How to Prevent Solar Panel Hail Damage

Hail is one of Mother Nature’s most powerful forces. In fact, the largest hail ever recorded weighed up to 780 grams and measured 12 centimeters in diameter.

And when baseball-sized hail stones hit solar panels, it can be very bad news.

Solar panels are expensive pieces of technology. Though many hail storms cause no damage, a single severe storm can cause severe damage to an entire solar array.

Thankfully, it’s possible to take some proactive measures to mitigate damage. Read on to learn how to reduce the risk of solar panel hail damage.

Buy Durable Panels

Look for panels that have a sturdy frame built with corrosion-resistant aluminum or steel, as well as tempered glass or polycarbonate. Also, be sure that the panel has a hail-resistant rating.

If your area is prone to drastic weather, consider panels with more efficient hail protection. If you know your area will likely experience hail, install the panels in a sheltered area like an unshaded roof or a protected roof. By using durable and reliable solar panels, you can mitigate the risk of hail damage and protect your investment.

Use Protective Covers

One way to prevent solar panel hail damage is to use protective covers. These covers protect you from hail, snow, ice, and other damaging precipitation.

Mounting the solar panel covers on the roofs and frames of the panels minimizes exposure to the elements. You can leave the coverings off during the day when exposure to sunlight is still beneficial. You can then install them for added protection at night.

Regular maintenance and checking of the covers help maintain the functionality of the solar panel system. It also helps prevent long-term problems caused by hail and other weather events.

Use a Layer of Methacrylate

Methacrylate is a polymer compound that can be applied directly to the surface of solar panels as a protective coating. By doing so, it will act as a shield, deflecting the impact of hail from damaging the solar panel.

Methacrylate also has the advantage of being able to absorb the thermal shock of a large hailstone. Thus, it further protects the solar panel from damage. It is also very thin and does not significantly impede the effectiveness of the panel in terms of electricity generation.

The compound is also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. It makes it an ideal solution for protecting your solar panels from hail.

Protect Panels With Wire Mesh

The wire mesh should be securely attached to the panels, with the mesh’s design firmly covering the entirety of the panel. It is important to ensure full protection against hail.

When attaching the mesh, use corrosion-resistant hardware that is clearly labeled and weather-resistant. Also make sure that the wire mesh is securely attached to the panel base, as this will defeat the purpose if it is not. For extra protection, install multiple layers of wire mesh if hail is common in your area. 

Get an Automatic Solar Panel Angle System

You should consider getting an automatic solar panel angle system. This uses a sensor connected to an actuator which adjusts the angle of the solar panel surface. It does this by responding to the force of the wind and potential hail storms.

You will be sure that your solar panels will have protection while still allowing them to absorb as much solar energy as possible. They will still be able to keep their optimal position for harnessing solar energy.

Pay Attention to Weather Forecasts

It’s important to have up-to-date information on upcoming weather conditions in your area. Check the forecast regularly so you know when to prepare your solar panels for a potential hailstorm. Set up a weather alert system to give you reminders for storm forecasts. 

Download a Monitoring App

One way to prevent solar panel hail damage is to download a monitoring app. Many of these apps can detect when and where hail is coming from and provide alerts. The app can detect hail severity and the likelihood of it impacting the solar panel system.

If a severe hail storm is coming, you can take proper measures in advance to protect the system. This can include securing any loose pieces or taking the panels inside if necessary.

In addition, the monitoring app can provide real-time updates on hail warnings. You will be able to make the best course of action while the storm is happening. You won’t be blindsided by sudden changes in the weather.

Regular Maintenance 

Regularly check your panels for any signs of wear or tear. Make sure you are getting your panels professionally cleaned and serviced regularly.

Plenty of debris can accumulate on the panels, leading to a decrease in efficiency, as well as an increased risk of impact or deflection from hail. If you find that your panels have damage, try to make repairs as soon as possible. 

Aside from solar panel maintenance, yearly inspections by solar companies are also a great option. You can employ the services of Blue Raven Solar to properly inspect all nooks and crannies of your solar panels. To discover more about this process, just click on the link.

Get Insurance

There are times when the damage simply cannot be prevented. So insurance is another good way to protect damaged solar panels. You should make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage from hail and other extreme weather events. 

You should also make sure their solar panel installation is properly registered with their utility company. This will help them to access special insurance coverage. You can have your solar panels fixed immediately.

Take Measures Against Solar Panel Hail Damage

Severe hail and wind storms can be hazardous to solar panel arrays. So you should take proactive measures to protect your solar installations. Utilize the proactive measures outlined in this article to avoid costly repairs.

So don’t wait! Ensure that your solar systems are protected during severe weather. Consult with a local solar professional to take measures against solar panel hail damage.

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