Hail Damaged Solar Panels – All your questions answered.
Summer storms are in full swing right now and our phones are running hot with customers requiring help or advice when their solar panels have been damaged by hail. Solar panels are made from tempered glass and are designed to withstand weather conditions including hail up the size of a golf ball or up to 35mm, however, larger stones and extreme hail can leave them susceptible to damage. If you have solar panels it is always advisable to ensure they are covered under your insurance policy.
If you have experienced a recent storm and are concerned about your solar panels, our first piece of all-important advice is to AVOID GETTING ON THE ROOF! If your solar panels are visible from the ground, you can check to see if there are any obvious signs of damage however, some damage may not be visible such as fine micro cracks so it is advisable to get professional help and avoid going on your roof at all costs. In most cases everything will be fine and even if there is a power leak, the voltage should be small, however, the shock can still be enough to surprise and make you jump, risking a major fall.
Call a licenced electrician and solar installer like Power Up Solar, we will examine your panels by using insulated equipment and safety equipment to give you all the information you need to know.
When your panels have been hit by hail stones and smashed, there can be leakage between the cells which will potentially run through the water to the frame, rails and other panels and in turn, potentially to your roof depending on how long ago your panels were installed.
Other components that can be damaged are your isolators that can be a fire hazard if they fill with water.
If you are unable to see damage from the ground, you can check your invertor to see whether there are any red lights or fault messages present such as ground or earth faults and that your solar system is still producing the same amount of power it normally would. If you see a significant decline in power generation then there is most likely a fault and it will need to be assessed as soon as possible.
In severely affected areas, Energex (for Queensland Residents) will disconnect the power to homes and won’t reconnect until everything is safe. When we assess your solar panels, we will issue your panels with a safety certificate informing Energex that the panels have been assessed and disconnected so your power can be restored.
If your Power Up Solar electrician determines your panels need to be replaced because of damage, they will provide you with a report that you can provide to your home insurer. With any luck your solar panels will be included in your home insurance and will be able to be replaced quickly without any added cost to you and your family.
When it comes to replacing your panels, you have 2 options. You can replace your panels and damaged components or replace your whole system. Replacing your whole system may sound extreme but there are actually a few very valuable reasons why it might be the time to do it. The main reason is cost. In 2020, under the Government rebate scheme for solar installation, replacing your panels alone will not have you eligible for the rebate and may actually end up costing you the same amount as replacing the whole system which will be eligible for the rebate. Upgrading your whole system will also avail you to all the latest technology and innovations as well as a new warranty.
If you have hail damaged solar panels and would like to know more about replacing your solar panels and system, our team have over 20 years’ experience in helping homes in South East Queensland with quality solar installation and expert advice.