How solar panels get damaged

Properly insure damage to photovoltaic systems

Lightning protection is recommended

With or without additional insurance, the installed PV modules must meet general safety standards; Among other things, this includes hail protection. In the case of manufacturer offers, it is also important to ensure that a corresponding safety certificate applies to them. Panels of good quality are certified at the independent institute for solar technology in Rapperswil (SG). According to the European standard, PV modules meet the minimum requirements if they can withstand hailstones 25 millimeters thick. Experience has shown, however, that this is not sufficient for regions in Switzerland that are prone to hail, such as in the canton of Bern. Protection against 30 mm thick hailstones is ideal. Tested solar modules whose cover glass does not break even with 40 mm thick grains are already available. The evaluation after hailstorms also shows: The mechanical damage to solar systems is rather low. However, in order to be adequately protected against lightning strikes, the installation of a lightning protection system and the installation of surge arresters are recommended.

Damage caused by animals

Because most solar systems are in exposed places on the roof, birds and martens in particular can cause considerable damage. The insulation of electrical cables is particularly popular. Even additional protective measures only protect against animal damage to a limited extent.

Clearing snow is pointless

Manual snow removal is strongly discouraged. On the one hand, working on the roof is dangerous for hobby craftsmen. On the other hand, the loss in yield due to a blanket of snow is only a few percent. This is the result of a study by the Office for Nature and Environment of the Canton of Graub√ľnden. Since the dark solar panel surface heats up quickly even in winter and the snow melts quickly, a room according to this study can hardly be justified. Effective damage prevention includes advice from an experienced plumber. If you have any questions about insurance cover, the cantonal building insurance companies will be happy to provide you with information.