Hail is unpredictable, destructive and one of the most common home-safety problems in the U.S. so how to protect solar panels from hail?
Fortunately, there are several effective measures homeowners can take to reduce the severity of hail damage and protect their homes from a storm.
If you’re looking to lower your risk of serious hailstorm damage, you can implement some easy preventative measures that will help keep you and your family safe during the winter.
If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the signs. Fortunately, we can mitigate the impact of a hailstorm, even if the storms come frequently and heavily.
Check out these top tips for protecting solar panels from hail to ensure your home is as prepared as possible for a stormy winter!
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How to Know a Hailstorm Is Coming?
As you’re protecting your solar panels from hail, it’s important to look out for signs that a storm is coming.
When a hailstorm is impending, you’ll notice a change in the weather.
You may notice that the air becomes still and hot, or that the sun doesn’t come out for long periods of time.
You may even notice that the precipitation looks different — smaller, harder and faster-moving.
If you notice these signs, you might want to get out of the house as quickly as possible.
If the storm is serious enough, you might have to stay at a safe distance from your house.
Can Wind and Rain Cause Roof Damage? Can They Hurt Solar Panels?
If you want to protect your solar panels from hail, you also need to protect them from wind and rain.
You have several choices for hail protection for your solar panels.
Many of them are inexpensive and quite simple to install, particularly when compared to the cost and difficulty of repairing and reinstalling new and expensive solar panels.
Wind and rain can lead to serious roof damage and even lead to the need for expensive repairs after a storm.
The cost and convenience of the options at your disposal vary, but they will allow you to preserve your panels while leaving their energy production intact.
Rain can cause more damage to your solar panels than wind but, combined, they can break your solar panels and uncover bare metal.
Make sure your roof is well-constructed to prevent additional damage from severe weather.
What’s the Best Way to Install Solar Panels?
You can’t install solar panels vertically because they won’t produce enough energy.
They need direct exposure to sunlight to absorb the most UV rays.
Solar panels angled at 45 degrees will allow hail to slide off as it hits, providing them some protection and still letting them generate energy. Yet, hailstorms can severely damage even slightly angled solar panels.
However, mounting solar panels on poles rather than directly on a roof allows you to adjust the angle as needed.
You can turn pole-mounted panels vertically so that hail doesn’t hit the surface.
This procedure lasts only a few minutes and is quite easy.
Therefore, make sure to protect your solar panels from hail by installing them on poles.
How to Protect Solar Panels from Hail?
Here we present three ways in which you can protect your solar panels from harsh weather.
Some of them are costly, but not as nearly as expensive as the reparation or replacement of your solar panels.
1. Automatic Solar Panel Systems
Automatic solar panel changing systems let you control your solar panels without going outside.
This is the best and most convenient way to protect your solar panels, but the system adds thousands of dollars to the total cost of the installation.
To minimize the damage, by using a remote control, you can adjust the angle of solar panels and even turn them when a hail storm starts.
2. Solar Panel Protection Coating
A layer of methacrylate can protect solar panels from hail.
To protect the panels, contact, and consult with a qualified solar company.
Methacrylate is a polymer coating that creates a hard, durable surface similar to that of a smartphone screen protector.
Another option to consider is a plexiglass panel that can cover the glass panel and prevent the harmful impact of hailstones.
Of course, a severe hailstorm can also damage the plexiglass but replacing it is less expensive compared to the alternative.
However, plexiglass has two big disadvantages. First, it is costly, and, second, it can get too hot under direct sunlight and damage the solar cells beneath it.
Again, our advice is to consult a local solar panel installation company that can provide accurate information.
If you’re thinking about a cost-effective way to protect solar panels from hail, consider installing a mesh wire.
Some people place mesh above the solar panels and secure it on all sides so that it can prevent large hailstones from reaching the panels.
Hailstones small enough to pass through the wire mesh are unlikely to cause damage.
The materials are cheap, and wire screens are an easy way to protect your investment.
Can Covers Protect Solar Panels?
If you want to protect your solar panels from hail, you should know that you can also buy solar panels with rain-resistant covers.
This will protect your solar panels from even light drizzle, but let the sun in when needed.
Mesh covers form a protective layer on top of the panel.
They absorb as much of the hail as possible, preventing direct hailstone impact on the solar panel.
Likewise, consider installing solid covers prior to the storm.
Storm charts and warnings are a great way to protect your solar panels, but they only tell part of the story.
The information on them is often outdated, so make sure you’re up-to-date before you protect your panels.
Even when using the most up-to-date storm charts and warnings, you should still take extra precautions.
Make sure you’re informed about hailstorms and their potential damage.
Protecting your solar panels from hail is a good idea during any season, but especially during winter when it’s prone to heavy snowfall and powerful storms.
Hail damage can be pretty expensive to repair, so it’s worth taking some precautions to protect your investment.