Homeowner Blog

What Happens if it Rains on Solar Panels?

Charlie McGibbon · 28 Nov 2023

So, after an extended summer, the rain and snow are upon us. But how do solar panels cope in rainy weather? Can water ingress cause problems? And what about snow or hail?

How do solar panels cope in the rain?

As you'd expect the solar panels we fit combined with our MCS accredited expert in house installation team means you can be confident in the integrity of your system even in the most torrential of downpours. Depending on the brand and supplier, most solar panels are IP (Ingress Protection) rated to at least IP65, and at Spirit we would never install a panel rated to less than IP67 so we can be sure they won't be compromised by the rain. The rain itself won't stop them generating energy - the corresponding cloud cover that comes with rain will reduce the output of your system, but the effect is no more than a cloudy day with no sun.

Rain can actually be beneficial for solar panels!

Solar panels have a hydrophobic layer on the surface which prevents raindrops forming easily, and a spell of rain can be beneficial as it helps clean the solar panels of dust and other particles that build up over time, reducing the need to clean the array and maximising efficiency. So, a little rain can actually be good for your solar panels, although of course the accompanying cloud cover will impact the total output of your system.

What about other extreme weather such snow or hail?

Snow is normally not that big of an issue in the UK, but does seem to be on the way. On the off chance we are due a White Christmas this year, be assured it won't damage your panels. Of course climate change is making weather patterns more extreme and heavy snow will drastically impact the amount of energy your panels will generate temporarily, but in our experience it's rare for snow to build up on panels due to the angled slant of the panels, the sleek, smooth texture and the black colour ensures that any snow that does land on your panels rarely settles. Like rain, snow can also have the effect of washing your solar panels.

What about hail impacting solar panels?

Hail again is rarely severe enough to cause issues with solar panels in the UK in the current climate. Large enough hailstones impacting panels have the potential to damage them, but in our experience this almost never happens. One of our suppliers, Sunpower, even boast that their panels can withstand the impact of a 25mm hailstone at terminal velocity. So rest assured that Spirit only use trusted suppliers of solar panels that bear these things in mind.

So if you're worried about getting solar installed in the great British weather, worry no more, get in contact with Spirit Energy today to find out how we can help you with your solar installation by calling 0118 951 4490 or emailing info@spiritenergy.co.uk today to speak to one of our expert team.

Topics: Solar PV, Environment