Residents in areas like Florida are no strangers to hazardous weather conditions; hurricanes being the most common.
Solar panels are hurricane-proof and durable enough to survive violent weather —a fitting replacement for electricity. These systems are built with the best engineering solutions to safeguard the investment of homeowners.
Let’s discuss solar panels and hurricanes; how the modules fare in strong winds and the devastating effects
How well do solar panels withstand hail and hurricanes?
Hurricanes are strong winds that ravage anything in their path, moving at high wind speeds that cause damage.
Your best bet to survive extreme climatic conditions is going solar. But how do solar panels in a hurricane remain unscathed? How strong are they?
The first means of protection on housetop modules are bolts secured with strong screws. The bolts are designed to firmly hold the modules to the roof beams. Heavy winds pass through the space between the modules and the roof to cause an “uplift,” but the bolts keep the system in place.
A glass cover held in place with special adhesives shields the modules protecting them from severe storms. Modules also have waterproof glass and aluminum protecting the cells from water.
Ground-mounted systems are also made of the same material, with the only difference being the extra strengthening materials and installation method.
Funny enough, solar panels are made from fragile materials that aren’t tough when studied singly. But materials like silicon, aluminum, and other metals were tempered to produce a surface with unbelievable tensile strength.
Engineers subject the modules to brutal testing to evaluate their durability and resilience, their make-up is why they can weather a storm. Sadly, if you use inferior quality, you’ll end up with a damaged panel, a waste of investment.
Do solar panels work when it is super windy?
What happens to a solar panel during a hurricane? Thanks to a series of certified solar panels testing and well-engineered solutions, modules have proven to endure hurricane wind power of more than 140 mph. Real-life testing of arrays in hurricanes was done when the hurricane hail hit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2018.
NREL had 3000 modules contend with flying debris and hailstones thrown at 262 mph. After testing, only one had broken glass.
How to prepare your solar system for a hurricane?
Power outages are the most common aftermath from a hurricanes. Hurricane Irma for example left 6.7 million residents in the dark. When power was restored, only two-thirds of the population with solar had power, others had to wait.
Using these solar panels in a hurricane in Florida is the best option to remain connected. Prepare your system with backup storage the moment you know a hurricane is coming. You should also purchase a standalone inverter.
There are a few options available for battery backup systems to pair with your solar panel. But our top pick remains Tesla Powerwall. Powerwall stores solar energy so you could fall back on your reserves when you need it most.
At PPM Solar, we employ measures to safeguard your solar panels during bad weather. We can also help you install a Tesla home charger.
To further protect your system, reinforce the surface with Methacrylate or module covers. Although not necessary, you can’t be sure of the magnitude of the next hail event.
What should you do after a hurricane?
We’re concerned about your well-being and not just that of your panels.
Here’s what not to do after a cyclone passes:
- Use professional solar installation services to repair or install your modules.
- Don’t clean stuck debris or lift wreckage from your arrays. Our experts are on hand and within reach to help you out.
- Don’t go near floodwater, if you must, please wear a life jacket.
- Make your hygiene a priority.
- Don’t fix wet broken appliances, contact an electrician instead.
- Stay away from damaged structures, they’re unsafe and can collapse any minute.
- Don’t go near power lines or hanging wires. Please report electrical faults to the appropriate company.
We offer easy ways for you to use solar panels in hurricanes, so you can enjoy clean, renewable energy during hurricanes and hail storms.
If you’d like to learn more, or would like to schedule your free consultation, simply reach out to us today