By KINGSOLAR | Published:
Solar Power in Severe Weather: Hail, Wind, & More
It is common to get several hailstorms a summer in our South Central Kansas climate. Because home and business owners want to make sure that solar energy is a safe investment for their properties for decades to come, weather damage is one of the first concerns that comes to mind for potential customers when thinking about installing a solar system.
Choosing Durable Solar Panels
Thankfully, solar panels are highly durable and hail damage is extremely rare. Some solar professionals will even joke that solar panels are a great way to protect the roof from hail damage because panels are typically designed for extreme weather, while roof shingles commonly need to be replaced after a severe hailstorm.
A couple years ago, King Solar’s owner, Mark, had three-inch hail in his neighborhood, yet there was no damage to the solar system. The photo above was actually taken in his front yard.
In fact, the solar panels we install are rated to withstand storms with hail up to an inch in diameter. For hail that is greater than an inch in diameter, your homeowner’s policy can cover any damage. Make sure your insurance company knows you have a solar system and that it is included in your homeowner’s insurance policy. If there is an increase in the premium, it will be very modest, but it will ensure that your solar system is properly protected.
Safety During High Winds
Another concern we commonly hear from potential customers is about high winds damaging roof-mounted solar arrays. Again, this is a logical concern, but extremely rare when a solar system is properly installed. It is essential that the solar panels are safely and securely mounted on the roof to the building structure, and not merely mounted to the roof sheathing.
Improper panel installation does create a risk under high-wind conditions. King Solar is diligent to mount solar systems to the building structure and not the roof sheathing for maximum safety and security. We also use a highly durable solar racking system which is rated for local wind loads required by building code, ensuring that solar panels are securely installed.
Pointers For Protecting Your Solar Investment
Here are a few tips for protecting your solar investment from extreme weather:
Use a high-quality racking system that is appropriate for your climate
Add your solar system to your homeowner’s policy
Ensure that your solar system is properly mounted to the building structure and not merely the roof sheathing
Use a NABCEP-certified solar installer (like King Solar) who follows industry best practices and uses proper mounting technique