/Blogs/Barrier Nets Minimize Solar Panel Damage From Hailstorms

Barrier Nets Minimize Solar Panel Damage From Hailstorms

Last updated at 

Hail damage to solar panels

Figure 1  Hail damage to solar panels

As the world increasingly turns to renewable energy sources, solar panels have become a popular choice for homeowners and businesses alike. However, while solar panels are a sustainable and affordable way to generate electricity, they are vulnerable to damage from severe weather conditions and other external threats.  Installing barrier nets above solar arrays can minimize damage from hail.

Solar panels with protective net

Figure 2  Hail Blocker Nets with Direct Attach Net Support Brackets


Size Matters  

Hails size vs speed.jpg

Figure 3  Ever wonder how fast hail falls    (Courtesy Koaa.com)


Besides harsh weather conditions like incessant rain and wind, the most destructive of these weather conditions are hailstorms. They can cause significant harm to solar panels, leading to costly repair and replacement costs. 

Hail damage to panels in Texas

Figure 4  Hail damage to residential solar in Austin TX

In today’s blog post we’ll discuss effective solar panel protection strategies to prevent severe weather damage to solar panels, with a focus on preventing hailstorm damage.

Solar panels are made to withstand inclement weather conditions, but they are not indestructible. Harsh weather conditions like hailstorms pose a significant threat to solar panels due to the impact force of hailstones. When they strike the solar panel’s surface, they can crack or shatter the protective glass covering, exposing the delicate photovoltaic cells underneath. This damage reduces the solar panel efficiency and can lead to electrical issues and potential safety hazards.


Prevention is better than replacement

Protective net for solar panels

Figure 5 Hail Blocker Net from www.solarnets.com

Impact of hailstones on your solar panel 

The degree of hailstorm damage depends upon the quality of your solar array system. High-quality solar panels with tempered glass are resistant to hail damage for hail up to 1” in diameter.

The size of the hailstone influences the intensity of the damage to solar panels. Bigger hailstones can cause significant damage, especially if they strike the array at higher speeds.

Higher velocity impacts are more likely to cause fractures and cracks on the glass surface or lead to solar cell damage. Wind speed has a direct effect on the impact speed of hail. The orientation of the solar panel also plays a big role in hailstone damage. Panels mounted with more slope are less likely to suffer damage compared to solar modules installed horizontally. 

  • 1-inch Hail Stones fall at speed between 25-40mph, and weighs o.26-oz. Energy is 1.26 joules
  • Baseballs size Hail Stones fall at 74mph, and are 2.75 inches in diameter, weighing 5.25-oz. Energy is 225 joules.

Areas prone to severe weather like tornadoes, hurricanes, or hailstorms are at a higher risk of solar panel damage. Homes and businesses in these regions need robust protection to minimize risk of damage. 


Do solar panels with broken glass still work? 

Solar panel owners should note that even minor solar panel damage can compromise their performance over time. Damaged solar panel glass lead to reduced energy output and are very likely to fail completely over time. Eventually the water penetration through broken glass will short the internal high voltage to the grounded metal frame.


Preventing solar panel damage due to severe weather conditions

While it may be impossible to eliminate the risk of severe weather or hailstorm damage, there are several steps that solar panel owners can take to minimize the likelihood of severe weather-related issues.

  • Choose the Right Protection if Your Solar Array is in a High-Risk Location: 

When installing solar panels, it's essential to consider the local climate and weather patterns. Area with harsh hailstorms expose solar systems to greater risk of damage. Areas prone to frequent hailstorms must have protective nets for solar panels. These solar nets are simple to install to safeguard your precious investment round-the-clock. Solar Nets must have openings that are small enough to prevent large hail from passing through. Hail Blocker Net will block hail larger 1.25 inches. Nets with larger openings block less sunlight.


Net Color

        Observed loss




5-7 yrs



5 yrs


  • The quality of your solar panels counts

Not all solar panels are created equal. High-quality panels, with thicker glass and wider frames are typically more durable and more likely to withstand the impact of severe weather conditions like hailstones. New bi-facial panel designs, with dual glass, are more vulnerable to breakage due to hail. When purchasing solar panels, select reliable brands with a proven track record of durability and reliability.


  • Install solar nets

Installing a solar net to protect solar array systems is the perfect solution for homes and businesses alike. Specially engineered nets like the Hail Blocker Net from SolarNets have the ability to keep large hailstones away from solar panels. They absorb the energy of falling hailstones ensuring your panels are free from chips and breaks. This is the best net for protecting a rooftop or ground mounted solar array located in hailstorm–prone areas. 

In addition to the proper net selection, proper design of Net Support Brackets is important. The best net supports will angle away from the solar panels to avoid shading the solar panel itself.  Supports that attach directly to the solar panel frames avoid the need for more for penetrations.


  • Regular Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring the long-term performance and durability of solar panels. Cleaners naturally inspect panels during the cleaning process, alerting homeowners to any signs of damage or wear and tear. Addressing the issues promptly will minimize lost solar energy production.


  • Insurance Coverage: In areas prone to severe weather, it's crucial to verify insurance coverage for your solar panels. There are some policies that may cover solar panels as a part of the total property coverage, however it is advised to check with your insurance provider for specifics. Ground mounted solar array are typically considered ‘separate structures’ and may need to be specifically documented to insure coverage.

Interesting links to posts:


The Cost of Hailstorm Damage: 

Despite taking preventive measures, solar panel owners may still experience damage from hailstorms. The cost of repairing or replacing damaged panels can be substantial, potentially running into thousands of dollars. In addition to the direct financial cost, hailstorm damage can also result in lost energy production and decreased system efficiency, further impacting the long-term viability of solar energy generation.

The solar industry is losing $2.5 billion annually from equipment underperformance, likely caused by equipment malfunctions and weather conditions, according to an article in kWh Analytics’ 2023 Solar Risk Assessment


Invest in Solar Nets for protection 

Hail Damage to Scottsbluff Solar Array

Figure 6 Scottsbluff Community Solar Field Damaged by Hail

Severe weather, particularly hailstorms, poses a significant threat to the integrity and performance of solar panels. By taking proactive steps to prevent damage, such as choosing the right location, investing in high-quality panels, installing protective netting around solar panels and maintaining regular inspections, solar panel owners can minimize the risk of costly repairs and replacements. 

Interesting link:


Additionally, ensuring adequate insurance coverage can provide peace of mind and financial protection in the event of severe weather damage. As we continue to embrace renewable energy solutions, safeguarding solar panels against the forces of nature is essential to maximizing their benefits and longevity.

Moreover, solar and hail nets not only protect solar modules from severe weather conditions, but they also protect properties from baseball and golf ball damage. Hail Blocker Nets have such small openings that golf balls and baseballs will also be blocked.


Custom design your own net

large golf ball protection netting

SolarNets ensures that every property owner can get the best protective nets for solar panels. With the help of the OnlineNetDesignerTool both homes and businesses can design and purchase customized nets online.

Net Designer Screen capture 1a

The solar net installation is quick and can be done in 2-3 hours using a team of two workers.

To learn more, speak to our experts at 209-464-6100 or drop us an email at info@solarnets.com


Talk to an Expert

Quick Links

How it works



Terms & conditions - Privacy Policy

Copyright 2024, SunnyCal Solar Inc. | All Rights Reserved Designed & Developed by Team Underscore Technology