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Are Solar Panels Waterproof? – In-Depth Guide 2024

There are so many things to love about alternative power solutions like solar.

It is a reliable source of electricity, especially for tiny house owners who live off-grid.

But before making the switch to solar energy, keep in mind that solar panels are designed to be installed outside since they leverage sunlight to power the system and keep it running.

For those asking whether solar panels are waterproof, you’ll be happy to learn that solar panels are built to work seamlessly, even in the most extreme weather conditions.

Whether installed on rooftops or mounted on the ground, solar panels will withstand any weather condition, including heavy rain.

Solar panels and their waterproof design

Since solar panels are designed to be installed on rooftops or mounted on the ground, where there is abundant sunlight, companies have gone the extra mile to ensure that their solar panels are not just resistant to water damage but also other elements.

Simply put, almost all solar panels are designed to be waterproof.

This protects them against water damage.

And in case of water damage, owners are covered by warranties.

Now that you know that solar panels are water-resistant, let’s give you a simple breakdown of how solar panels work.

To start with, solar panels can generate energy via solar cells.

The electricity generated by solar panels is captured via wiring within the solar panels.

shed storage

That said, the entire wiring, electronics, and tech within solar panels are components that could get damaged should water ever find its way in.

This explains why solar panels are constructed so that sensitive components are protected against water and other elements.

Let us also quickly add that there are several components used within a solar panel that makes it waterproof.

For instance, most solar panels are covered in a thin glass sheet on the front.

This protects components within the solar panels.

Also, the back is protected by a sheet that is mainly made from a durable polymer-based material.

These two protective layers are reinforced with a metal frame and special sealant glue.

All these combine to make solar panels waterproof.

Solar panels and warranties

In rare cases, some solar panels may be defective during production, so these types of panels may not be completely waterproof and may be easily damaged when water sieves through.

Thankfully, many solar panel manufacturers we know, especially the top guys, offer two types of warranties.

This helps protect your solar panel investment.

With solar panels, you get both a production warranty and an equipment warranty.

With a solar panel equipment warranty, you’re protected from problems that have to do with the physical quality of your solar panel.

This warranty will most likely cover manufacturing defects, premature wear and tear, and environmental problems.

For example, let’s assume that your solar panel is not waterproof and water eventually damages it; in that case, the equipment warranty will cover you.

In some rare cases, some solar panel manufacturers don’t only offer to pay for a new panel but also cover shipment and re-installation.

Most respected brands offer between 10 to 12 years’ warranty.

On the flip side, a solar panel production warranty provides cover against underperforming solar panels.

Like other electronic components, solar panels tend to degrade over time, so the amount of energy it generates gradually plummets.

Production warranties usually guarantee that a solar panel will deliver 90% performance for the first ten years and 80% after 25 years.

This simply implies that after ten years, your solar panel should be able to deliver at least 90% of the power it generates or 80% after 25 years.

At this point, it is critical to add that a non-waterproof solar panel may be susceptible to flooding, which may end up affecting the amount of sunlight reaching the solar cells.

In extreme cases, it may even end up breaking individual cells.

Should this ever happen to your panel, it may not produce the amount of power needed to fulfill the production warranty promise.

In that case, your solar manufacturer is obligated to replace your water-damaged panel.

Solar panels and their rugged design

While solar panels are waterproof, they are more durable and rugged than you thought.

Just so you know, solar panels are designed to hold up to most weather-related stress as well.

For solar panel users who live in cold climates, you don’t have to worry about weather elements like snow ruining your panels, and that’s because solar panels are designed to hold up to any weather conditions.

While solar panels are designed to handle significant weight without collapsing, they benefit significantly from colder weather, especially as photovoltaic cells perform well during snowy conditions.

Similarly, extreme weather conditions like hail storms or hurricanes don’t usually affect solar panels significantly.

Also, with a proper racking system, your solar panel won’t take any damage from strong winds.

Frequently asked questions

Is it okay to leave your solar panel in the rain?

Did you recently install some solar panels in your home and wonder whether it’s okay to leave them in the rain?

Well, since solar panels are waterproof, leaving them out in the rain won’t cause any damage.

More so, Photovoltaic solar panels use both direct and indirect sunlight to produce electricity.

So even during snowy or rainy weather, your solar panel should perform just fine.

Just so you know, rain actually keeps your solar panel working effectively.

Does water affect solar panels?

Since solar panels are water-resistant, you don’t have to worry about water ruining them.

That said, water vapor does reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the solar cell.

Should that be the case, it can result in a reduction of electrical current or overall performance.

What are the things that can cause damage to solar panels?

There are a couple of things that can cause damage to your solar panels and ultimately reduce their performance.

For instance, twigs, dirt, and leaves can scratch the surface of your solar panel, reducing the amount of energy it produces.

Similarly, hail storms can also damage your solar panels.

Also, water damage can impact your solar panel performance.