1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Solar Glass: How to decide if it's hard enough

  1. Jul 28, 2014 #1

    I am choosing glasses for a novel solar cell design, and part of the criteria is if the glass will be able to withstand hail and other things (?) falling from the sky, since this glass will be the cover glass for the entire solar cell. I can gather information on the glass including Knoop/Moh's hardness, Young's modulus, etc., but 1. I'm not sure which of these structural properties translates to being able to withstand things like hail and 2. If it's hardness, how hard is hard enough/how can I determine this?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Welcome to PF.

    The hardness requirement is not very important. Hail is not particularly hard or abrasive.
    It is the rocks in glaciers that do the scratching out of valleys. Ice melts under pressure.

    The critical parameter will be toughness. Is toughened solar cover glass available?
    What point impact can the glass withstand without cracking or shattering?

    Very rarely there are hail storms that drop huge lumps of ice.
    Those will destroy anything you select. That is what insurance is for.
  4. Jul 29, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Standard 2 mm sheet glass is good enough for greenhouses round here and seems to withstand pretty much everything except young boys with stones.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook