Protecting your solar panels from hail can save you money. Storms can cause a lot of damage to cars, houses, and solar panels alike!
If you live in an area where stormy conditions are common, it’s best to invest in solar panel protection. Many insurance companies also require that you have these in place before they cover your solar setup.
In this article, I explain why protecting your solar panels against hail is essential and list a few ways you can do this.
Reasons To Protect Your Solar Panels From Hail
After investing in solar panels and reducing or eliminating your energy bill, you wouldn’t want hail damaging them! There are many reasons to protect your solar panels from hailstorms.
Being set back and losing all the money you invested in your solar panel setup is the last thing you want. Solar panels come at a high price tag and can be just as expensive to fix or replace.
If you don’t have your solar panels covered by your insurance, you’ll have to replace them from your pocket when they’re damaged in a hailstorm.
Sometimes solar panels get damaged in the installation or transportation process. These faults are usually invisible, and you don’t realize this until something as small as a piece of hail shuts down the whole system.
The impact of hail can shatter the already-cracked surface of a solar panel. There is also the possibility that a piece of hail slips into small holes on the junction box and melts. Water in the wiring can cause serious damage and is very dangerous.
Ways To Protect Your Solar Panels From Hail
Your solar panel is made from glass and metals. This ensures it gets the best exposure to sun rays. You should mount your panels to your roof or next to your house where nothing covers them.
It isn’t always warm and sunny. When rain clouds start to form, you probably pull your car under a roof. Just so, your solar panels need protection from these weather conditions.
Here are a few ways to protect your solar panels from damage when it starts to hail:
Insure Your Panels
After affixing your solar panels to your roof, you need to call your home insurance company and add them to your plan. This will cover you against financial loss if your solar setup gets damaged.
Check your contract to ensure a clause stipulates protection against weather conditions like hail. Your insurance will likely pay a fixed amount or replace your damaged solar panels.
For this option to work, you’ll have to keep an eye on weather reports. When a hailstorm is predicted, you’ll need to cover your panels.
After the storm, you’ll need to take them off again. These protective coverings block sunlight, so you won’t be able to generate electricity if they stay put.
Most protective covers are made from materials that protect your solar panel glass from light debris and scratches while keeping hail out.
Ensure you fix these covers tightly to avoid a strong wind blowing them off.
Plexiglass is a transparent material that won’t interfere with your solar panel’s ability to collect sunrays. Use it is a cost-effective way to protect your solar panels against hailstorms.
You can buy plexiglass sheets or spray from most hardware stores. Both are easy to add, but the spray is tricky.
If you use too much spray, it will create a thick layer that can block the sun. Too little spray won’t protect your panels enough. Also, don’t spray the metal parts of your panels. This is where electricity is conducted, and the spray can interfere with the process.
Invest In An Auto Angle System
Some solar systems have a remote control that helps you change the angle they sit at. If a hailstorm approaches, you can change the angle of your panels to ensure they get as little direct hits of hail as possible.
Use Wire Mesh
Wire mesh is another easy DIY solution to protect your solar panels against hail.
You’ll need a wire mesh with small holes to block hail from reaching your solar panels. Still, the holes should leave enough room for the sun to reach your panel surfaces.
It’s easy to build a mesh frame. Another option is using the mesh wire to cover your panels from top to bottom.
Invest In Quality Panels
If you don’t have the right solar panels, you’re more likely to face serious problems after a heavy hailstorm. Some solar panels are cheaper than others for a reason. If you didn’t do proper research before buying your system, you might have ended up with the not-so-durable kind.
Cheaper solar panels aren’t made to resist different weather conditions. They have a very thin layer of glass covering, and some are just flimsy. Solar panels need protection against hailstorms. You should invest in panels that have underwent a hail test and come with a certificate to prove it.
Consider The Area You Live In
If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions and regular hailstorms, you need permanent protection for your solar panels.
Occasional light rain or small hailstones won’t do much damage. If the hail in your area looks more like tennis balls, you may have trouble after a few hit your panels.
Consider where you live and choose the best solar panel protection for your common weather conditions.
You can protect your solar panels against hail with temporary and permanent options. If your area frequently gets rainfall, permanent solutions like plexiglass are ideal. If the weather only acts up once or twice per season, temporary covers will do the job.
Whichever option you choose, it’s best to get solar panels insurance too. This will cover your solar setup in the event of hail damage and other issues.
I hope you enjoyed this article! If you know of a solar panel protection solution not listed here, add it to the comments.