Washington homeowners who are interested in residential solar power often ask our team questions about the durability of a rooftop PV system. Many people have concerns regard the glass on photovoltaic modules – is it shatterproof, they wonder?
Residential solar panels are made with commercial-grade tempered glass, which is quite a bit more resistant to damage than standard or annealed glass. But while their design makes them highly unlikely to shatter or crack, photovoltaic modules can be broken. Read on to learn what can compromise the integrity of a solar panel.
Ever taken a glass dish out of the oven and rinsed it with super cold water? The sudden temperature change likely caused it to shatter. This is referred to as thermal shock damage – and yes, residential solar panels are susceptible. For that reason, if you decide to hose off your rooftop PV system, perform the task in the early morning or evening, as the module glass will be cooler.
The tempered glass used to construct residential solar panels can certainly withstand a hit from a lightweight playground ball or plastic Frisbee. But, a sudden impact from a heavy object that’s traveling at a high speed can cause the photovoltaic module glass to break. To prevent this, keep the branches of all nearby trees trimmed and don’t let anyone play baseball in your backyard.
Hailstorms and severe storms don’t happen all that often in Washington, and even when they do, residential solar panels are usually unaffected. Photovoltaic module glass is manufactured to hold up against hailstones as large as one inch in diameter, and the odds of an array being struck by lightning are exceedingly low. That said, extreme weather could damage your solar array.
Can a Shattered Solar Panel Be Repaired?
One a photovoltaic module has been compromised, it must be replaced. Fixing or replacing the components inside, swapping out the glass and sealing the panel won’t allow for optimal performance. Be wary of anyone who says they can handle the repair work – and don’t attempt a fix on your own, as you could suffer a serious electrical shock.
If an extreme weather event damages one of your solar panels, your homeowners insurance should cover the cost of restoring your array. The same may be true in the case of accidental breakage. But to be sure, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider.
Speak to the Nationwide Solar Team Today
Chances are, you’ll never have to worry about a solar panel breaking. In our experience, few Washington homeowners face this problem or any other issue with a rooftop PV system. If you happen to be the rare exception to the rule, however, the Nationwide Solar team is here to help. We’re experts in photovoltaic installation, and we can complete the necessary work to reestablish the performance of your residential solar array.