HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

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HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby Tracker » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:52 pm

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Well - How did the PV Panels go in the Victorian Storms.

Has anyone heard any reports on damage?
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby paulinspace » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:48 pm

One of two Gone. I have a chromogen system. They installed the panels 5 days ago! Ouch. Its about $1700-1800 to replace, which is almost what I paid fully installed for the whole thing after rebates! They won't replace the glass only even though you can unscrew the frame and the tubes underneath aren't damaged. They have to replace the whole panel. :(
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby ElectricEd » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:54 am

I was in my garage when the storm hit, I wish I'd had my earmuffs on, it was deafening. I watched quite anxiously as the up to 50mm spiky hailstones hammered into my 8 x 167W Sharp panels thinking "they're only guaranteed for 25mm hailstones" <cringe> "8 x $1550!" <double cringe>. Just then a tennis ball sized hailstone blasted through the Alsynite skylight section of roofing of the garage. :shock: Then another and another! :o This is dangerous! I'd left my hard hat in the laundry, so grabbed a piece of tin sheeting and held it over my head.
After the storm finished I inspected the damage. The Solar panels and hot water panels were unscathed! :lol:
The roof wasn't so good. There are small dents all over. My car has a few dents in it and the zucchini in the vegie patch were all shredded.
Some people around the corner with a brand new Toyota Yaris had the windscreen broken and the body looked like a golfball. Everthing under the dash got wet and when they tried to start it something fizzed out and the car is now dead even though the fuses are all OK.
It looks like Sharp build in quite a bit of leeway into their specs. Many of the hailstones that hit were 50mm with spikes that took the total diameter to over 65mm.
I think I'll stick with Sharp, They took direct hits and survived.
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby paulinspace » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:24 pm

I lost one of my 2 hot water flat panels. We copped it pretty tough up in the Dandenong Ranges. The car took dents and took out a side mirror plus hail stones bounced off the roof and cracked my clestory windows.

Due to my skillion roof, even with a roof frame my panels sit relatively flat so that wouldn't have helped.

I have Chromogen panels and got to admit I never checked re the ability to withstand hail damage. I probably more impressed that one actually survived. However, it is crazy that they are telling me that they can't just replace the glass. The whole panel will replaced. What a waste of materials. Not very environmentally friendly to go throwing away or even recycling the whole panel.
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby Tracker » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:29 pm

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ElectricEd wrote:After the storm finished I inspected the damage. The Solar panels and hot water panels were unscathed!

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WOW - Great report - That leaves us all - more at ease.. We all become a bit anal about our PV systems.

"Forget the dog and the bloody kids - How are my PV panels " posting.php?mode=reply&f=8&t=880&sid=a7c609c29859524f003b5010b6e17dcf#
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby Tracker » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:19 pm

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paulinspace wrote:I lost one of my 2 hot water flat panels. We copped it pretty tough up in the Dandenong Ranges. The car took dents and took out a side mirror plus hail stones bounced off the roof and cracked my clestory windows.


What a pain.. This actually supports one of my feelings, that those evacuated tubes are a better investment, because they are NOT FLAT - not ever - and hence have the chance of deflecting hail.
Should one take the bad impact and break, then it's only one tube unit that is replaced, not the whole system..

I do hope that your Storm and Tempest cover or GLASS breakage will cover the repairs.

I think that I would be keeping the old unit to see if it can be recycled??
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby ElectricEd » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:04 am

A friend that lives in Tecoma is getting an evacuated tube system installed in a few weeks. Yesterday he asked his installer if he'd had to fix any breakages due to the hail and the reply was "Yes, 4 sites"
It's probably just a case of pot luck. If a large hailstone hits dead centre at mid span then probably anything would break. The good thing about evacuated tubes is that the hailstone only needs to be a few millimetres to one side and it is then a glancing blow that probably won't cause a breakage. A flat panel is a lot less forgiving in this way.
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:29 pm

ElectricEd wrote: The good thing about evacuated tubes is that the hailstone only needs to be a few millimetres to one side and it is then a glancing blow that probably won't cause a breakage.


Its even better if you have the system angled to optimise winter heat collection, especially at more southern latitudes. I think at 45 degrees it would only be about 70% of the impact force.
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby ElectricEd » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:39 pm

[quote="Gordon-Loomberah[/quote]...I think at 45 degrees it would only be about 70% of the impact force.[/quote]
0.7071 or 70.71% (PedanticEd) Assuming of course that the hail falls vertically. If only, I wish. Last Saturday's hail came in at a 45 deg angle from the NNW, so would ihave impacted perpendicular to the axis of a 45 deg tube.
The good ol' fight with nature keeps on keeping on. ;)
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Re: HAIL DAMAGE - Victoria -- How did they survive ?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:54 pm

ElectricEd wrote:[quote="me"...I think at 45 degrees it would only be about 70% of the impact force.
0.7071 or 70.71% (PedanticEd)


70.71% is "about 70%" by my reckoning ;) I can even remember the cosine of 45deg (= sin 45) from high school... way back in the 70s :)

I havent done anything yet, but plan to use bird netting with ~1cm squre holes on a frame, as protection for my panels and evacuated tubes one of these days. Fortunately, giant hail is quite rare for any particular location, and the path of giant hail from a storm is actually quite narrow. I haven't had any huge hail on my PV panels since 1991, although there was 35mm hail just down the road a few years ago.
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