The Durable Nature of Solar Panels: Can They Take on Hail Storms?
Introduction: An Overview of the Durability of Solar Panels
In the past decade, solar power has become an increasingly popular alternative energy source as people are becoming more aware of climate change and making efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. With its ability to generate energy cleanly and renewable free of cost, it is not surprising that the installation of solar panels is seen as an attractive and economical solution. The only problem is, how much damage can solar panels endure in harsh weather conditions?
The simple answer is that solar panels, in general, are designed to withstand most harsh weather conditions. But just like any other piece of technology, solar panels are also prone to wear and tear over time and need to be replaced after a certain period. This brings us to the question, will solar panels withstand hail storms? In fact, most manufacturers test and certify their solar panels to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter falling at 50 miles per hour. This article will discuss the resilience of solar panels, including their capacity to take on hail storms and other weather conditions.
How Solar Panels Are Tested for Resilience Against Hazardous Weather
When making the decision to go solar, the key concern is how much damage can the solar panel withstand? Solar panels are designed and tested against weather standards such as hail, high winds, and heavy rain. According to the international standard, IEC 61215, solar panels must be able to withstand a series of tests that are designed to replicate the conditions of an extreme hail storm. These tests include standard procedures like masking, metal ball dropping, and condition shifting.
In the metal ball dropping test, metal balls of a specific diameter, mass, and velocity are dropped on the solar panel from a height of up to one meter. There are also condition shifting and masking tests, which simulate real-life weather conditions like high-velocity winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures. These tests ensure that the solar panels can withstand these conditions under normal and extreme circumstances.
Benefits of Solar Panel Resilience to a Homeowner
Naturally, homeowners would want their solar panels to be as durable as possible. Solar panels with high durability and resilience guarantee that the panel will be able to withstand the wear and tear of harsh weather conditions and provide a longer lifespan and better performance. The ability of solar panels to withstand harsh conditions translates into lower maintenance costs and higher energy output. Homeowners also benefit from the peace of mind that comes from knowing their solar panels will not be easily damaged in the event of extreme weather.
How Solar Panels Fare in Hail Storms
In terms of protecting solar panels from hail, most manufacturers test their solar panels to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter falling from a height of up to 50 mph. In spite of this, hail storms with larger hail stones and faster speeds have the potential to cause damage to the solar panel. Fortunately, most solar panel frames are covered in an anodized coating that helps protect the panels from direct hits from hail stones.
Knowing that most solar panels can withstand hail up to one inch in diameter can give homeowners peace of mind that their panels are adequately protected during a hail storm. Furthermore, there are some solar panels on the market that are specifically designed to withstand even larger hail stones and faster speeds. For example, certain LG solar panels come with a 5-year warranty against hail damage. This warranty guarantees that any hail stone that is two inches or smaller in diameter and traveling at speeds of up to 71 mph will not cause damage to the solar panels.
How Solar Panels Combat High Wind and Heavy Rain
High winds and heavy rains are common in most climates, and solar panels are designed to protect against both. Solar panel frames are typically made from an anodized aluminum alloy which offers great strength and durability. Moreover, most solar manufacturers provide their panels with enhanced wind ratings, solid mounting systems and additional reinforcements for heavy winds.
Furthermore, solar panel manufacturers are constantly innovating their products to make them more durable against the elements. Hanwha Q Cells, for example, recently released a new reinforced frame and bonding technology which makes their solar panels even more resilient to heavy rain, winds, and corrosion. This technology is designed to ensure that their panels are certified to withstand hurricane force winds, making them a safer option for wind-prone areas.
The Increased Durability of Modern Solar Panels
The durability of solar panels has also improved over time. This is due to a number of factors, but the main ones are the advancements in materials and installation techniques. Modern solar panels are made from highly durable materials such as reinforced aluminum alloy frames and tempered glass, which makes them much stronger than the older model panels. Additionally, the installation process has improved drastically, with the use of higher rated brackets and fasteners for secure mounting in high winds.
Conclusion: Protecting Your Solar Panels from the Elements
To conclude, it is clear that solar panels are designed to be durable and resilient. Most manufacturers test and certify their solar panels to withstand hail up to one inch in diameter at speeds up to 50mph. Additionally, solar panels can also withstand high winds and heavy rains with modern advancements in materials and installation techniques. Therefore, homeowners can rest assured that their solar panels are well-protected from the elements and will enjoy a longer lifespan and better performance.