- Solar panels are built to last and can withstand strong winds, severe rain, and hail.
- These panels often continue to produce electricity even when it rains.
- The wind is the main factor that affects panels during a hurricane. Flying debris can damage or break them.
- Manufacturers offer hurricane-proof or impact-resistant solar panels for areas prone to hurricanes.
- Before a hurricane hits, take pictures of your solar panel system, get lightning protection, disconnect your panels from the grid, and review your warranty and insurance policy.
- On the Mark Roofing offers premium solar panel installation solutions in Spring Hill and the surrounding areas.
Are solar panels hurricane-proof? This is a question that a lot of homeowners are asking in the wake of Hurricanes Ian. While we don’t have a definitive answer, our experts at On the Mark Roofing will explore factors that could affect how well your photovoltaic cells hold up during a hurricane. Keep reading to learn more!
Good News: Solar Panels Are Built to Last
There are tried-and-true techniques for mounting solar panels that can endure strong winds. These techniques are effective even during the heaviest storms. These techniques involve, among other things, screwing large bolts straight into roof beams to secure panels in place. As a result, there is less possibility of the panels pulling off parts of roofs from houses.
Additionally, solar panels are made to survive hail and severe rain. The glass and aluminum housings that carry the solar cells are also quite waterproof, even in the worst weather.
Our history also supports the durability of solar panels. According to a review in a newspaper, most solar panels even survived Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico in 2017. A VA hospital in San Juan, one of the most severely impacted places, attracted news when its commercial-grade solar system continued to operate at 100% despite the enormous storm’s winds surpassing 150 mph.
Do Solar Panels Work When It’s Raining?
It’s fair to be concerned about rain and floods during a hurricane. But if you believe your solar panels won’t function during a storm, reconsider:
- Since photovoltaic cells are waterproof, they often continue to produce electricity even when it rains.
- Both direct and indirect sunlight is converted into electricity by solar batteries. Even though they perform better in direct sunshine, they may still produce 10% to 25% of their maximum capacity on cloudy and wet days.
- Solar panels can benefit from rain. They frequently perform better after rain because the water removes particles like dust, pollen, and debris that have accumulated over time.
The Effects of Wind on Solar Panels:
Every solar panel, regardless of its brand, style, composition, or form, is constructed to withstand severe winds. On average, most of these panels can withstand winds up to 140 mph (2,400 pascals). That means they can survive a Category 4 hurricane and withstand storms with winds reaching 130 to 156 mph if properly installed.
However, the problem occurs when there is flying debris with the winds. The debris can hit and break the solar cells. That is why many manufacturers offer hurricane-proof or impact-resistant panels for areas prone to hurricanes. These resistant panels use tempered glass or polycarbonate materials that can resist flying debris.
To ensure your solar panels can withstand high winds and hurricanes, it is important to have them installed by a professional. The installer should use the proper mounting and fastening system to secure them to your roof or ground.
Can Solar Panels Resist Hail Damage?
Have you ever left your car outside during a hailstorm only to come back to find it covered in more dents than a golf ball?
If so, then you have direct knowledge of the harm that these icy raindrops may do.
Fortunately, most solar panels are tested to withstand 1-inch hail dropping at about 50 mph. When hail damage does occur, it often results from the concentrated impact in restricted spaces.
Solar cells installed in areas prone to hail should be made of tempered glass or polycarbonate materials. These materials can resist the impact of hailstorms, minimizing the risk of damage.
Before the Hurricane:
The truth is that many owners of solar panels will unavoidably experience harsh weather. Before any hurricane makes landfall in your region, we advise you to take the following actions:
You must thoroughly document the state of your panels if any damage does occur.
Get Lightning Protection:
Is there a lightning protection system in your home? A direct lightning strike might harm your home’s electrical system and solar panels if not placed properly. Before a storm, consider installing such safety precautions, even if they are as basic as a lightning conductor or a discharge channel to the ground that safely redirects lightning.
Disconnect Your Panels:
Disconnecting your solar batteries from the grid before a storm is one of the most crucial things you can do to safeguard your solar investment. This way, if there is any damage to the system, it will not cause a power outage or fire.
Verify Your Warranty:
You should review the terms of your solar panel warranty in case damage does occur. Before a storm system ever forms, it could be necessary to ensure everything it doesn’t cover.
Review Your Insurance Policy:
Speaking of insurance, if a storm is headed straight for your house, you should still take this action. You should confirm that your homeowner’s insurance covers other potential losses, such as floods, roof leaks, and wind damage, in addition to your photovoltaic panels.
Preparation Is Key!
Being ready in advance is your greatest line of defense for safeguarding your solar panels during a hurricane or hailstorm. Whatever Mother Nature throws your way, using the advice provided might give you peace of mind or a sense of direction.
On the Mark Roofing serving, Spring Hill, TN, can help!
We are devoted to offering excellent customer service from system design through rooftop mounting. Our team builds and installs turnkey solutions customized to your needs using only the best equipment and components. Get a free drone inspection today!