Examine Your Meter Or App
Examine the voltage meter linked to the panels to ensure correct voltage output and a consistent current flow. If you have a mobile app that monitors the output of the panels, you can see if the output is lower than average. Whether it is low, you can see if there is a problem in the panels caused by hail that has to be addressed.
Use A Layer Of Methacrylate Coating
Methacrylate coating is another effective way to protect your solar panels from hailstones. The reason why this method works is that methacrylate acts as a hail guard for the solar panel underneath it. When hailstones hit the coating, the solar panel has more strength to repel impacts to it. As the methacrylic coating is quite thin, light easily passes through it.
Always Be On The Look For Weather Predictions
Preparing your solar system for extreme weather will increase the possibility to keep it safe. If you concentrate on the weather forecast, you can go forward with the necessary steps to make a reliable solution.
Hazardous weather like storms, hail, and thunderstorms can bring danger to the solar panels. After getting the weather forecast, you can wrap the solar panel with a cover.
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Solar Panel Protective Covers
To reduce the risk, you can use solar panel protective covers in the season when there is a chance of hail.
You will find a wide range of solar panel protective covers in the market but all the covers are not suitable for hail protection.
Hail falls at a great speed and you need a stronger cover to keep the solar panel safe. It will also help you to protect against dust, rain, and leaves.
The main problem is that it will decrease productivity because the cover also protects sunlight. Due to the lack of direct sunlight, it will produce less energy than before.
But, you can use a cover for the rainy season only. It enables you to protect hail and keep the productivity the same.
Solar Panels Hail Damage Insurance
Hail has the potential to cause serious damage, even when its small. This is why many companies are now requiring hail coverage on homeowners policies in certain areas of the country where hail occurs frequently.
While your solar panels likely have a warranty that will cover you if they break or leak because of hail, there are other reasons why you should include hail damage insurance on your policy.
If you live in an area where hail occurs frequently, its important that you talk to your insurance company about whether or not you are required to have hail coverage.
If your panels are already installed, check with the manufacturer of your solar panels to find out what they will cover if damaged by hail. If it is within their warranty, theres a good chance that theyll replace them for free. The warranties on these types of products are typically for the lifetime of your panels.
It can be expensive to get cover when living in an area where there is extreme rain but your solar panels are likely to last for decades, so its worth the investment.
There are several solar panel insurance options available.
It is important that your insurance policy includes hail damage if your solar panels are installed. This is because it can be expensive to get insurance when living in an area where there are frequent hailstorms, but your solar panels are likely to last for decades, so its worth the investment and this makes the insurance cost-effective.
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Areas That Are Prone To Hail Storms
Although hail storms can occur anywhere, they are more common in areas of the Midwest and Great Plains regions. Because they are landlocked and meet other specific criteria, the area where Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska meet is highly prone to hailstorms, earning it the nickname of Hail Alley. The number of hailstorms that affect Cheyenne, Wyoming often reaches 10 or more per year.
Hailstorms are most common during the late spring through early fall, between May and September. This is when atmospheric conditions are aligned, with thunderstorm clouds having a high moisture content and rising high enough to freeze. Hail storms are often preceded by a sudden decrease in the ground air temperature brought by a cold front.
Build A Wire Gauge To Protect Your Panels
If you dont want to go with either solar panel protection covers or adding methacrylate can help protect your panels, then another great idea is how to build a wire gauge.
Youll be using wire mesh or something similar-like PVC pipes to cover your panels so that they remain protected from big hail.
The best part about using a wire gauge is how easy it is to build and how cheap the materials are, with most people spending around $20-$30 total on a set of materials for one of these.
However, you need to consider how many panels your gauge is going to protect and how big its going to be before designing how this will work.
In addition, how many wires youll be using is also important since a gauge with more wires tends to be better at protecting against wind and hail while still being able to allow sunlight through so that your panels can work effectively.
If youre concerned about how this type of protection may affect how much sunlight reaches onto your panels or how much rainwater can seep through over time, then consider adding another layer above the panels.
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Weatherproofing Your Solar Panels
Any hail that is larger than an inch in diameter, such as golf ball or baseball sized hail can threaten your solar panels. There are several ways to protect your panels, but the most effective method is by using a protective cover.
Protective covers are usually made of a durable, weatherproof material. Covering up your panels will prevent them from creating energy, but it will save them from damage. A cover can also increase the lifespan of your solar panels.
