What you should do in case of storm damage to the photovoltaic system

Wind and storms can damage photovoltaic systems, but it is not always necessary to remove the entire photovoltaic system from the roof. Fallen trees or objects flying through the air can also cause considerable damage to PV systems and photovoltaic modules.

What you should do after a storm:


1. Visual inspection

After the storm, check whether flying fragments or fallen trees have grazed or damaged the PV system. It is not uncommon that broken branches hit the photovoltaic system.

Operators should therefore check from a safe distance after a storm whether glass has been broken on PV modules or whether stones, branches or other objects have left scratches on the glass. These scratches can indicate deeper damage such as microcracks or cell breakage and lead to yield losses. Operators should also visually check whether the storm has loosened module clamps and shifted solar modules.


2. Damage report

As the photovoltaic system is an electrical system, the system should only be checked by a professional, e.g. an experienced service technician or expert.

They should document all visibly defective (broken glass) or scratched modules. Furthermore, the "flight path" of branches or other objects should be checked. There should be a detailed inspection of the solar modules along the flight path. It is possible that other defective or scratched modules will appear. If there is a suspicion of microcracks or cell breakage, a string measurement or electroluminescence recording of the individual modules can provide further evidence of possible damage.

The substructure and the module clamps should also be checked to ensure that they are properly seated. In the case of photovoltaic systems mounted on the roof, it should also be checked whether the ballast is still in the intended position.


3. Report the damage to the insurance company

Photovoltaic systems are normally insured with a special photovoltaic electronics policy. This insurance protects operators against external hazards such as storms and hail.

If there is damage to the PV system, report the damage to your insurance company or broker as soon as possible. The deadline within which you must report damage can be found in your contract. Normally you have between three and seven days.

Important information includes the name of the injured party, the insurance number, the time and place of the damage and a precise description of the damage.

Photos, a damage report including defective parts and the amount of damage from an electrician or surveyor are also good, if already available.

If your photovoltaic system suffers storm damage and solar modules need to be replaced, you can findsuitable replacement moduleson the SecondSol online marketplace.