How to protect solar panels from hail in Perth

Sustainable, inexhaustible solar energy promises us a healthy environment and insures us against rising electricity prices in Perth, and the list of merits of this clean energy is endless. More people these days are going green by turning to solar for their energy needs.

As part of their solar panel installation risk assessment, people are often faced with one possible hazard in Perth– Hail.

Assessing and preparing to deal with the risks involved in any project you are planning to undertake is an excellent way to ensure its success.

Hail

Hail is pellets of frozen raindrops that shower from the sky. It is a phenomenon like rain and snow where hot and cold temperatures come together and raindrops from cumulonimbus clouds freeze to form, and rain hailstones on the earth. The heavier the thunderstorm, the bigger the hailstones get.

However, it is not how heavy and big the hailstones are, it is the speed at which they fall on the panels, that poses a threat to their surface. Hail falls at speeds of 10km/h to up to 80km/h and as the bigger hailstones travel at greater speeds, they can cause more damage.

How does hail impact panels in Perth

1) Damage to panel surface and cells

Solar panels have a layer of toughened glass on the surface to resist light to moderate hail. This layer can tolerate moderate hail, strong winds, and extreme temperatures for many years.

There have always been mixed reviews from solar users about the impact of hail on their panels. While some report no harm, some others have reported small cracks and abrasions on the surface after a hailstorm. However small the cracks may seem on the panel’s surface, the solar cells underneath can suffer damage if water gets a place to leak in, impacting much bigger damage to the unit.

2) Performance may be reduced

The occurrence of cracks on the panel’s surface does not necessarily mean that they are damaged. They will sometimes continue to generate electricity but maximum productivity can be reduced by the percentage of damage to the panel. If there is 10% damage to the module, 10% lesser output will be achieved by that unit.

When detected early, the damage can be fixed and any harm to the internal components can be saved. This is why inspection of the panels after a hailstorm is crucial.

Not all cracks will impact the efficiency of the panels. Sometimes the crack is only on the surface level and inflicts no internal damage to the panel.

3) Hail and Panel Warranty

Most solar panel warranties in Perth do not cover hail damage. If your solar panel warranty does not cover hail, you should get homeowners insurance to cover the damage

How to protect your panels from hail

Most people in Perth who aspire to install solar have considered the risk of hail damage as an important part of the risk assessment for solar panel installation. This risk can be prepared for and dealt with in the following ways:

1) Invest in a reliable, top solar panel brand

A well-established brand in the solar industry will deploy long-lasting materials to construct their panels. Superior solar panel brands have worked hard to accomplish their reputation in the market and supply panels with high safety ratings. Their products are certified and tested to tolerate light to moderate hail and most other kinds of damage to panels. Choosing a high-quality panel brand is necessary to avoid the maximum risk of hail damage.  

2) Protective Covers

There are many phone weather applications that will alert you against any severe storms in your region. Therefore, you can proactively put temporary protective covers on your panels to guard them against impending hail.

These covers obstruct sunlight. Hence, they must be removed after the storm to continue the generation of electricity.

3) Inspect panels after exposure to hailstorm

You do not need to check your panels after a light to a moderate event of hail. Though if there is any inconsistency in the generation of power after a medium hail event, you should.

After a severe hailstorm, you must make sure to examine the panels for any cracks or scratches as early detection can save the internal components i.e. the cells from going corrupt. Should you find any cracks, bends or other damages, click pictures as proof of hail damage for warranty or insurance claims. They will likely replace or mend the defective module.

4) Insurance

Getting your panels covered under homeowners’ insurance is of critical importance as most panel brands do not cover damage from hail.

Conclusion

By investing in solar after a proper solar panel installation risk assessment in Perth, you will make sure to have a successful system to save you thousands of dollars during its lifetime. Challenges like hail can be managed with the right preparation like protective covers, weather apps, insurance, and investing in one of the best solar panel brands in Australia.

Get in touch with us at Austra Solar for the best solar solutions and the best solar deals in Perth!