Hail Damage on Solar Panels: Prevention and Mitigation

If you live in one of the hail-prone regions in Colorado, like the Front Range or the High Plains, you may worry about the impact of hail on your PV system. How likely are your panels to suffer damage in a severe hailstorm, and what can you do to prevent hail damage on home solar panels?  

The Good News: Quality Solar Panels Are Highly Durable

While extremely heavy hail can damage your solar system, modern solar panels typically withstand hail without ill consequences. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the chances of solar panels sustaining hail damage are under 5%, and usually a lot less.  

Quality solar panels include a layer of extremely durable, impact-tolerant tempered glass designed for outdoor use. Plus, the hail rarely strikes the panel directly straight on due to the roof angle compared to the falling hail, and thus the impact energy is a glancing blow to the glass. While hail can sometimes cause small scratches or dents in the glass, this is usually cosmetic damage that doesn’t affect panel performance.  

In rare cases, heavy hail causes cracks on the panel’s surface or jolts the solar cell components, which can harm solar panel performance even if there’s little visible damage.  

How To Prevent Hail Damage on Solar Panels

If severe hail is a common concern in your area, you can take the following steps to make sure your solar system stays in top condition for as long as possible:  

  • Choose quality panels. Solar panels undergo hail impact testing and carry markings of their ability to withstand hail. Panels with IEC 61730 or UL 61730 designations can weather most of Colorado’s hailstorms. 
  • Use a protective cover. (Only on ground-mounted systems) You can use a hard-shell or padded temporary cover to protect your solar panels from hail. Remove the cover when the storm passes so your panels can continue generating power.

What To Do After a Hail Storm

Are you concerned about your solar system’s condition after a heavy hailstorm? The following measures can help you assess and mitigate any damage.  

  • Inspect your solar panels for dents and cracks. Even minor cracks can let in moisture and cause module corrosion. 
  • Measure panel performance. Use the monitoring app that was set up with your installation to measure your solar panel output and, if possible, compare it to the output before the hail event. Low output can be a sign of damage. 
  • Check your homeowner’s insurance policy. If your homeowner’s insurance plan covers hail damage, your insurance provider may pay for home solar panel repair or replacement.

ARE Solar: Trusted Residential Solar Panel Installer in Colorado

Choosing a quality installation by a reputable solar contractor is the number one way to safeguard your solar system against extreme weather events. Durable, securely mounted panels are less likely to suffer damage from hail, high winds, or tornadoes.  

To get a free installation estimate and learn more about preventing hail damage on solar panels, call 720-637-2180 or contact us online.