Extreme weather is increasingly common throughout the world, and North Carolina alone has been impacted by over 100 tropical and sub-tropical storms since 1980.
Losing power is one of the most common effects of severe storms, and so installing solar panels can be a great way to boost self-reliance — and in many cases, help you and your family maintain access to electricity in the event of a grid disruption.
But this brings up a couple unsurprising questions: how do solar panels manage in extreme weather? Will the next hurricane or extreme weather event in North Carolina damage your solar panels? Understanding the basics of solar panel operation in extreme weather is essential for homeowners who have installed panels or may be interested in doing so.
So if you’re interested in solar solutions for your home or already have them and want to better understand their strength against a heavy storm or hurricane, keep reading. Our solar experts provide a great overview of what to expect.
How Solar Panels Withstand the Elements
Solar panels are designed to be exposed to the open air in all sorts of weather conditions, making them a uniquely resilient form of infrastructure.
Solar panels are highly waterproof and can actually still function in rain, producing some electricity (though a much more limited amount than in full sun). In some cases, rain can be good for solar panels, by washing them clean and removing accumulated debris.
Solar panels are designed to withstand strong winds and avoid uplift, or having winds enter between the panel and the roof, pushing up panels. Well-installed solar panels will be carefully calibrated to withstand wind patterns typical to your given area.
Naturally, severe hail is bound to be a concern in strong storms, including hurricanes. However, solar panels are also built to withstand strong hailstorms — in general, up to one-inch diameter hail falling at up to 50 miles-per-hour.
While a truly severe hurricane can undoubtedly produce catastrophic weather, testing the strength of solar panels, evidence from recent hurricanes shows that solar panels — including at solar farms — have held up much more effectively than conventional infrastructure.
What To Do About Solar Panels in a Hurricane
In most cases, solar panels will have some coverage under a homeowners insurance policy. However, it is important to confirm with your insurer what sort of coverage your panels would have if damaged. Moreover, as you would with other valuables or structures, it is useful to take photos of your solar panels before a major storm, in the event it is necessary to file an insurance claim afterwards. If damage does occur, it should be immediately documented and referred to your insurer. If lightning strikes your inverter, this is covered by homeowner’s insurance as well.
Go Solar Today
All in all, solar power is one of the most resilient systems for powering your home, in all types of weather. Yes Solar Solutions is leading North Carolina in providing energy storage capabilities for homeowners across the state, and we guarantee our work.
Contact Yes Solar Solutions online or call our team directly at (919) 925-4707 to learn about solar panel options in your area, today!
[KM1]Lightning strikes to your inverter are covered by homeowner’s insurance as well.