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Can Solar Panels be Damaged?

Adding solar panels to your home is a great way to get excellent energy savings and live an eco-friendlier lifestyle that benefits your wallet and the planet. While solar panels are designed to be tough and withstand the elements, there are times when they could become damaged, resulting in expensive repairs or replacements. Taking good care of your solar panels and monitoring them regularly is a good way to ensure they remain in good condition for a long time to come.

Solar panels can be damaged by things like falling debris (tree limbs, etc.), severe weather conditions such as large hail, and general wear and tear. Dirt and heavy debris can scratch the glass on your solar panels, which may reduce their efficiency and ability to produce energy over time.

Man fixing roof solar panels

Sometimes, solar panels get microscopic scratches on the surface, which eventually leads to the degradation of the solar cells and the panels themselves. In some cases, the panels can be damaged during transport, which means that you’ll need to inspect them carefully before you have them installed on your roof.

Can Solar Panels be Damaged by Hail?

Hand picking up hail

In the past, solar panels were made of thick, heavy glass. Today, solar panel manufacturers are focusing on designing new panels that are much thinner and lighter so they’re easier to install and so they aren’t putting so much weight on roofs. With this newer, thinner glass comes the risk of damage to the panels via heavy precipitation such as large pieces of hail.

Solar panels can be damaged by hail, especially if the hail is large or if it falls aggressively. Hail can crack solar panel glass, leading to serious damage. Although hail can damage the outer glass, it typically won’t damage the solar modules underneath, so just replacing the glass is an option.

If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, talk to your solar panel installation company to find out which options are available to you. Look for thick, durable panels if hail is a concern so that you can avoid or minimize any damage as a result. Some solar panel manufacturers have hail-rated options that will help you to protect your hard-earned investment.

Can Solar Panels be Damaged by EMP?

Electric signals

An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) is released when lighting hits, or when a nuclear weapon is detonated, but electromagnetic waves are also present in solar flares when a massive eruption of energy that comes from the sun’s surface creates an explosion. EMPs can damage electronics and other devices, and they can damage everything from the GPS system to the power grid and radios. You may be concerned about an EMP damaging your solar panels, although they are fairly uncommon occurrences.

An EMP may damage the connection and the wires connected to electronics, but solar panels have very limited electronics located within the panels. This means that there is a low risk of damage to your solar panels as a result of an EMP, although there is a risk to solar inverters and controllers.

You can protect your solar panels from the effects of an EMP by building a large mesh Faraday cage around the controller and inverter, although this is not 100% foolproof. A general rule of thumb is to look for special EMP-resistant solar power systems that are similar to the ones the military uses. These systems are designed to mimic the military’s designs and will protect the solar panels, the system, and any appliances that are connected to it.

Can Solar Panels be Damaged by Lightning?

Lightning storm over city

Lighting strikes can wreak havoc on structures, including your home if it suffers a direct hit, although the odds are very low of this happening. When it comes to your solar panels, only a direct lighting strike would cause significant damage, although indirect strikes can also cause issues. Too much voltage from a lighting bolt may create serious problems within the solar panel system.

A direct lightning strike could melt your solar panels, rendering them useless. Damage from an indirect lightning strike includes the breaking down of PV panels, components, and conductors that may also ignite combustible materials due to high voltages being introduced.

One way to protect your solar panels from lighting is to look for insurance companies that cover solar panels. Many companies consider a lighting strike an “act of God” which means that your solar panels would be covered, and all you would need to do is pay the deductible. Look for solar panels and systems that include some form of lightning protection as well so that you can keep your panels and system safe in the event of a lightning strike.

Can Solar Panels be Damaged by Rain?

Rain falling off house roof

Some homeowners may wonder if their new solar panels will be affected or damaged by the rain. These rooftop panels are designed to withstand the elements, particularly water since it’s almost impossible to avoid such type of exposure. As long as your roof is sealed and the solar panels are mounted correctly, there should be no issues regarding the rain and whether or not it would cause any significant damage.

Rain doesn’t damage solar panels as a general rule of thumb. In fact, rainfall could be beneficial to your solar panels. That’s because the rain will help to wash excess dust, dirt, and debris from the surface to keep it clean and running smoothly, a hidden benefit of moderate to heavy rainstorms.

While rain itself shouldn’t cause any damage to your solar panels, rainy weather could affect their functionality. If you’re using solar energy on a cloudy day, it will affect the output of energy produced by the solar panels since they rely on the full sun and plenty of direct sunlight to keep them running optimally. Most people don’t need to worry about rain and solar power unless they live in a climate that has frequent rainy days or several days of overcast weather at a time.

This article is owned by and was first published on October 20, 2022

Can Solar Panels be Damaged by Snow?

House covered in snow

Snowy weather is typically accompanied by lots of cloud cover, which could be a cause for concern for those with solar panels. However, in most cases, snow shouldn’t affect your solar panels too much nor should it cause any major or significant damage. On days with light snow, there should be enough transparency for the light to shine through and reach your solar panels so that they can continue charging and working as they should.

Solar panels aren’t usually affected by snow unless it’s heavy snowfall, which may add too much weight to the support structure of the panels. Solar panels should still be able to generate plenty of electricity, even in snowy areas or on snowy days.

If you live in a snowy climate, look for solar panel systems that use special frames that help to reinforce support at the mounting points. Make sure the panels are tilted at an angle that will encourage most of the snow to fall off. A little bit of snow could actually be beneficial to your solar panels, much like how rain helps to keep them clean and free of dirt and debris.

How to Protect Your Solar Panels

Man spraying water on roof solar panels

While you can’t always prevent everything that happens to your solar panels like lightning strikes or hail, there are some things you can do to be proactive in order to protect your investment. Taking a few simple steps of precaution will ensure that your solar panels continue to provide your home with eco-friendly electricity for many years to come. While not all of these things apply to everyone, doing a few of them will protect your solar panels and system.

Take out insurance on your solar panels to protect them and keep the panels clean and free of debris. You can also cut back trees to prevent limbs from falling on the panels and add mesh barriers around the panels to deter pests like pigeons that can damage them.

This article is owned by and was first published on October 20, 2022

It’s also important to make sure that your solar panels are installed correctly, and that the proper mounting hardware is used to keep them stable and secure. Research several solar panel installers near you, read reviews and get recommendations to make sure that you’re choosing a reliable, reputable installer. Keep the panels clean and properly maintained for the best possible odds of long-term use with little to no damage.

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This article is owned by and was first published on October 20, 2022

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