Hail Impact Test: hail and solar panels
The hail impact test is a mechanical test that verifies that a solar panel is capable of withstanding the impact of hailstones at a temperature of ~ 4°C.
About the hail impact test
The hail impact test is an important solar panel quality and safety test as in many parts of the world, hail can cause major damage to solar panels. Therefore it's important to purchase solar panels that have been tested on the impact of hail and have successfully passed the hail impact test for solar panels. The hail impact test is in general a qualification test that is applied when certifying new solar panel types and products, during internal quality testing or research. Quality control during solar panel mass production hardly involve hail impact test.
Hail test procedure
Typically test labs use a pneumatic ice ball launcher, which is capable of launching ice balls at specified speeds and various weights. The PV module will be hit with ice balls at over 10 specified spots. After the test, there should be no visible damage at the front of the solar panels caused by the hailstones. Possible effects and problems that can be identified after the hail impact test are:
- Broken cells
- Broken glass
- Micro cracks
- Dysfunctional cells
- (Slight) structural deformation/ mechanical data nonconformity