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Solar Panels, Hail Damage and Insurance

 

With some insane images coming from South East Queensland this week, we think it’s time to have a chat about solar panels, hail damage and your home insurance.

Passing The Hail Damage Resistance Test | How Solar Stacks Up Against Hailstones

hands with ice ballSourced from LG Solar Australia

All solar panels in Australia are required to pass a hail test.

To pass the Moderate Hail Test a solar panel must survive hailstones of up to 25mm. To pass the Severe Hail Damage Resistance Test, panels must survive a hail size of 75mm.

A 25mm hailstone is considered large. A 75mm hailstone is considered absolutely massive- and a 14cm hailstone is considered catastrophically monstrous- as South East Queensland found out last Saturday.

Queensland Solar Panels Vs. 14cm Hailstones

Smashed car windscreens, obliterated roof tiles and shattered solar panels were left in the wake of South East Queensland’s freak electrical storm over the weekend.

With the storm producing hailstones the size of cricket balls, RACQ tweeted that they received over 4892 insurance claims with over 2044 of them being home, property and solar damage.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, early losses of the event are estimated to be upwards of $60 million.

While luckily no one was injured unfortunately the same cannot be said for quite a few roof-top solar arrays.

Solar Panels, Hailstones And Insurance

Solar Panel Damaged By a Hailstone

While solar panels are made to withstand the majority of what nature can throw at it their resistance capacity can only go so far.

A solar panel’s resilience is largely due to the high-quality tempered glass used to frame the solar module. Usually around 3-4mm think, the tempered glass won’t break into glass shards but will shatter in a spider web effect while maintaining its form.

Solar panels will have different hail resistance depending on the make, model and brand of the design.

If you are in a hail-prone area, it pays to do your research to ensure your solar panel can withstand the weather patterns for the area.

So, what happens if your solar panels have been damaged by hail? Can solar be covered by insurance?

The answer is yes, absolutely.

According to CHOICE, solar panels are covered as part of home and contents insurance policies.

It should be noted however that if you require your solar panels to be covered then you may need to increase the building sum insured. If you aren’t sure if you are covered just simply contact your insurer and ask to have your solar panels included in your policy.

What To Do When Your Solar System Is Damaged 

If your solar system has been damaged during a weather event it is important to follow your solar safety procedure and call your accredited solar installer for any repairs.  

For more on what to do during an emergency, check out our blog: Solar In An Emergency | What To Do.

How To Get Solar PanelsNeed To Replace Your Damaged Solar System?

If you have found yourself in a situation where you need your solar system replaced then why not shop around for the best solar deal.

Why spend the next four hours doing solar research when you can instantly get expert advice, recommendations and quotes tailored specifically to your property.

Solar Market offers 3 complimentary no-obligation solar quotes from 3 local CEC accredited solar installers in your area. Click the button below and let’s get you a great deal.

Request 3 Complimentary Solar Quotes

 

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Download Your FREE Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition

Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy-saving tips and more!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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