So, you’ve finally decided to invest in solar panels. You know the benefits they offer and how durable they are. Still, solar panels are an expense, and you don’t want anything to damage them. That’s why you’re wondering, What happens to my solar during natural disasters or inclement weather?
Solar panels can withstand harsh conditions. A report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that only 0.1% out of 50,000 solar systems suffered damage due to weather conditions from 2009–2013. Still, with climate change influencing the weather more and more each day, extreme weather is something you should watch out for. So, do solar panels stand a chance against earthquakes, wildfires, and lightning strikes? Let’s find out.
What Happens to My Solar During Natural Disasters or Inclement Weather Such as Earthquakes, Wildfires, and Lightning Strikes?
Earthquakes are prevalent in many parts of the world. If they’re big enough, they can destroy entire buildings. Thus, if you live in an area affected by earthquakes, you’re probably wondering whether they can destroy your solar panels.
Generally, only extreme earthquakes will cause damage to your solar panels.
However, it’s important to install the panels properly to reduce the possibility of earthquake damage. Additionally, make sure your roof is in mint condition before you install the panels. If you mount the solar panels correctly onto a roof that’s in good shape, the risk of earthquake damage will be minimal. That is, of course, unless the earthquake is strong enough to cause damage to your whole house.
If you live in California or other areas frequently affected by wildfires, they are probably your biggest concern when asking the question What happens to my solar during natural disasters or inclement weather? If wildfires happen to reach your home, solar panels will likely burn with the house. However, that’s not the only way wildfires can affect the performance of your panels.
Ash and smoke can influence the efficiency of solar panels. If ash falls onto the panel, it can cover it, preventing it from collecting solar energy. Similarly, if the smoke is too dense, sunlight won’t be able to reach the panels. Thus, solar panels will not be able to collect solar energy. However, those issues will pass once the wildfires do. Give your solar panels a good clean if you notice they’re covered with ash, and they’ll be good to go.
Lightning strikes have the most potential to damage solar panels. Additionally, solar equipment can attract lightning strikes. However, inverters and controllers are at a greater risk than panels, as panels tend to be grounded, which protects them from damage.
Still, there are certain steps you can take to prevent lightning strike damage. Firstly, make sure your solar system is grounded. A grounding conductor should connect all the equipment to the ground. This will lessen the damage to your solar system should a lightning strike occur.
Secondly, you should install a protection system. It will provide a route for the lightning to travel to the ground, thus protecting the building that got struck. Lastly, you should install surge protectors. Although they can’t prevent a lightning strike, surge protectors will protect your appliances from damage.
Solar panels offer great benefits. They cut your electricity bill by about $1,500 a year, and they’re an eco-friendly power source. However, they are a big investment, so you’ll want to do anything you need to keep them intact for as long as possible. Still, there’s only so much you can do to make sure your solar panels last a long time.
If you live in an area with an unpredictable climate, you’re probably wondering, What happens to my solar during natural disasters or inclement weather? While extreme weather can damage solar panels, they’re proven to be durable in average weather conditions such as snow, wind, and heat. If you want to prevent the damage extreme weather conditions may cause, make sure your panels are installed properly and get lightning strike protection.
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