Boulder, Colo.-based Lumos Solar announced today that their LSX frameless solar module has undergone durability testing “never-before-seen in the solar industry” and has emerged unscathed. Test modules underwent extreme architectural grade hail testing to confirm that LSX is the industry’s most impact resistant solar module. LSX‘s 6mm frontsheet glass sets it apart from the framed module competition, which utilize 3.2 or 4 mm glass. Other frameless designs tend to use two sheets of glass limiting the frontsheet to 2 or 3 mm glass. LSX‘s 6 mm of protection increases its impact strength to the top of the list with a Class 4 rating.
Since the typical solar testing laboratories only offer up to Class 3 Hail impact testing, Lumos was required to send its LSX modules to Architectural Testing, Inc., a company that specializes in testing and certifying homebuilding materials. More commonly, they test and certify roofing tiles, exterior doors, house siding, etc. Architectural Testing suggested subjecting the LSX module to its most rigorous hail impact test featuring 2-inch diameter hail. To determine the impact resistance of the LSX modules, Architectural Testing followed the ANSI FM 4473 test procedure: “Specification Test Standard for Impact Resistance Testing of Rigid Roofing Materials by Impacting with Freezer Ice Balls.”
Six man-made, 2-inch diameter, solid ice balls were launched using an air cannon. The cannon launched the ice balls at specified points on the module at speeds ranging from 75 mph to nearly 84 mph. LSX came out of the test with no dents, cracks, or other signs of physical damage, obtaining a Class 4 rating.
“Our modules are being installed more and more in overhead applications and the question of module durability has become a common theme. The beauty of the solar arrays created with LSX panels cannot overshadow personal safety and long-term durability,” says Chris Klinga, VP of Product Development at Lumos. “We have built a module to withstand the extremes of today’s environmental conditions and have in-turn created a roofing component that is at the top of its class. Our customers can now have the peace-of-mind that their solar array will be as strong if not stronger than the most durable roof available.”
— Solar Builder magazine