Hail protection

Reading Loohan's post got me to wondering since It hails here every year I have been wondering if I shouldn't do some thing to protect my panels. so far we have only gotten hail the size of peas, but near by places have been frequently reporting golf ball size ones. will my panels hold up to these or should I protect them with something? if so what should I use? should it be right on top of the panels or above the panels say 1/2 to an inch?


  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hail protection

    A sheet of foam board insulation will do nicely.

    The trick is getting it there BEFORE the hailstorm hits.
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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,491 admin
    Re: Hail protection

    Luckily, I don't live in hail/thunderstorm area (get a very little bit couple times a decade).

    I would think more along the lines of a that green house / sunshade material (mesh) and setting it up so you can just pull a couple lines and spread it taught a 1/2 foot or more off of the panels. The mesh will allow wind /rain / melt water through (gust front from thunderstorms) but slow the hail down before it hits the glass.

    You could set it up line a window shade/awning, or more like parachute in a stuff box--just pull the lines and tie them off on boat cleats for a simple / fast deployment.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nigtomdaw
    nigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Hail protection

    My area has suffered from golf ball sized hail stones in the past, late summer early September I hadnt thought of this problem,

    I agree with previous post the problem is timing and speed of deployment of protection, my first thought is to the rolls of bubble rap that are used to protect pools in summer which could be situated on a roll be low the panels and pulled over by a draw string.

    Still have to be home when hail hits thouugh.

    Next question is has anybody had hail damage I know the majority of panels have a level of hailstone protection.

    Do we need to worry ?
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hail protection

    it's not worth all of the trouble to try and protect them. if you get there in time to do whatever, the storm, if producing hail is producing high winds as well so your protection will fly away and damage what? do i hear anti-hailistic missile systems? lol
  • Mangas
    Mangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hail protection

    Just an update.

    A few weeks ago we had a ferocious storm here in the desert mountains. Torrential rains, high winds and driving hail. The hail came down the size of peas to marbles. Put some dents on our ranch house steel window shutters.

    Panels look ok. Long term we'll have to see.
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  • icarus
    icarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hail protection

    While it isn't out of the realm of possibility, hail damage is not something I would worry about. Tempered glass panels will absorb a considerable dead on impact before shattering. (I'm sure some genius engineer type could provide a calc.) The danger with tempered glass in impact on the edges. The have very little strength in that dimension. I also agree that any protection you could put up quickly would be problematic in such conditions. I think I would spend my coin on a rider for my insurance.