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Can You Walk on Solar Panels Without Damaging Them?

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: July 16, 2022

The shiny surface of solar panels makes you want to walk and dance on them, doesn’t it? Really, can you walk on solar panels without damaging them?

You can walk on solar panels, but that’s not a great idea, even if there are several good arguments for considering it. You can seriously damage your solar panels and even break them, although they look like they are made of sturdy materials.

Although manufacturers use sturdy, reinforced materials, too much weight could still break them.

Solar panels can survive adverse weather like snow, rain, and thunderstorms and have an average lifespan of twenty years. They might support your weight, but the moment you move on the panels, the narrative is altered.

There are far more people using solar energy now than there were ten years ago, and its affordability and efficiency have increased. How much weight the panels can support is one area of this technology that is currently unclear.

Technically, a solar panel can support only around 200 pounds that an average man weighs.

It can hold a maximum of 50 to 75 pounds per square foot, which is practically insufficient for your weight or the weight of the contractor installing the panels.

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Can I Damage Solar Panels by Walking on Them?

Even if the panel can support that much weight, it is not a good idea to walk on it.

You contact the floor with your feet, so they naturally become very dirty and pick up dirt.

You can remove the filth or mud on your shoes with a hose, so that is not the issue.

Any grit, stone chips, or tiny shards that your feet may have gathered are more of a concern.

Suddenly, you are putting down hard, pointed points rather than broad, rubber bottoms.

Your shoe sole will gouge and scrape into the panel if there is any hard debris in it.

You might even puncture it or fracture it severely if you put enough force behind it. Depending on the type, the extent to which this will harm the panel will vary, but it will not be helpful.

Your solar panel frames, glass, or cells could become scratched if you place too much weight on them.

The efficiency of your solar system decreases when one of the photovoltaic cells is damaged, and this technology is pricey.

Can Solar Panels Break?

The fissures can get wider because of the shifting weather.

The components might shrink or grow, finally separating.

As thermal expansion and contraction take place, the cracks may get wider until the material eventually separates.

If the manufacturer discovers a footprint in the middle of a panel you attempt to return as defective, questions can be raised.

Can I Walk on Thin Film Solar Panels?

Walking on thin film panels is even worse than on rigid panels.

All layers of the tempered glass support the weight of a crystalline silicon screen. The cells themselves will support your entire weight because these are absent from a thin film panel.

The covering of the cells is often as thin as a nanometer, and if it is pierced or damaged, it will not be of any use.

On the other hand, some types of thin film panels are made to be installed directly on a roof, so your foot will immediately press on the roof below.

You are equally likely to scratch or harm the cell, so I still would not advise it. If you step on the panel, any debris below it will also punch into it.

Can I Walk on Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles?

Tempered glass is used in Tesla Solar Roof construction. In order to strengthen it and make it less likely to break, this glass has undergone several chemical processes. When a roofer is pushing on tempered glass, it will not break.

Compared to tile roofing, this tempered glass roof is really more durable. The solar arrays, which serve as shingles to capture solar energy, can withstand hurricane winds without deteriorating or crumbling. For anyone looking for an energy-efficient roof, they are a solid, long-lasting solution.

Roofing specialists can, often have to, and do walk on Tesla Solar Roofs, but they must do so while using the proper safety harnesses.

They cannot harm the roof.

However, as a property owner, you must never step on your roof unless you have the equipment which will protect your solar tiles.

What if You Have to Step on a Solar Panel?

There are a few things you may take to lessen the possibility of damaging a panel if you find yourself when you must walk over one:

You may distribute your weight evenly by keeping your body low and moving on all fours, which will reduce the amount of pressure you apply to any one location.

Move slowly, since moving quickly implies applying more pressure.

Walking on solar panels is not recommended because:

  • The ground has no traction and is smooth.
  • Your movement could prevent sunlight from reaching the surface, and a charge will not be effective if there are not enough protons.
  • You will burden and stress your roof unnecessarily.
  • The panels are slick; if you are not careful, you could fall.
  • Frequently, especially when the sun is scorching, solar panels are also hot to the touch.

Following are some ways that stepping on top of solar panels can harm them:

  1. Scratching the Glass
  2. Smudging the Glass
  3. Disassembling a solar cell
  4. Busbars breaking

What to Do if Your Solar Panels Break?

You must immediately call a qualified installation company if your solar panels break.

As the crystalline cells are more exposed over time, the damage will definitely get worse.

By fixing it, you can shield the photovoltaic cells and other critical parts from moisture and additional harm.

Now, before filing a claim if you have solar panel insurance, confirm that it covers damage from stepping on the surface.

If a business put in the fixtures for you, ask them to come to look at the area and assess the extent of the damage.

You won’t need to add additional insurance coverage for a broken solar panel, provided it’s still attached to your roof.

You’ll be indemnified against damage caused by weather elements like fires, windstorms, and thunderstorms.

But again, your insurance provider may examine the cause of the damage and sometimes refuse to repay you.

Here is an effective method for cleaning solar panels without causing damage:

  • To rinse out the dirt, always employ a low-pressure hose.
  • Fill a spray bottle with warm water and liquid wash or non-abrasive detergent.
  • After misting a suitable cleaning solution on the borders, wipe them with a lint-free cloth.
  • Reach the upper portions of the glass by using an extended squeegee.
  • To spray the panels, affix a nozzle to your garden hose.
  • When cleaning, remember to look for cracks. By doing this, you can stop the potential damage from spreading.

Final Thoughts

Don’t step on your solar panels unless you are an extremely lightweight creature with exceptionally clean feet.

All joke aside, you shouldn’t ever walk on your solar panels. You might have good reasons to walk on them, but, in that case, protect your expensive system without causing it damage, as most solar panels and solar roof tiles can break easily.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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