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What About Hail?

Durability of Solar Panels

One of the most asked questions here in the Colorado front range is how do solar panels hold up to our crazy hail storms?  You can rest assured solar panels are engineered from the start to withstand a lot of abuse!

All solar panel make/models used by Aim High Solar are tested against underwriters laboratories (UL) 1703 and UL 61703 Standards. These tests require lab technicians to drop a two-inch solid steel sphere from a height of 51 inches onto the surface of the PV module. This simulates the energy of a hail stone measured at 1.375 inches in diameter falling at terminal velocity through the sky. The second impact test involves firing 25-millimeter, or approximately one-inch, ice balls from a pneumatic cannon. Finally, because international standards often require it, UL’s labs also test electrical performance degradation of panels.

Furthermore, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the US’s premier renewable energy Research & Development agency, also works diligently to develop robust materials and tests to ensure that solar panels will survive harsh weather.

In fact, a 2017 hailstorm in Denver that caused severe damage across the city proved the durability of solar panels. The hailstones were roughly 3 inches wide! However, out of 3,000 solar modules on NREL’s Denver campus, only one panel was broken!

This real-life example backs up NREL’s previous studies on solar panel durability.  NREL researchers analyzed data from 50,000 solar energy systems installed between 2009 and 2013 and discovered that just 0.1% of all PV systems reported being affected by damaged or underperforming modules per year, and less than 1% each year had hardware problems.  

The Solar Industry Has You Covered

Typically, the damage from extreme hail will affect your roof surface and the parts covered with solar panels will actually be protected!  In the event that you need to have your solar array removed to facilitate a re-roof, or if by chance a panel does become damaged by hail, Aim High Solar will work hand in hand with your insurance company to make the repair as seamless as possible.  Simply submit a service request and we will contact you to begin the next steps.

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