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How Durable Are Solar Panels In Hurricanes And Hail Storms?

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Solar panels, like other forms of outdoor equipment, are subject to extreme weather conditions. One of the biggest reasons solar panels have become so popular across the world is that they are incredibly durable.

However, many common questions occur around the concerns about the durability of solar panels.

Can solar panels withstand hurricanes?

  • Can solar panels withstand strong winds?

  • Can solar panels withstand hail?

  • Can solar panels handle thunderstorms, blizzards, and more?

  • How strong is solar panel glass?

These are indeed all great questions, and you must know answers to all these and many more questions before you decide to buy solar panel systems into your commercial or home building.

How Strong Are Solar Panels?

Overall, solar panels are incredibly strong. But that doesn't mean they're unbreakable, but you can surely expect them to hold up strong even in extreme weather conditions. It is worthwhile to note here that according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on 50,000 solar energy systems installed between 2009 and 2013 revealed only 0.1 percent of all Photovoltaic systems (PV systems) were reported as underperforming or damaged modules each year.

According to a study by the Arizona State University, solar panel glasses can withstand, on average, the impact of hail up to two inches wide. It was also found that the solar panel systems continued to work fine even when the glass of the solar panel cracked. Solar panel systems only start to fail in case the panel itself is penetrated.

Solar Panels And Hail

Solar panel manufacturers test their products to ensure durability so they can withstand severe weather conditions. In most cases, solar panels are tested and after that certified to withstand a hail of up to one inch (25 mm) falling at approximately 50 miles per hour (23 meters per second).

Solar Panels And Hurricanes

Solar panels may be at risk of being damaged by high volumes of water or dislodged from their spot. However, similar to hail, solar panels are usually tested by manufacturers keeping in mind the durability aspect. Most solar panels can withstand winds of up to approximately 140 mile-per-hour (MPH) winds or 2,400 pascals. Additionally, the typical glass and aluminum casings that carry solar cells and constitute solar panels are highly waterproof, even during heavy rainfall instances.

In the past, real-life extreme weather events have demonstrated the unique and amazing solar panels' ability during hail storms and hurricanes. This is evident from the fact that during Hurricane Sandy, there was no damage to the PV systems. Only a few metal casings covering wires were damaged. One large system that had just two panels also came loose by flooding in the regions of New Jersey hit hardest by the storm.

How To Stay Updated with Local Weather Reports?

Now that we have understood how resilient your solar panels are, the next best move would be to stay updated with the local weather reports so you can easily anticipate any severe issues.

  • Download Weather Apps On Your Phone: Thanks to technology, you can now access instant and detailed weather reports with just a few clicks. For this, you can simply download weather applications such as The Weather Channel, Weather Underground, and Radar Scope to stay informed.

  • Find Shelter In Case of Emergencies: Hail storms can result in minimal damage to the solar panels, but they do have the potential to do much more to your home, car, or even yourself. Therefore, it is always recommended to have a predefined and secure shelter for you and your loved ones to retreat to in case of emergencies. This can be a covered parking space, a secure part of your home, or a basement.

  • Get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage: It is always a good choice to stay protected while preparing and securing yourself for the worst ahead. Weather conditions are unpredictable and, therefore, you must have a comprehensive insurance package to cover you, your loved ones, and your property. This means that you must get sufficient value from the insurance company and avoid paying a fortune just in case your home or the solar panels are damaged from hail.


Solar Panels are unarguably one of the most reliable and durable energy technologies in the world. Installing a home or office solar energy system ensures that your home or office can easily produce its own power, even during extreme weather conditions.

To inquire about maintenance issues or learn more about our home or residential solar panels, or to buy solar panel systems, please contact Matriarch Solar now.

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