So your Solar Panels were smashed by hail on the 31st of December 2020 and you need a quote to remove and replace them. Let’s hope it’s under insurance. Read on, because it may cost the same to replace your entire system. Your home insurance could cover new solar panels and solar inverter for the same price. It may just be the right time to upgrade the entire old undersized solar system for free.
“It may cost the same to replace the entire hail damaged solar panel system”
It was Halloween and a full moon, and a massive hail storm came through parts of Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Ipswich. It seems the worst-hit location was Springfield Lakes. So what do you do if your solar panels have been smashed by hail?
As of 9 am on Monday 2nd of November, we have received multiple calls requesting quotes about hail-damaged panels from:
- Springfield Lakes
- Redbank Plains
Need a Quote to replace your hail damaged solar panels? Give us a call on 07 3268 3836
Check your System
- The first place to check is your inverter screen. A hail-damaged solar panel will usually cause a “fault to earth”. In other words, power will flow from the panels to your roof. Inverters have in-built smarts that can let you know when there is a ground fault- or an earth fault. If there is a ground fault light on your inverter, you most likely have hail-damaged panels.
- If you have online monitoring, log into your app or online monitoring. Each inverter brand has different fault codes.
- Fronius has a 457 fault code for an Earth Fault.
- Sungrow earth fault code appears as “106”
- If there is not a ground fault You may still have a problem with your panels, and it may take a while for the fault to appear. But keep your eye on the inverter over the next few weeks to make sure it is working normally. If you’re not sure what to look for, give us a call and we’ll talk you through it on the phone.
- Don’t climb on your roof! When panels smash, they smash like a windscreen – it should be easily visible from a distance. If you really feel the need to climb on your roof to see your panels, take precautions. If your solar panels are smashed, there may be leakage voltage that could give you enough of a shock to throw you off the roof. Precaution could include using an insulated ladder, gloves, long sleeve clothing and shoes. Or even better, check them at night so there is no voltage on the panels. Be sure to use a fall restraint harness in case you slip! In most cases, you’re best just to call in a solar experienced sparkie.
- Have your smashed solar panels replaced. They should be covered under insurance. We can quote to replace the whole system or just replace the solar panels. However, often the nuts and bolts that hold your solar panels on your roof will have seized. Finding that exact nut and bolt may be difficult and it may be best to replace all of your racking. In that case, it may even be better to replace your entire solar system including your inverter. Why?
Can I claim the Solar rebate again if my solar panels are smashed by hail?
Yes. But only if you replace the entire system. In 2018, the rules were changed that you can’t just change solar panels and claim the rebate again. However, if you replace the entire system, you can claim the rebate again. In 2021, the rebate is roughly $500 per kW of solar panels. So if you are replacing a 6kW solar system, the rebate will cover $3000. That would roughly cover the cost of having a new inverter and cable installed.
Your insurer may just replace your entire solar system
Because of the “Solar Rebate” (or the “STC’s) it may cost the same for your insurer to replace your entire solar system. This way you get a new warranty on your entire solar system. It may be a perfect time to upgrade that old system!
Option 1: Replace 6kW of solar panels and the siezed rail, it may cost $8500 with no rebate.
Cost approx $8500
Option 2: Replace an entire 6kW solar system including panel, rails, cable and inverter. it may cost you $11500 – minus a $3000 rebate.
Cost, approx $8500
See our solar panel pricing page here: www.mce.solar/pricing
If you are unsure, feel free to give us a call on 3268 3836 and we can talk you through any problems and provide you with a quote to replace your damaged solar panels.
Leave a comment below if your panels were damaged by hail.
What suburb do you live in?
Did your home insurance cover a replacement system?