Hail Resistance and Solar Warranty
Most solar panels come with a 25 year warranty, but not all panels can honor the solar warranty. It is important to use reputable solar brands that have a proven history of performance and stringent quality control procedures.
To pass Australian standards, solar panels must be able to withstand direct impact of hail stones with a diameter of 35mm or approximately the size of a golf ball.
The toughened glass of the solar module should hold its integrity, however the crystalline cells may suffer hairline fracturing which may affect performance. Certain manufacturers like SunPower can limit the damage of hairline fractures by coating the back of their cells with a copper/tin alloy which increases strength, performance and longevity.
Q Cells test their Solar Modules by firing 11 ice balls, each measuring 35mm in diameter with a mass of 20.7g, at key locations on the face of the panel. The ice balls are fired at a speed of 27.2m/s (almost 100km/h), which is higher than its terminal velocity.
These tests are designed to mimic real world conditions by projecting real world hailstorm velocities.
The following requirements must be met to pass a Q Cell panel:
- No evidence of major visual defects;
- No more than 5% loss in maximum power output; and
- To ensure the continued safe operation of the panel, the insulation resistance must be the same as measured before the test.