Archive for April, 2021

How durable are solar panels?

Posted by mosolar

How durable are solar panels?

Like many others, you too must be considering shifting to solar energy for your home, and stop releasing harmful emissions into the environment. It’s no wonder there has been an increasing demand for solar panels. They are now considered to be one of the most reliable and sustainable means of powering homes without fossil fuel combustion.

However, there is always one question that keeps nagging the buyer’s mind.

How durable are solar panels?

You may worry about the durability of the panel and how much you can depend on them. While solar panels do appear susceptible to damage at first sight, never judge things just by looks!

Read on to learn more about solar panels and what manufacturers do to ensure their durability.

Solar panels may be fragile, but…

Solar panels are indeed very fragile, about a few millimeters thick. But they get enough protection for durability through the strong glass and frame surrounding them.

Besides, solar panels are put through extensive tests that mimic extreme world conditions. For example, most manufacturers test and design them to withstand the impact of more than 65mi/h strong winds, medium-sized limbs, and relatively large hailstones.

Solar panels are durably built using three layers of rock or silicone encased in tempered glass. This tempered glass is manufactured thermally or chemically and is about six times stronger than normal plate glass. 

3 different types of solar panels

There are three types of solar panels- Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three divided based on the quality of raw materials used. It’s also based on the amount of time, research, and development invested in its manufacture.  

Companies producing Tier One solar panels have invested substantial time and money into research and development. Consequently, their solar panels are the most durable and efficient in construction.

Other factors affecting solar panel durability

It’s not just the construction that matters. There are a few other factors that determine how durable and long your solar panels last.

1. Location

Even the locations where the panels are set up play a substantial role in determining its durability. Even a kid will know that placing the panels near falling rocks or trees increases the risk of breakage!

 As long as you place the panels away from these areas, they will last a considerably longer time.

2. Thermal down-shock

Nothing is permanent, including solar panels. Though they are designed and built strong, some circumstances can lead to breakage. For example, sudden temperature changes like using cold water in hot water can fracture glass.

This is called thermal down-shock, where glass layers expand at different rates due to rapid temperature change.

However, many manufacturers have found a solution to overcome this problem. They equip their panels with special controls that keep the panels operating at an even temperature.

3. Poor installation

Sometimes high wind gusts can displace poorly installed strong solar panels and cause irreparable damage. It’s because the underbelly of the solar panel is the most vulnerable part.

So a poor installation can lead to a broken solar panel in high winds.

That is why it’s important that you select an experienced and expert solar installer that carefully and professionally installs your panels. It’s especially important if you ever plan to renovate your home, and the panels have to be removed temporarily.

4. Hail storm

The good news is that most solar panels are designed to withstand the impact of hail the size of golf balls or smaller. So while large hailstones may damage your solar cells, it’s something rather unusual.

5. Lightning

Who’s protected from lightning? You never know when it strikes, so there’s as much risk of it damaging solar panels as it has of hitting you. The good news is that it’s a minuscule risk worth taking.

But remember that while proper grounding is a worthy precautionary measure, you can never have 100% protection against lightning strikes.

So as solar panels are a major investment, it’s but natural that you wonder if they are durable. A good tip to follow is to buy your solar panels from a reputable solar installer, preferably someone with positive reviews. You know their solar panels are strong and durable with minimal chances of damage.

And another important point to remember is that something that breaks your solar panel is most likely to break your roof too.

In short, you have bigger things to worry about than durability if there’s the possibility of something large enough to break your roof and solar panels!