Solar farms are a great way to generate renewable energy, but they’re vulnerable to hail storm damage. That’s where hail netting comes in. Hail netting is a cost-effective and easy way to protect your solar panels from extreme weather events.
Because if a hailstorm hits your PV farm, the damage can be enormous. And replacing hail-damaged panels is expensive.
Hail netting protects your solar farm against hail storm damage in two ways: by deflecting hailstone impact away from the panels, and by absorbing the hailstone’s energy. This way, hail netting reduces the risk of panel breakage and other hail damage.
Here’s what you need to know about hail netting for photovoltaic farms that will help you reduce this loss on your farm.
Why use hail netting for photovoltaic farms?
What is hail protection netting?
Hail netting is a type of netting that is designed to protect against hail storm damage. It is made from high-density polyethylene and can withstand impact from large hail stones.
Hail netting is installed over solar panels to create a barrier and provide coverage between the hailstone and the panel, thus preventing damage.
Hail protection netting has already been used on other types of farms, such as those that grow crops， in many orchards, and in a lot of large parking areas.
Why use hail netting for photovoltaic farms?
Hail affects thousands of photovoltaic farms all over the world. And the damage hail causes can be significant. In fact, hail is one of the most common causes of insurance claims for solar farms.
In addition, anti hail netting can also provide protection against other types of extreme weather events, such as wind and sun.
How does hail protection netting work in a hail storm?
Hail netting is a fabric that protects solar panels from heavy hail storms and other weather conditions. It’s similar to the mesh you see on your car’s windshield, but it’s a lot more rugged.
The basic idea behind hailstorm netting is that it’s stretched across the field, and when a storm hits, it holds up against the hail stone and wind and keeps the panels safe from any hail storm that might pass through the netting.
Hail netting works by protecting each individual solar panel with tiny fibers that act like micro-screens. The mesh creates a barrier between the hailstones and the panel, preventing any damage from occurring.
Using hail netting on solar panels to prevent hail storms
What type of anti-hail netting is suitable for PV farm？
There are usually three types of hail netting, but the most suitable for solar panel protection is one type called Leno Woven Hail Netting.
This is because the Leno Woven Hail Netting is manufactured by a special method that makes it light and thin. This helps to ensure that more light is absorbed by the solar panels.
This anti hail netting reduces light by just 5-7%. Meanwhile, it is also strong enough to protect your solar panels from hail storms damage.
Choose the color that has the least effect on the light.
Transparency is the color that least affects the penetration of the sun’s rays. It provides almost no blockage of light. These facilitate the utilization of the light by solar panels.
So when it comes to choosing the color of hail netting, the most suitable color for PV farms is transparent.
Then it is possible to protect the panels and at the same time ensure that as little energy is lost as possible.
Calculating the price of hail netting
What is the cost to cover my solar farm with hail netting?
Hail netting is a very basic way to protect solar farms from hail damage. The cost of using leno hail netting is about $400 to $800 per acre per year, which is very cheap compared to such damage caused by severe hail storms to PV farms.
Investing in a PV farm is very expensive and requires a lot of capital. This is why most farmers rely on loans and grants to finance their projects. On average, it costs around $1 million per MW to build a solar farm, which can be quite expensive for an individual farmer or farmer co-operative.
When should you use hail netting?
There are areas and times in every country that are prone to hail damage.
For example, in the United States, hailstorms most frequently occur in the Great Plains and Midwest regions, which are known as Hail Alley due to their high frequency of hail occurrences. The city of Cheyenne, Wyoming experiences more hailstorms than any other city, with about 10 occurrences every year.
Hailstorms can occur during spring, summer, or fall months, with the majority falling between May and September.
Anti hail nets should be used when hail is expected in the area.
It is better to be installed before the hail season begins.
If hail is expected in the area, farmers should take action to protect their solar farms from damage.
This will ensure that the netting is in place and can protect the solar panels from hail damage.
Otherwise, hail net should be removed after the hail risk has ended.
This will ensure that the netting does not cause any energy loss to the solar panels.
Where Can You Buy Hail Netting?
Hail netting for solar farms is available through a number of different sources.
For example, You can buy anti hail nets from a local hardware store or home improvement center. These stores will typically stock hail protection netting in several sizes and colors, and they may require that you purchase it by the roll (rather than in bulk).
You can also shop online for anti hail nets at any number of online retailers.
Finally, you can buy it directly from the manufacturer.
This is the cheapest option, but it can also be the most convenient if you need something specific or have a large order.
Solar Farm in Australia
In the mid-afternoon on July 14, 2020, a solar farm in Australia was hit by hail.
But the hail net that was installed on the farm saved the panels from further damage and prevented the heavy hail from causing any power outages.
The project owners said： We are very lucky. If we hadn’t installed these nets, we would have lost a lot of money.
This case study shows how important it is to have hail net installed on PV farms.
Solar Farms in the USA
West Texas experienced a hailstorm unlike anything seen before in May 2019, causing a major disaster for the solar industry.
A 178 MW solar project was bolted to the ground near Midland, 178 Power Global’s Midway Solar Project, in the path of the storm.
After the storm passed, the industry discovered it had suffered the largest weather-related single-project loss in history.
Over 400,000 modules of Hanwha Q cells at the plant were damaged or destroyed; insurance losses totaled $70 million.
Is there a minimum or maximum size limit for the installation of hail net?
Due to the limitation of production equipment, there is no restriction on the length of the hail nets, but the maximum width is 4m.
It is recommended to install them in a row of 4 meters in parallel.
Does the installation netting affect solar energy production?
Because the Leno woven hail net is made by a special weaving process, that makes the net very thin.
The influence on energy will be very small and can be basically ignored when the color is transparent.
How long does hail netting last?
More than 5 years.
EyouAgro chooses high-density polyethylene monofilament (HDPE)as the material when producing hail netting, which can be used outdoors for long periods of time.
And will also add an anti-UV stabilizer, this special formula and design can ensure that the hail net can be used outdoors without being damaged.
Hail net is an important investment for solar farms.
It can protect your panels from damage and prevent hail from causing power outages.
There are a number of different sources where you can buy hail net. The most convenient option is to buy it directly from the manufacturer.
If you are looking for hail net for your solar farm, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to provide you with the best quality hail net at the most competitive price.