Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 4/29/2011 5:08:07 PM EDT
So I'm about to start the process of buying a new home due to job relocation. I've been thinking about home orientation to determine if I could add solar panels as a back up power source. That is until the recent hail storms that have come pretty close by.

How do people with permanent solar panels deal with hail? Is hail damage common in hail prone areas?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 5:23:51 PM EDT
Some can be purchased with what amounts to basically a plexi-glass coating over the panels.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:10:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/29/2011 6:11:11 PM EDT by HuckMeat]
We get hail here in colorado, and high winds. So far, of 20kw installed among myself and my family members, we have not had a single failure. (5 years for the oldest installation, 1 year for the most recent).

I had golf ball hail hit mine about 2 weeks ago. They are mounted at a variable angle, this time of year, it's usually 55 degrees. No damage, although they are covered under my homeowners policy without any extra riders.

They certainly can be broken, but they are tougher than you might think (for real commercial manufactured panels). Harbor freight panels I wouldn't bet on.

I've heard of people covering them, but if you have 10kw, that starts to be a big job.

ETA: The glass on them isn't like regular glass. I don't know if it's a low iron mineral glass, or tempered, or what, but tough.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:11:14 PM EDT
to bad a shutter type system wouldnt work..... or would it?
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 6:42:31 PM EDT
We had 7 in hail here in Wichita last year. I am looking at solar also but would have to add a rider on my homeowners. The problem with a shutter system would be if the storm hits and you cant get home. I was looking at the rolling shutters but would have to come up with a cell phone activated system or one hooked up to my weather alert radio.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:06:05 PM EDT
There are tens (hundreds?) of thousands of residential solar panel installations all across America. To my knowledge, none of them uses shutters or any other hail protection measures. Why? Because hail rarely damages panels - and on the rare occasion when it does, insurance covers the expense of replacing them.
Link Posted: 4/29/2011 8:50:55 PM EDT
They always break when a cow steps on them. True story!
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 6:35:11 AM EDT
Real solar panels- i.e, not the Harbor freight type crap- will stand up to decent size hail. At least mine have for well over a decade. Their has been many a days where we had nickel and quarter size hail coming down pretty hard. Never a problem with 14 Kyocera 130's for a decade and then 24 of them the last couple years.

On my youtube channel I kick and hit with my hand one of the older Kyocera panels. People have this ridiculous idea that they are like glass and will shatter easily. That ain't the case with well made panels. Course you buy junk and yes a tennis ball will likely destroy them (harbor freight "kit" crap).
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 9:44:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lowdown3:
Real solar panels- i.e, not the Harbor freight type crap- will stand up to decent size hail. At least mine have for well over a decade. Their has been many a days where we had nickel and quarter size hail coming down pretty hard. Never a problem with 14 Kyocera 130's for a decade and then 24 of them the last couple years.

On my youtube channel I kick and hit with my hand one of the older Kyocera panels. People have this ridiculous idea that they are like glass and will shatter easily. That ain't the case with well made panels. Course you buy junk and yes a tennis ball will likely destroy them (harbor freight "kit" crap).


My experience with solar is limited to Harbor Freight panels.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 10:02:39 AM EDT
I spoke with a solar panel installation company a couple of years ago. I specifically asked about hail damage as we'd just had a serious storm roll through Austin. This guy told me the panels they use are tested against hail damage by having golf balls shot at the panels. That's the test they go through to be deemed worthy.

Are you 100% protected against hail? No, but if you go the quality route (not Harbor Freight), you'll be covered pretty well.

If you're building your house now, you can get the mounting hardware put in place before the roofing materials go on, which stands up better than having it done after-the-fact.
Link Posted: 4/30/2011 3:20:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lowdown3:
Real solar panels- i.e, not the Harbor freight type crap- will stand up to decent size hail. At least mine have for well over a decade. Their has been many a days where we had nickel and quarter size hail coming down pretty hard. Never a problem with 14 Kyocera 130's for a decade and then 24 of them the last couple years.

Interesting coincidence... I also have Kyocera 130 watt panels, quantity 14.
Mine are on a south wall, and maybe 10 degrees off vertical. Optimized for maximum winter output, at 60 degrees North latitude.
A little less effective in summer months, but I dont use as much electricity in summer.
Another thing nice about wall mounting, they never get any snow cover.

Link Posted: 4/30/2011 3:31:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mic68:
We had 7 in hail here in Wichita last year. I am looking at solar also but would have to add a rider on my homeowners. The problem with a shutter system would be if the storm hits and you cant get home. I was looking at the rolling shutters but would have to come up with a cell phone activated system or one hooked up to my weather alert radio.


I'd venture a bet that you could easily motorize the shutters and use a web connection to activate it. So as long as you closed the shutters before you lost power or i'net, you'd be GTG.
Top Top