How durable is photovoltaics? Can it withstand a severe hailstorm or not?

There are countless different solar panels on the market, which vary in many aspects. Not only in terms of performance and efficiency, but also in terms of durability. It is therefore important to choose photovoltaic panels that can withstand the conditions that are present in a given location. It is better to anticipate even worse conditions, just to be on the safe side.

How durable are photovoltaic panels? 

Today’s photovoltaic panels are mostly covered with glass, which may not seem very durable at first glance. Consider how easy it is to break the glass in windows or doors. However, the opposite is true, and in the case of photovoltaics, a specially resistant glass is used, which is surprisingly even more durable than standard roof coverings.

An example of this is Tesla’s solar tiles, which meet the strict ANSI FM 4473 Class 3 certification and can withstand even larger hailstones. According to the manufacturer, the panels are more than 3 times more resistant than regular roof tiles. And that’s a hell of a difference.

The Key Is Making The Right Choice

Of course, everything starts with the selection of photovoltaic panels themselves. Nowadays, most products on the market meet strict durability requirements, but it’s still important to be cautious and not underestimate this aspect when making a choice.

If you’re concerned about the possibility of larger hailstones that could potentially pose a threat to your solar panels, it is recommended to not only choose more durable panels but also adjust the tilt of the solar panels to a steeper angle so that the hailstones don’t fall directly but rather slide off the roof.

One example says it all

Regardless, a great example of the durability of Tesla’s photovoltaic panels was showcased when hailstones the size of baseballs fell in America, as reported by the Electrek server. The home solar power system continued to function normally the next day, as if nothing had happened.

Therefore, if there were hailstones up to 5 centimeters in size falling around the world yesterday and today, it should not pose any problem or threat to a residential solar power system. Of course, anything can happen at any time, but manufacturers nowadays take precautions to ensure their products can withstand even such events. 

There is only a low probability that solar tiles won’t survive

For example, the Eco Flow server states on its blog that solar panels certified with UL 61730 can withstand hailstones with a diameter of up to 7.6 centimeters and falling at speeds of up to 142 km/h. That is truly an exceptional storm for such an event to occur.

According to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States, the probability of hailstones damaging your solar power system is less than five percent. Solar panels are surprisingly resilient. In most storms, they can withstand the weather conditions, including larger hailstones.


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