Are Solar Panels Capable Of Withstanding A Hurricane?

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solar panels

Choosing to have solar panels is a popular decision and with good reason. It is an effective way of reducing your energy bills and of helping the environment. 

However, if you are considering solar panels you will probably have several questions. One of the most common is how well do solar panels stand up in bad weather, such as in a hurricane? After all, if you’ve paid to have them fitted you don’t want to be constantly replacing them.

It is good to know that there are specialists in solar panel repairs that can help you.

Solar Panels Are Waterproof

The first thing to note is that solar panels are waterproof. It doesn’t matter how heavy the rain gets, the panels will be fine and they will continue to produce electricity. Of course, they will produce less electricity but there is no reason why they wouldn’t work.

In fact, you may be surprised to discover that even in the heaviest rain your solar panels can produce 25% of their optimal energy capacity. Don’t forget that the rain will also wash the solar panels which can improve their efficiency after the storm has passed.

Wind

While a hurricane can bring impressive levels of rain most people are more concerned with the wind. A hurricane brings incredibly strong winds which can be an issue for even the best-built home. 

The good news is that they shouldn’t be an issue for your solar panels, providing they have been properly fitted. The key is to have them fitted properly!

It is worth repeating this as the main factor of concern is uplift, this is when the wind gets below the panels and lifts them from their brackets. Manufacturers of solar panels spend a long time testing their products in extreme conditions and they have developed systems that minimize uplift and therefore the chance of the wind damaging your solar panels. 

That is why correct fitting is so important and the use of the manufacturer’s brackets. It is the best way to ensure your solar panels will still be in position after the hurricane has passed. 

Of course, you need to maintain your roof properly to ensure your roof isn’t at risk of coming off, because the panels will go with it. 

Hail

Another concerning element of a hurricane is hail. These small pellets of ice can hurt when they hit you and they can cause dimples in your car. That means you need to be concerned about how they will affect your panels.

The good news is that the majority of panels are designed to withstand one-inch pieces of hail hitting them at 50 mph. In short, you are unlikely to find them damaged by hail. If this does occur it will be slight damage and localized, allowing you to get the panel repaired. 

In general, your solar panels should survive a hurricane. But, it can help to take pictures of them before. Then, if you do have any issues you will be able to show your insurers before and after images. 

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