Testing Hail Damage to Solar Panels!

How much hail damage can a solar panel endure? We take our high-speed camera to the Westpak testing facility, where we fire balls of ice at different velocities at a panel to see if they’re truly weatherproof. Their high-pressure ice cannon is named “Mr. Freeze!”

Shot and edited by Adam Isaak
Music by Jinglepunks

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Tested is:
Adam Savage
Norman Chan
Joey Fameli
Adam Isaak
Kishore Hari
Patrick Norton
Frank Ippolito
Sean Charlesworth
Jeremy Williams

Thanks for watching!


  1. -> Shoots metal ball bearing at panel, shattering it
    -> 'Whoa, we definitely shot some hail at some solar panels'
    Please take a more scientific approach in the future and use more panels and explain the velocities in advance and whatnot…

  2. sure looks like a huge metal bearing @1:45 , not a piece of ice. its like you guys just wanted us to see stuff break, even if the "hail" wouldnt do it, you had to find a way to cheat to break the glass. ok so now that you have broke the glass, how was its electrical performance impacted? that is the real concern here, yet it was skipped over?

  3. Question: can the glass of a solar panel break due to wiring your system wrong? We had one of ours catch fire, it was small it only melted the shingles that were directly below where the fire started. We had an electrician try to reconnect our system and something went wrong and it kill our charge controler and upon connecting to the batteries the wires melted (i think he used 10 or 12 awg wire. ) some time later i went back up to put new connectors on the panels to try again and found one of them broken and looked like it had a small fire. My dad insists that the electrician bad wireing casued it. But to me it looked like it took an impact and i doubt such a small fire could have heated up the glass to the point that it can break.

  4. it's glass, it's not bullet proof, it may be a bit stronger than the average glass, and not shatter because of all the components the layers provide, but it will still be broken at the end of a storm, you people should have some sort of protection against nature. 🙂

  5. The problem with simply lobbing chunks of ice at an object doesn't account for the layered nature of hail. Hail rarely shatters anywhere close to what these tests show. Because of this, little energy lost by the shattering of the stone. This energy is maintained throughout the impact, making hail more damaging than a large ice cube.

  6. Who cares about ' Mr. Freeze? We are more interested in the potential damage to the panels and the various effect that various protective barriers have on efficiency!

  7. You dickheads! Using steel ball bearings? Do you realize this is damaging people's opinions on buying solar panels? They say "well, if it can't handle a steel ball hitting it, I don't want it on my roof." You muddaphuckas!

  8. Hailstones obliterated some panels in Texas recently. This "test" isn't accurate whatsoever.
    Hailstones fall at 90 mph and the density of the ice is insane.
    for example there's many videos out there showing just how difficult it is to break a car windshield with a baseball bat, meanwhile hailstones destroy car windshields all the time.

  9. Not even close to real HAIL that falls, not even close to REAL SPEEDS of hail, Not even close to the tight spread of a hail storm which is more like a shotgun blast coming down on you. They did no before and after WATTAGE testing of the Panels to pove it worked. Also hail storms can easily last 15-30 minutes.

    This was the worst "scientific" experiment I have ever seen, the very worst. I bet the manufacturer paid you and wrote the entire script.

  10. It's amazing how fast the glass shatters, compared to the speed of the projectile. Tempered glass fractures fast. That panel will still sort of work, but you'll only get about 20% of rated current, because of the shattering of the monocrystaline structure of the cell itself. It cannot be used in series with good panels.

  11. Plastic and metal were used to simulate larger, higher energy impacts, because the cannon can't fire a larger projectile, and hail can be grapefruit sized.

  12. Hail damage to solar panels is not just a broken glass. An electroluminescence test is necessary to find out if there are micro-cracks in the PV cells.

  13. 20-30 meters/second.  That's a pretty wide range of velocities.  How about you test it at the terminal velocity based on the size of the ice ball.  You know, like a real world application.

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