If you’re after eco-friendly solutions for your household, solar panels might prove one of the best investments. They’re quite affordable and, more importantly, highly enduring. But what happens when this system suddenly breaks due to difficult weather conditions? Will a cracked solar panel still work, or do broken panels make your money go down the drain?
If you’re wondering what exactly happens when the sun-kissed devices on your rooftop get damaged, stick around. Below, you’ll also learn how to fix this issue and prevent it from becoming a common occurrence.
Why Do Solar Panels Crack?
Believe it or not, cracking under stress isn’t only reserved for humans. As it goes, your solar panels might break due to the condition called thermal stress. This phenomenon occurs during the summer months when the hot rays coming from the sun warm your panels to high temperatures. Then, when you sprinkle them with cold water, they suddenly crack.
But an extreme change in temperature isn’t the only reason solar panels get damaged. Sometimes, it only takes a heavy tree branch falling over your rooftop to break the glass on your panels. Other times, there might be teeny fractures invisible to the naked eye called microcracks. They are the result of solar cell degradation.
What Happens When a Solar Panel Cracks?
Regardless of how much you’ve invested in dressing up your roof, the panels will be prone to damage due to the above external factors. In the case of sudden breakage, the harm might prove beyond repair. But the good news is — such situations rarely happen. Instead, the following scenario is much more likely to occur.
Your solar panels might crack, but this may not interfere with the way they operate. In other words, a broken solar panel might be able to work just fine and still produce high voltages. That’s because the cracks are typically so superficial that they don’t affect the solar cells themselves. So, even if your panel seems broken on the outside, its internal functions might still be preserved.
Even if something damages one of the solar cells on your panel, the entire construction may be alright. The truth is, the performance of your solar panels drops in proportion to the amount of damage. So, if only a few cells stop working, these devices will only produce insignificantly less electricity. Hopefully, you might not be able to notice any difference at all.
Does a Cracked Solar Panel Need Repairing If It Works Fine?
If your broken solar panels work just fine, should you even bother fixing them? Considering only your panels’ sufficient productivity, this might seem unnecessary. However, there’s more to broken solar panels than meets the eye. By now, you might have guessed it — the issue in question is the safety of the entire system.
As it goes, heavy rainfall might cause water to enter your solar panels through these tiny cracks. Naturally, mixed water and electricity inside the panels may prove extremely dangerous. Therefore, it might be best to report the issue to your solar panel installation company as soon as you notice any fractures.
How to Prevent Your Solar Panels from Cracking
Now that you know your panels are prone to thermal shock, remember not to wash them with a hose during summer. You should also trim any nearby trees to prevent heavy branches from falling on your roof and damaging your panels. In addition, you might need to consider the weather damage before installing another solar panel system. As it goes, smaller solar panels will minimize the damage from extreme weather conditions.
Despite the longevity of solar panel systems in general, these devices can break or crack. The good news is that this might not affect their efficiency in producing the amount of electricity your household needs. Still, the first thing to do when you notice a fracture is to call your solar panel installation company. This team of experts will make sure your panels are still safe or fix them if they seem like a threat.