The Ingress Protection (IP) rating measures a solar panel's protection against water and dust. The first digit refers to protection against solid objects, and the second digit refers to protection against liquids. The higher the number, the greater the protection.
Some common IP ratings for solar panels are IP65 (protected against dust and low-pressure water jets), IP66 (protected against dust and high-pressure water jets), and IP67 (protected against dust and immersion in water up to 1 meter).
It's important to note that water-resistant panels are not necessarily waterproof. Water-resistant panels can withstand limited exposure to water but may not be suitable for permanent underwater installation.
When selecting a solar panel, consider the location and potential exposure to water and choose a panel with an appropriate IP rating. A panel with a higher IP rating may have a higher cost, but it will provide greater protection and a longer lifespan.
Regular maintenance, including cleaning and checking for water damage, can also prolong the life of a solar panel and ensure its continued performance.