With the use of solar panels rising rapidly in the past decade, another question has also come into the light. Are solar panels waterproof?
Solar panels are devices that absorb direct sunlight and convert it into electricity or heat for future use. It is a collection of solar or photovoltaic cells (meaning they can convert sunlight into electricity) that is used to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. They are made of semi-conductive materials, mostly silicon which is a material that can conduct electricity while maintaining the electrical imbalance needed to create an electric field.
Solar panels require sunlight to function and are usually bulky. Therefore, they are kept outdoors where they can receive maximum sunlight. But that also means exposure to dust and rain. In such conditions, it becomes important to know if your solar panels are waterproof or not.
Are solar panels waterproof?
The most important and common question which arises in people’s minds when they want to buy a solar panel is if it is waterproof or not? Since solar panels are placed on rooftops or out on the grounds, this is a big question if they are waterproof or not? What if they break when it rains?
You’ll be happy to know that solar panels are designed in a way that they can readily spend up to 30 years outdoors, and many waterproofing measures protect them.
What is the durability of water-proofing?
Firstly, any and every solar panel you purchase for your home/office will be waterproof. On top of that, in a one percent case, the manufacturer may have it covered in a warranty even if they do get damaged by the rains.
A solid solar panel has to be outside in the open for years, and that is why the need to have a reliable waterproofing system that lasts many years. For a high and good quality solar panel, you can expect it to be waterproof for at least 10 years and, in many cases, even more than that.
There are many ways by which we can increase the longevity of the solar panel and thus help it resist water damage.
How to protect your solar panel against water damage?
Protecting your solar panel against water damage depends upon how your roof is pitched. There are many ways to protect your solar panel, but your roof pitching plays a vital part. Your solar panel installer mainly does this work by adjusting the slant of the panel.
Your installer needs to be an expert on this. An expert installer would know how to correctly install your solar panel with some flashing methods so that its safety is ensured and so that it does not harm the basic construction of your roof or create any future damages.
One more method to further reinforce the water resistance of the solar panel is by raising the waterproof seal. This waterproof seal is the barrier that keeps the rains from getting into the flashing part and damaging the solar panel. As and when you elevate it further, the more it reduces/lowers the risks of water damages that can be done to your solar panel.
One more question that might keep you wondering is if it can be submerged? We can say that as long as it is an excellent high-quality solar panel, it can be submerged. The photovoltaic cells in the solar panels are protected by glass, an aluminum frame, and a back panel. This back panel in your solar panel is nicely vacuum-sealed, and this thing in it prevents the water from getting inside.
Do solar panels last longer if they are not rained upon mostly?
Solar panels are designed in such a way as to bear all the rain and other weather types. They need to go through all the weather and use all their elements to be nice and effective. The solar panels are built from waterproof materials, and they use a sealant that protects the photovoltaic cells and their wiring, so this should not be a cause of worry to you.
Solar panels getting water damaged is a very rare thing. This water damage in your solar panel can only occur when your solar panel itself has a defect in it from the start. Solar panels are an expensive purchase. Therefore, they are most likely covered under warranties, so even in a case of solar panel damage because of water; they can be easily replaced under your warranty. Moreover, most of the pieces of equipment of the solar panel are covered under warranty as well, and these warranties last at least 10 years.
Solar panels and many other electronic items come with an ‘IP rating.’ These IP ratings indicate an object’s level of protection against natural elements, including water/rain. An excellent high-quality solar panel is likely to have an IP67 or IP68 rating. On the other hand, many will also have a low rating of IP65. The question is, what do these mean?
IP stands for ‘ingress protection.’ The numbers following ‘IP’ indicate what precisely the solar panels are protected against. A simple example explaining this would be-a solar panel which has an IP65 rating that will be protected from dust and will be able to withstand water being sprayed at a low pressure, which is still perfect for rainfalls.
A solar panel that has an IP67 rating is protected further against dust and types of moisture. Even if the solar panels are submerged into water for a while, they are still going to work just fine afterward.
What to do in case of water damage?
As we have read earlier, it’s very rare for your solar panel to get water damage. However, if it still happens in the rarest of cases, it might happen if the manufacturer does not properly seal it. Despite all this, you can be sure that your investment in solar panels or clean energy is protected.
Mainly, solar panel production warranties protect you in case your solar panel is not functioning correctly. This may happen when the cells wear out over the years during their usage, and you notice that the solar panels are producing less power.
Even after 10 years, your solar panel will most probably be producing ninety percent energy of what it was producing when you got it installed for the first time. This is a very normal thing to happen to your solar panels after 10 long years of usage. All these warranties that are on your solar panel cover a production promise, and they will most likely replace your solar panels if they somehow don’t meet the minimum requirement, which they should.
In short, we can conclude that your solar panels are going to have at least some amount of protection against water damages. Manufacturers of these solar panels very well understand that these solar panels that they have designed and manufactured are going to stay out in the open and face many natural elements for many long years, and thus they are designed accordingly.
Again, in some rare off chances in which your solar panels might get damaged in water, you can quickly review the warranties that came along with your solar panels provided by the manufacturers. In most cases, if we see, there are protections in place that help you get the damaged panels replaced very quickly.
Whatever may be the case, solar panels usually can withstand harsher conditions than other power-producing products.
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