Solar Storm Damage

CHARLESTON, SC - OCTOBER 8: Cars are flooded along E. Battery Street adjacent to White Point Gardens in the wake of Hurricane Matthew on October 8, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have all declared a state of emergency in for Hurricane Matthew. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC – OCTOBER 8: Cars are flooded along E. Battery Street adjacent to White Point Gardens in the wake of Hurricane Matthew on October 8, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina.

What happens when rooftop solar panels are in a big storm like a hurricane?

All solar system racking/mounting and installations have to be designed to meet the wind loads for the county they are being installed in.  In Charleston South Carolina solar panels are rated to 147 mph winds.  Most tier one solar modules, like those installed by Yes Solar, are hail-tested and hail-rated.  Freezing rain and sleet will affect solar production, but only until melting occurs and should not damage the solar modules or installation.

What happens (does insurance pay for the damage? Can they call you to reinstall?

Yes, all systems need to be added to the homeowners insurance policy to cover major natural weather events and can be reinstalled if not damaged by the storms.  Inverters occasionally will get hit by lightning and are covered by homeowners insurance subject to any deductibles.

Will a solar system work for me in case of a power outage?

A grid-tied solar system will automatically shut down during a power outage.  Yes does offer a range of options for continued power from a dedicated outlet that will charge a cell phone or laptop to a battery back up system.  Call Yes for information on how to protect yourself in a storm.

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