Oklahoma Hail – How tough are solar panels?

The first question on many Oklahomans’ minds when considering solar panels for the home is, “What happens to my solar panels during hail season?”

At Solar Creations, we select solar panels that undergo rigorous testing to prove their ability to withstand whatever Oklahoma weather may come their way.  In many cases, the panels will come through a hailstorm unscathed, even when the surrounding shingles are damaged to the point of needing replacement. Here’s a great example from a Denver news outlet reporting on a storm that hit the NREL facility there with hail up to 2.75 inches in diameter, damaging many vehicles but only one of the more than 3,000 installed solar panels:


During the testing phase, manufacturers will typically fire ice pellets at the panels in several critical locations to ensure that the design meets their requirements.  Here is a sample of some of the testing parameters and acceptance criteria different manufacturers use when hail testing panels:

·        Ice pellets from 1 to 1-3/8 inches in diameter (golf ball size hail) fired into panels at 52-62mph, which exceeds the projected terminal velocity of hail stones of that size

·        Following ice pellet impact, the panels must meet these criteria:

o  No evidence of major visual defects

o  No more than 5% loss in maximum power output

o  To ensure the continued safe operation of the panel, the insulation resistance must be the same as measured before the test

Insuring solar panels is generally very straightforward (a quick call to your insurance agent will confirm your specific requirements to insure,) and in the event that extreme hail does damage the panels, your homeowners insurance policy should cover the panel replacement just as it would the roof material. 

At Solar Creations, we’re proud to carry Mission Solar modules.  They’re designed, engineered, and manufactured in San Antonio, Texas, and they offer class-leading performance and durability.  Their sleek, all-black design makes for an attractive addition to any roof structure. 

Image courtesy of Mission Solar – see https://www.missionsolar.com/residential/

Here’s a fun video from Mission Solar about the durability of their panels. 

 For more information on these panels and a custom quote for your home or business, give us a call today!  

Video Courtesy of Mission Solar – see https://www.missionsolar.com/quality-standards/ for more details

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