Sweet Answer from Solar Mango: (updated Sep 2015)
There have been many who had been concerned that a bunch of solar panels are left on the rooftops or on large farms for 25 long years, absolutely exposed to all the natural elements. Would they last that long, especially if the regions have torrential rains or sand storms or what not?
Well, rain or storm should not bother solar panels, that is good quality solar panels, much.
A high quality solar panel should easily withstand rains for 25 years, and even longer. Some of the components of the solar panel, especially the outer glass and the backsheet, are provided specifically to provide protection from rain and other natural elements.
Most solar panels are designed to withstand heavy rains.
While hailstorms could damage some type of solar panels, the likelihood is very rare in case high quality panels are opted for. Top solar panel manufacturers are pretty aware of the danger hailstorms present to their products and hence opt for a toughened glass surface for their panels. Usually, high quality panels are so designed to withstand even the direct impact of hail up to one-inch in diameter.
The qualifying term here is “high quality”. Manufacturers of high quality solar panels ensure that they purchase the best and the proven materials especially for the glass on top and the backsheet at the bottom. The backsheet especially is given little thought, but this layer can play a significant role in keeping the solar panels healthy and productive for 25 years.
By the way, occasional rains are good for solar panels as they clean the solar panels at no cost!
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