Another important part of protecting your panels is by adding them to your homeowners insurance. In the event that Central Virginia has a hail storm this summer, your solar panels may need only minor repairs. In some cases, a panel may need to be completely removed or replaced. Most traditional roofs usually require some repairs after a damaging hail storm. Any of these instances should be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Maintain It On A Regular Basis
Maintain your solar panels on a regular basis to keep them operating safely. Clean the surfaces on a regular basis, and engage an expert to assess for electrical faults. If you have an electrical issue, lightning may cause damage to the panels, inverter, or switches. Examine the joints and connections for damage and corrosion corrosion or damage may cause your panels to fail. You can create your own solar panel covers out of plexiglass to protect the panels from direct sunlight and to make cleaning easier.
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Will Home Insurance Cover Solar Panels For The Home
Home insurance is likely to cover solar panels from many types of risks. This includes the same typical risks it would cover for the roof structure of your home. It does not cover maintenance or any tasks that fall under the homeowners responsibility for upkeep or normal wear and tear. It may protect against hail damage, windstorm damage, falling objects, such as trees, that cause damage, and some first. Most policies provide coverage for the repairs necessary. If it is not possible to repair the solar panels, your home insurance policy may cover the replacement of those components damaged.
Tip : Add A Layer Of Methacrylate
A thin coating of methacrylate can do a big job in protecting your solar panels from the impact of hails. However, make sure you get some high-quality methacrylate to add a durable layer of protection.
Methacrylate creates a foam-like layer on the surface of the solar panel. This process needs special care, and the installer should accurately cover the delicate parts of the solar panel.
As the methacrylate layer is thin, it wont block the sunlight, and your solar panel will perform accurately. Thus, covering the solar panel with a thin layer of methacrylate is a simple and cost-effective method in protecting it from hail.
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Using A Coating Or Protective Barrier
Plexiglass is another alternative solution for extra protection on your solar panels, as it can be shaped and molded to create an impact-resistant barrier against hail or debris.
Both materials will allow sunlight to pass through for the solar panel to continue creating renewable energy.
A protective cover or sheet may also be used to protect any solar panels, which you can make yourself using tarps or what is readily available. Or, you can purchase solar panel protection kits from your solar provider.
Keep Up To Current With The Weather Forecast
Staying up to date is essential if you want to keep your solar panels secure from hail and other natural calamities. If you know when the weather will become nasty or a hailstorm will hit, you can plan accordingly. If the prediction indicates that the panels are in grave danger, you can even remove them or cover them with a thick cover.
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We’re Here If You Need Us
Namasté Solar’s team of service professionals is here to make sure your system is running smoothly for it’s full lifetime. In the event that your system does have hail damage, the service and replacement costs are covered by your homeowner’s insurance. We’ll work with you to schedule a service visit so we can get your system on and producing as soon as possible.
Our team also offers proactive maintenance service to provide system inspections, performance reporting, and remote monitoring upon request. All customers have access to their own monitoring system, so you are able to watch your solar panel system as it produces clean energy from the sun.
Install Home Solar Panels To Ensure A Reliable Energy Source For Years To Come
Solar panels are one of the most durable and reliable energy technologies in the world, and industry efforts mean that they are becoming more resistant to severe weather damage every day. Installing a home solar energy system ensures that your home can produce its own power, even during severe weather events. When you register for the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you can find the solar installer thats right for your home or business, and compare offers side-by-side to find the best deal for a long-lasting, sustainable, and reliable energy system.
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Tip : Ensure Routine Maintenance
Ensuring routine maintenance is just as crucial as getting the solar panels installed the right way. In some cases, the solar panels can get slightly damaged due to light hailing, which may go unnoticed until it becomes a considerable problem and reduces the performance.
So, regular maintenance and inspection will help you diagnose any problem beforehand.
Routine maintenance and cleaning will also help restore the solar panels efficiency. Secondly, repairing minor damage is less costly and not time-taking. So, make sure to call your installer for yearly and bi-yearly inspections.
How Much Wind Can A Typical Solar Panel Withstand
While wind is not the number one issue that people worry about, its still a major factor in storm-proofing. After all, winds do pick up during snowstorms and hail storms, too. Its worth noting that most solar panels are reinforced to be durable at wind speeds up to 140 miles per hour. This makes solar panels a fairly hurricane-proof addition to your home.
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Can Hail Cause Damage To Solar Panels
A hail storm can produce high winds of up to 50 miles per hour with hailstones the size of a tennis ball. You can image how vulnerable the tempered-glass silicon solar panels would be to hail. Your panels, on the other hand, are usually harmed by hailstones that strike the direct surface.
