Solar energy is becoming a booming industry. Allied Market Research estimates that the market for solar power is going to reach over $223 billion by 2026.
The benefits of solar power are evident. One of the biggest advantages is cost savings for homeowners and businesses.
As electric costs continue to rise, more homeowners are considering installing solar panels. Solar panels can reduce utility bills, and in some cases eliminate electric bills. But just like a roof or the siding on your home, solar panels are susceptible to weather like extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, and hail.
Solar Panels and Hail
According to Unbound Solar, “Be aware of weather conditions which may make rooftop work temporarily unsafe.” So, if you’re considering solar panel kits for your home, hail is a real concern. There is the possibility of solar panels being damaged in an intense hail storm. Most solar panels are rated to withstand hail as large as an inch in diameter (the size of a quarter), falling at 50 mph. An average hailstorm contains hail ranging from ¼ to ½ inch in diameter, falling at about 20 mph.
Ironically, the main campus at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, was recently hit by a severe hailstorm. The building has over 3,000 solar panels, and only one panel was broken in this storm. This same storm caused broken windows, dented cars, and heavy roof damage in the area. The one broken solar panel appears to have been hit by several larger hailstones simultaneously.
Heavy Snow and Wind
Heavy snow and wind is another concern. For areas where there is the chance of heavy snow and high winds, installers might use heavier solar panels and heavy-duty frames and support rails.