Just like other outdoor equipment, solar systems need to be able to withstand changing weather conditions. Homeowners who live in areas with particularly stormy weather are often worried about their solar panels being able to withstand heavy rain and hail, as well as other intense conditions such as high winds and hurricanes.
If you are planning to hire solar panel installers for your home in Chula Vista, CA or surrounding San Diego County areas, it’s only natural that you’d want to know how such a system will hold up in inclement weather. In this article, we will discuss the resistance of solar panels to rain and hail and give you peace of mind.
Can solar panels withstand hail and heavy rains?
Rainy days are usually no cause for concern for solar panel owners. Not only are solar panels waterproof, but they can also generate up to 25% of their optimal capacity on rainy and cloudy days. What’s more, rain can actually be good for your solar panels as it can wash away dirt build-up and increase their efficiency after a storm.
As for hail, solar panel manufacturers go out of their way to thoroughly test and certify their equipment to withstand hail and similar extreme conditions. Most modern solar panels are resilient against hail up to 1 inch in diameter, falling at up to 50 miles per hour.
The resilience of solar panels against heavy rain and hail was shown at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in 2017, when a massive hail storm hit Golden, Colorado and the greater Denver area. The huge NREL solar system, consisting of about 3,000 solar panels (both ground- and rooftop-mounted), came out of the storm nearly unscathed, with just one panel sustaining damage. To put things into perspective, countless windows, vehicles, and properties were damaged by the hailstones of up to 2.75 inches in diameter falling in the area. This is just one example of the extreme resilience of solar panels against hail and extreme weather.
How do you protect solar panels from hail storms?
While solar panels are highly resistant to hail storms, there are some measures that you can take to add extra protection if you live in a particularly stormy area. Keep in mind, however, that proper installation and a good choice of solar panel manufacturers should always be the first step towards ensuring the longevity of your system. If you haven’t had your solar panels installed yet, make sure to do your research before making any decisions.
If you wish to protect your existing solar panels, you can try the following hail protection measures:
- Keep your solar panels clean. You can hire professionals to remove dust and dirt from your panels a couple of times a year.
- Get protective covers. There are several mainstream options for dedicated solar panel covers, but you can also make your own using plexiglass or methacrylate.
- Let hail slide off of the panels. During the installation process, you can have your panels arranged at an angle that enables hail and rain to flow off the panels easily.
- Stay up to date with weather predictions. Being aware of the weather forecast can enable you to take the steps necessary to protect your panels from hail.
Need expert solar panel installers in Chula Vista, CA, or a surrounding area?
Thanks to their technology and design, modern solar panels are able to withstand lightning storms, strong winds, and even hurricanes. At Action Solar of San Diego, we can provide you with highly durable and efficient solar panels, enabling you to reduce your carbon footprint and avoid rising energy rates. What’s more, our knowledgeable technicians can also answer all kinds of questions you may have, whether you want to know if solar panels can work with moonlight or learn how to properly clean them. Contact us now.