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    Can Solar Panels Withstand Hail?

    January 29, 2019 | Solar Energy

    As we all know, solar panels are mounted either on top of your roof or on the ground next to your building. Like all other outdoor equipment, solar panels will experience any possible weather conditions, including hail.

    People who are considering solar energy may wonder whether solar panels can withstand hail. According to The Weather Channel, hail generally peaks in June and it causes the most damages from north Texas to the Dakotas. Unlike what most people may think, hail rarely occurs during winter time. Even though it is not the time to worry about hail yet in the winter, it may eventually hit the ground after a few months.

    How do solar panels perform under hail?

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), there was only one panel which broke out of more than 3,000 after the severe, 3-inches wide hailstorm on May 8th, 2017 in the Denver area. This area is also known as the “hail alley.” And the only panel that broke appeared to have only several small cracks on the surface glass.

    Moreover, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) also confirmed the reliability and longevity of solar panels, which largely increased the confidence of business owners and facility managers in switching to solar energy.

    The NREL office has also done a systematic analysis on 50,000 solar energy systems to test how they withstand severe weather conditions. The data showed only 0.1% “damages or underperforming modules per year, and less than 1% each year had hardware problems.” The report further enhanced the credibility of commercial solar panels.

    Solar panel durability

    The reason behind the resilience is the quality of the glass that used for the production of solar panels. Most solar panels are made with tempered glass. Even though it breaks, according to SolarQuotes, the glass will break into “smaller pieces that retain form” rather than shatter to parts.

    To sum up, both EERE and NREL research demonstrates that solar panels are resistant to hail. Therefore, it is safe to use solar energy even in the areas with heavy hail.

    Interested in solar panels?

    Learn more about how solar panels can benefit your organization here.