How Strong Are Solar Panels?

How strong are solar panels and the science behind their strength

According to a study from the IEEE, only 0.1% of solar panels underperformed due to hardware-related issues between 2009 and 2012. This is a testament to their durability. But, how strong are solar panels, really?

Despite their slim and delicate appearance, solar panels are designed to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions, including strong winds, heavy rain, and even hail. In fact, it’s standard for modern panels to have 25-year warranties, if not longer.

A visual representation showing the different layers in a solar panel.
A visual representation showing the different layers in a solar panel.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about the strength and durability of solar panels, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll cover a variety of topics related to solar panel strength, including:

How do solar panels fare against harsh weather conditions?

An illustration on the relationship between harsh weather and solar panel efficiency
An illustration on the relationship between harsh weather and solar panel efficiency

As I said, the gold standard 25-year warranty is telling of their strength against harsh and extreme weather. Solar panel manufacturers and CEC-accredited installers make sure of that (but more on these later).

That being said, heavy rains and snow will likely only affect the efficiency of your solar panels. Hail and heavy winds, however, are a different story. Let’s talk about them.

Solar panels VS. high winds

Solar panels installed at a fixed angle are certified to handle winds of up to 2400 pascals. That’s wind speeds of just a little more than 220 km/h and a severe cyclone.

While that’s impressive, some solar panels are tested to withstand even more. Canadian Solar, for example, was able to withstand 10,000 pascals of pressure when it was wind tested.

That being said, systems with solar trackers have more moving parts which make them more vulnerable to wind damage.

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

Solar panels VS. hail

A study from the NREL shows that the chances of your solar panels getting damaged from hail are under 0.05%. They’re built like that because of standards from the IEC that says they should be able to withstand 25mm (roughly 1 inch) hailstones that are traveling at over 80 km/h.

While the probability is slim, the past tells us that hail damage to solar panels is still possible. The same goes for high winds, extremely heavy winds, and snow.

Nevertheless, the numbers I showed you should tell you that you can trust the durability of solar panels, especially the ones with superior quality. This brings us to the next topic of our discussion.

What makes solar panels so strong?

Their manufacturing process

Solar panels are stronger than they look because of their design. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels have various layers that protect solar cells from physical damage, moisture, and UV radiation.

The materials that make up each layer are delicate on their own. But, together, they form a panel that looks slim but can surprisingly take on the extreme weather conditions of Australia.

The manufacturing process also involves extensive testing to ensure quality and durability.

Although, as with any industry, there are always manufacturers that sell low-quality products. Thus, we recommend that you only use solar panels that are approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC).

Solar panels are also built to move. If it’s feasible, you can move your panels from one house to the other. However, you must talk to your installer first.

The workmanship of your installer

Speaking of CEC, they also have accredited installers who have gone through their course.

Hiring them to install your system helps ensure that it’s done and maintained to meet the country’s standards.

Plus, hiring CEC-accredited installers are part of the government’s eligibility requirement for rebates.

That means hiring them saves you money while making sure that your system is as durable as possible.

The CEC raises Australian standards for solar systems

The Clean Energy Council has played a crucial role in increasing and maintaining the standards for solar systems in Australia. 

Before them, solar installations around the country were notorious for poor workmanship, inefficient power ratings, and short-lived systems.

Now, solar power is the fastest-growing type of energy generation with over 30% of Aussie houses having their own system.

The CEC’s standards extend to installers, retailers, and components used to generate renewable energy, too. Below is an overview of each of them and why these standards have led to stronger solar panels.

CEC for installers

For solar energy installers, the CEC has established accreditation programs that require solar energy installers to undergo extensive training and adhere to strict codes of conduct. 

This ensures that only qualified and experienced professionals are installing solar energy systems, thus ensuring the longevity of installations. 

Get 3 Solar Quotes From Quality Local Installers.

CEC for retailers

For retailers, the CEC’s standards for manufacturers are set so much higher than the government’s minimum. 

Their program is approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is intended for manufacturers and retailers to prove how trustworthy they are. This is good for you and me because doing business with them means we’re not going to be misled.

CEC for products/components

And for products such as panels, inverters, and batteries, the CEC has established a list of approved products that meet their strict quality standards. 

So, before you buy anything, make sure that what you plan to buy is on their list.

And, perhaps more importantly, only CEC-approved components are eligible for the government’s rebates.


Are Solar Panels Strong Enough To Walk On?

Solar panels are sturdy but, no, we don’t recommend you walk on them. For one, the weight of a full-grown adult may be enough to cause damage. Moreover, if there are wiring issues, you risk getting electrocuted.

How Much Weight Can A Solar Panel Hold?

On average, solar panels should be able to handle 22-35 kg per square foot.

Can Golf Balls Break Solar Panels?

Solar panels aren’t golf ball tested so we don’t know for sure. However, it’s possible since hail stones the size of golf balls have damaged modules in the past.


Solar panels are designed to be strong enough to handle the weather in Australia. They have various layers that protect them from physical damage as well as strict testing and certifications to make sure of this. 

The CEC has also reinforced this with standards that span through the entire industry – from installers to manufacturers and their products.

Hence, the importance of hiring CEC-accredited installers. Doing so ensures that your system is well above the country’s minimum standard while making you eligible for rebates. Now, if you need an installer, we have a pre-vetted network of them. We can get you 3 FREE quotes right away.