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The solar industry must respond to the increasing frequency and severity of hailstorms with pragmatic and cost-effective solutions. This is according to a recent report by London-based Gcube Insurance. The report is based on data collected by Gcube over the last five years. According to the report, hail damage now averages 58.4 million US dollars per claim and accounts for 54.two per cent of the cost of all solar damage.

Claim from the insurer

This creates a gap between the insurance requirements for solar projects and the supply available on the market, which leads to project delays and cancellations. “The consequences of hail damage threaten to undermine the safety of solar energy as a clean energy solution. It is therefore imperative that we develop solutions to this challenge and re-establish our ability as insurers to provide long-term risk underwriting to the sector,” says Gcube CEO Fraser McLachlan.

Safety net and surface protection

To support this goal, the report outlines two (patented) technologies developed by Solar Defender Technologies to provide solutions to the problem of hail risk. The first is the Hail Strike Defender, a relatively inexpensive safety net that protects single-axis tracked solar installations. The second solution is called Solar Shield. This offers protection for the surface of the modules, deflecting the impact of hailstones. Both technologies offer module protection against hailstones of up to 250 joules. (nhp/mfo)

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