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solar panels hailstones

Can Solar Panels Be Damaged by Hail? How To Protect Them?

To say the weather in Colorado is irregular would be an under statement (to say the least).

While The Centennial State enjoys 300 days of sun annually, the other 60 can feel like the world is coming to a frozen end.

Each year, the Front Range is sieged by torrential downpours and thunderstorms.

Also hail.

Particularly hail.

So, the single largest question Colorado homeowners have when considering adding a solar PV arrangement to their home is about hail damage.

Solar contractors get asked questions such as "Can hail break the panels?" or "Does my insurance policy cover hail damage?"

In short, yes: hail can and does harm solar panels, but that damage is covered by home insurance policies.

solar panel hail damage

That said, the likelihood of hail actually damaging your solar panels are extremely slim.

In May of 2017, an extreme hail storm tore through the Front Range. It had been so damaging that it took the Colorado Mills mall out of commission for a year.

Interestingly, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) is situated about two miles from the Colorado Mills Mall.

Of the 3,168 solar panels on the laboratory building, only 1 was ruined by the same hail storm.

Furthermore, while energy production definitely dropped during the storm, the panels started to perform as nothing happened once it passed.

This is a testament to the strength of this modern-day solar panel.

A June 2018 storm left tennis ball-sized hail across the Northern Front Range eventually shattered select West is facing panels.

Mother nature will always find a way to cause big trouble.

So, while solar panels might not be bulletproof, they can, and more usually than not do, withstand even the toughest of hail storms.

This strength is an important feature for solar photovoltaic systems, particularly in Colorado, where the weather can be unforgiving.

About the Author David Roberts

I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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