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I read all the time that solar panels are prone to getting cracked or the cells get smashed by hail, tree limbs and other items. Which ruins or knocks out half of the solar panel life due to ruptured cells. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were if someone devised a shield, like a plexiglass mount over their panels to reflect any hail or tree limbs?
 

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That's exactly how DIY panels are made. There is a fellow on youtube that does a full "how to" series on building and encasing the panels. His method also makes them waterproof. Look up greenpowerscience for the series and lots of other videos
 

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I have some Solarex modules that have been up for 20 years and have not broken or cracked. Unisolar makes modules that have Dupont Tefzel coating instead of glass. The cost of PV modules is so low It doesn't make sense to build them. Plexiglas will age and yellow in the sun over time and doesn't do well in extreme heat.
 

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Great thread! I am looking into all these suggestions. This is one reason that I haven't bought solar panels as of yet. My neighbor has a house that has 4 extremely large solar panels on them, but he said all of them are cracked and beat to death by hail or fallen limbs.
 
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