Hailstones might damage the entire arrangement by cracking the surface. Your solar panels are in grave danger, especially if you live in a location where hailstorms are prevalent. Even if your area is not prone to larger hailstones, you are nonetheless at risk because the panel surfaces are glass rather than metal.
What Types Of Solar Panel Covers Are Available
Solar panel covers are used for a few different reasons. Mesh covers and abatement screens are put in place to keep birds from nesting under the panels and causing damage.
Protective panel covers shield the entire solar panel from the elements when extreme weather is expected or the panels will not be used for a long time.
There are also hard protective shell systems that can be installed over the top of solar panels. These shells are highly protective for the long term.
No matter the reason you install a solar panel protective cover, it is essential you choose the right one. The panel cover should be designed to offer protection for your specific solar panel system.
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Hail Is Becoming A Bigger Financial Risk For Insurers And Theyre Not Covering All The Damage As Glass Gets Thinner Solar Asset Owners Need To Take Notice
By Paul Wormser, VP of Technology, Clean Energy Associates
Virtually all solar module manufacturers use glass for the top surface of the panel and they all pass the same tests intended to represent impact from hail. And yet, hail can still damage solar modules. Existing testing is inadequate. There is more risk than coverage.
Hailstorms are not a new risk for solar developers, insurers or module suppliers. When the occasional severe storm causes more damage than expected, project insurance has, until recently, covered repair and replacement costs at a reasonable premium.
But that status-quo cost of doing business is now changing for several reasons, and asset owners can be the ones left financially responsible even with hail insurance. Todays policies may limit the payout to a small fraction of the actual cost of repair. And even so, premiums have increased.
The problem: Projects seeing more severe hailstorms, modules with less glass protection
PV array damaged by hail at Fort Carson, Colorado.
The minimum impact test by the International Electrotechnical Commission is easy for a supplier to pass. A 25-mm ice ball about the size of a gumball is shot at a module in 11 locations at 23 meters per second. The module will pass if 1) the glass didnt break, 2) the power output didnt go down more than 5%, and 3) the module still passes a wet leakage test.
Whos responsible for fixing this hail damage issue?
Steps solar asset owners can take to reduce hail damage losses
Obtain The Appropriate Panels
Protection for your solar panels should begin before you ever buy them. Conduct some research and purchase panels that can withstand the most penetrative hailstones. Check that the panels have a solid corrosion-resistant bracket, a tempered glass surface, and a durable substance. They will keep you safe from small hailstones as well as other dust and debris.
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Solar Panel Testing And Certification
Testing and certifications by the solar industry have helped to develop standards for assessing solar energy system quality and durability this includes their ability to undergo severe weather conditions in multiple climates.
At the helm of this testing is the International Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force , which is funded by the SunShot Initiative. The SunShot Initiatives mission is to make solar more accessible and cost-effective for all Americans. By funding NREL scientists to work with the PVQAT, Americans can also be confident in their solar systems performance and durability.
The PVQAT develops standardized quality tests to make sure solar modules can survive various climate conditions, monitors quality management of the manufacturing process, and establishes guidelines for system quality inspections to ensure your solar installation has been designed and installed properly.8
Thanks to the work of the PVQAT, we can have even more confidence in solar energy systems. Their work is especially important as the demand for clean, solar energy grows in the face of increasingly severe weather due to rising global temperatures.9
Will A Solar Panel Continue To Work When It Is Covered
While one of the main purposes of covering a solar panel is to prevent damage, some owners cover their panels to also prevent energy overload when the panels are not in use.
There are grid covers that allow the solar panel to continue to absorb the suns energy, but these are primarily used for keeping pests out.
Many solar panel protective covers are meant to stop the absorption of solar energy, so the panels will no longer work effectively when the covers are in use. You should only cover your panels when they are not needed.
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Set Up Your Panels Properly
Once you have the best panels in your hands, make sure they are properly installed on your roof or in your garden. If you do not position them correctly, they will not form a strong array that can withstand natural disasters. Purchase a robust and durable metal frame to hold the panels in place and keep them stable. Second, ensure that the direction of the panels is properly set in angular motion, facing south. It will keep the panels out of the direct path of the strong wind and the branches that it delivers.
Getting A Solar Panel Cover
If you are in a place thats known for having high levels of hail during the summer, then it might be a good idea to get a solar panel cover. These are special protective shields that are put up around the railing surrounding the panels, designed to help protect your solar panels from hail.
We suggest getting a hard shell cover with a clear coat if possible. If not, you might still be able to do something in terms of protection by using clear stickers graded for solar panel protection use. The stickers can help contain any holes that get into the panels as a result of hail and prevent further damage.
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