Solar Panels and Hail Damage
With severe storms hitting San Antonio often, it is important to consider how solar panels will be affected by severe weather.
Solar cell housings
Most solar panels on the market come in a protective housing. This housing acts as a weather barrier that protects moisture, dust, and projectiles from damaging a solar cell.
The solar panel housing also has a gap between an acrylic sheet of plastic or tempered glass and the silicon solar panel so a large strike will not break the system. The solar cells we use are hail impact tested as part of the certification process.
The above video shows a 2-inch piece of hail striking a solar panel with a protective housing at 75 miles per hour. The solar panels are not damaged from the impact because of the flexible acrylic housing.
A research study by the University of California University tested solar cell brands against hail size and speed. The study found that solar cells with protective housings can withstand 2 inches in diameter hail strikes at 50 miles per hour. Hail speed, size, and hardness are non-constant variables, but solar panels have a line of protection from hail damage.
Silicon solar cells will fracture and crack under pressure, so it is common that manufacturers install a protective housing around the solar cells.
The solar cells that we use either incorporate an acrylic or glass housing into the solar system. This housing will protect from a larger size of hail, but the severity of damage is dependent on the hail size and speed.
The protective housing of a solar cell is easy to replace. Some insurance providers will cover the replacement of the protective covering on solar cells as a result of storm damage. But if your solar panels are not covered under a plan the housing is still a minor cost.
Solar cells will help deflect hail
Because of the protective housing on the solar cells, the portion of your roof covered by solar cells will be protected from hail damage. When hail hits the protective housing of the solar cell, the ice will break into chunks or bounce off of your roof. Hail can rip through roofing materials and leave holes that are expensive to repair.
If hail rips a hole through a piece of plywood, it is likely that the whole section will need to be replaced. Holes will also lead to larger problems with water damage and danger to structural beams and load bearing walls.
Need replacement solar panels?
If your solar panel housing is broken, we at CAM Solar can map out the options to how you can either replace or repair your solar system. With severe storms frequenting the San Antonio area, we consult our customers on how to protect their home and choose the best solar system for their home.
Contact CAM Solar today to learn more about your solar energy future.