Rooftop solar panels get exposed to a lot, including severe weather conditions. If you live in an area that experiences extreme weather, such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, and heavy winds, then you might wonder if installing solar panels on your roof is right for you. Rest assured, there is no need to worry about whether solar panels can withstand a hurricane. Solar panels undergo a rigorous testing process, and are designed to withstand hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions. They are more durable than you may think.
Solar Panel Standards
A report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on thousands of solar energy systems installed between 2009 and 2013 indicated that only 0.1% of all photovoltaic (PV) systems were affected by damaged or underperforming panel modules each year. Solar panels are able to withstand hail and hurricanes because they are rigorously tested by manufacturers to ensure that they can survive such conditions. In fact, most solar panels are designed (and certified) to withstand winds of up to 140 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.
Many states even have standards dictating how well solar panels need to hold up under extreme winds. Florida, for example, requires them to withstand winds of at least 160 mph, while Texas requires them to withstand 110 mph winds.
How They Hold Up During Hurricanes
It’s clear that solar panels are built tough. They are waterproof which is why they’re still able to produce up to 25% of their optimal capacity when it’s raining. Winds can lift solar panels, but if they are properly installed and of good quality, there is no need to worry about any damage being done. As long as you purchase panels from a reputable manufacturer, your panels will have been put through extreme testing to make sure but they can withstand extreme winds and any uplift. And when it comes to hail, most solar panels can withstand 1 inch hail falling at approximately 50 mph. To give an example of how weather resistant solar panels are, when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, most of the solar panels in the state were unaffected; in fact, only a small number of panels had any damage to them at all.
Solar panels are manufactured to very high standards, and the worst that can happen during a hurricane is that your panels could become dislodged from their mounting structure, or have damage from debris hitting them or damage from water. Luckily, most insurance will cover the damage. Also make sure you take photos of your solar panels before a hurricane or hail storm so that if there is any damage done, you will be covered with the 25-30 year warranty that most solar companies offer.
Hurricanes are scary and can cause a lot of damage to your home. When it comes to solar panels, though, there is no need to worry. They can withstand harsh winds and hail, so don’t let the fear of hurricanes keep you from taking advantage of solar energy and its savings. Solar panels have been tested and shown to be able to survive some of the worst storms the U.S. has seen. You can find a solar panel system that is right for your home by allowing one of our agents to compare the different plans available in your area. We will find you the best deal on solar panels that are long lasting, efficient and reliable. To start saving, enter your zip code on the homepage, or to speak directly to one of our agents call (888) 290-3112.