScope are some of the best weather apps of 2019 for you to stay informed, so train yourself to do daily check-ups during hail season. 
  • Find Shelter In Case of Emergencies: Hail storms may only do minimal damage to your solar panels, but they can do much more to your car, home, or even yourself! With this in mind, it’s best to choose a designated shelter for you and your loved ones to retreat to in case of emergencies. This can be a basement, a secure part of your home, or a covered parking space.
  • Get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage: Lastly, many parts of North Texas offer comprehensive insurance packages that cover natural disasters. This means that if your solar panels (or any other parts of your home) are damaged from hail, you can get them replaced without having to pay a fortune. Just make sure to check over your homeowner policy to ensure that it includes solar panels. In most cases, a panel may have to be removed and reinstalled so a roofer can fix a damaged roof. 

Perform Regular Maintenance to Your Solar Panels

Although hail storms are unpredictable in terms of how much damage they can cause, it’s always a good idea to perform regular maintenance to your solar panels to ensure they work properly and are ready for anything.

For instance, you can do several things to keep your solar panels running at optimum levels. Plus, the workload is relatively simple: 

  • Keep Your Solar Panels Clean: All kinds of grime and debris can stifle the abilities of your solar panels over time. On a regular basis, make sure to clean them with water and wipe them free of dust, rain residue, bird excrement, tree limbs, or pollen. In some cases, hiring a professional to clean your solar panels is a good idea to avoid dangerous heights. 
  • Install a Solar Panel Cover: Some solar companies may provide you with a protective cloth that covers your solar panels from light debris and buildup. However, remember that your equipment is quite durable on its own! That being said, there aren’t too many mainstream options when it comes to dedicated solar panel covers, although you can install your own using plexiglass from your local hardware store. 

Keep Your Solar Panels Protected No Matter What

Despite how strong your solar panels may be against the elements, nothing beats the reassurance and know-how of a solar panel professional at Solartime USA

Our team provides custom solar designs to ensure your new solar panels fit perfectly to your home, along with them performing at their highest levels to give you maximum energy at an affordable cost. 

To learn more about our residential solar panels, custom solar designs, or to inquire about maintenance issues, please contact Solartime USA today.

HOW DO SOLAR PANELS PERFORM DURING DIFFERENT WEATHER CONDITIONS?

 

If you are thinking about going solar, it is crucial to understand how the weather may affect their efficiency and output. Solar panels are very adaptable to different weather conditions, and are installed all over the world, in places such as the below freezing temperatures of Alaska and the searing heat of the Sahara. Lets take a look at different weather conditions and how they affect the solar production.

Cold

Solar panels’ production is more reliant on the amount of the sunlight that reaches the panels, than the temperature of the air surrounding them. However, since we are dealing with electricity, it is known that as the panels get hotter, they produce less energy even with the same amount of sunlight. The panels are tested at a temperature of 25 degrees C- about 77 degrees F, and heat can reduce that efficiency by 10-25%. That’s why the best production months for Texas are during spring and fall, when days are already long, but the temperature is mild!

Clouds

Solar panels are designed to use direct and indirect sunlight to generate electricity. As a result, clouds reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches your panels.  That being said, solar panels will still generate electricity, just about 20-30% of its full capacity. No worries, you are still producing power even when the clouds are up there!

Rainfall

Solar panels produce electricity even on rainy days due to visible sunlight getting through the rain. Rain is beneficial for solar panels, as it helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away dust, pollen, birds’ droppings, and or debris. So rainy days are solar-shower days!

Snowfall

A little bit of snow, as in the case of rain, can be useful for cleaning solar panels. The sunlight can still pass through a thin cover of snow. Designers always install solar panels at the most effective angle to help with sun reflection and the fall of snow if needed. Fortunately we do not have to deal with this as much, here in Texas!

Hail

Solar panels could possibly be damaged by a heavy hailstorm, but it is very rare. Fortunately, if it happens, any potential damage caused by severe weather conditions would be covered by your home owners insurance, just like your roof. Solar Panels are tougher to break than your roof, so you can sleep calm! They will withhold the hail and if not we will work with your insurance to fix them if needed!

Wind

Most solar panels can withstand winds up to 100mph. Every solar installation is firmly attached to the roof. The panels must be properly mounted to a sturdy, immovable surface to pass the final inspection.

If you still have any questions regarding the performance of solar panels share your questions with us at office@solartimeusa.com or call/text us 972 675 7725.