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All Hail UL Solar Panel Testing

36454434 - solar photovoltaic panels installed on tiled roof

April 24, 2018

Thorough impact testing for PV panels to test resilience to hail damage

Photovoltaic (PV) panels, or solar panels, face difficult expectations. They must be exposed to the elements, suitable for installation just about anywhere in the world, and last approximately 25 years. Considering these panels are made of glass and sensitive electronics, meeting these requirements is difficult. In recognition of industry needs and the unforgiving nature of the great outdoors, UL offers hail impact testing. This safety, performance and verification testing of PV modules is performed against UL 1703 and UL 61703 Standards.

The first test requires lab technicians to drop a two-inch solid steel sphere from a height of 51 inches onto the surface of the PV module. This simulates the energy of a hail stone measured at 1.375 inches in diameter falling at terminal velocity through the sky. The second impact test involves firing 25-millimeter, or approximately one-inch, ice balls from a pneumatic cannon. Finally, because international standards often require it, UL’s labs also test electrical performance degradation.

Visit Inside UL to learn more about how these tests can help ensure your panels are ready for just about anything.