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It's Raining Power

Jessica PirroMay 28, 20199420

 

Solar panels work in the rain and snow

Solar panels can withstand the snow and because they are dark, the snow tends to melt off them faster than on other surfaces. Solar panels can withstand the snow and will continue to provide power.

 

What happens if there’s a snowstorm? Typically, it’s strongly advised that you choose a spot on your roof that is least affected by snow – though, we understand that during a snowstorm, this could virtually be impossible to avoid. Don’t worry – as many solar panels are dark enough to retain heat that the likelihood of snow melting off them is much quicker than you’d think.

 

Can my solar panels survive hail? This may be the most asked question we receive. According to Rich Hessler, a Californian photovoltaic specialist, a hailstone hit at speeds of up to 120 mph rarely translates as a solar power system killer, as long as the module’s frames don’t collapse and glass fragments don’t damage the cells. Most solar panels are tested to endure a direct hit from a hailstone 1 inch or smaller at 50+mph. In the U.S., most hail storms come from the north, with solar panels facing south, which means they can endure larger sized hail stones with a glancing blow. In other words, solar panels are quite resilient to hail, although you’ll want to make sure your solar panels are covered as a part of your homeowner’s insurance policy.
 

Solar panels work even when it rains 

 

Rain is no problem. Just like clouds, the sun’s rays get through and get absorbed by the solar panels. Similarly to cloudy weather, rainy days do not halt the production of solar energy.  As an added benefit, the rain will give your dusty solar panels a free cleaning, which will help your PV system be even more efficient when the clouds clear. You also don’t have to worry about water damaging those panels because they are all made with a strong backing sheet, barrier films, and tempered glass. 

 

Falling raindrops harvests power

 

For converting mechanical energy motion to electricity, the device uses Triboelectric Nanogenerators (Tengs), where the solar cells harvest power right from the fall of raindrops on them. Right from typing to walking, the potential applications of TENG includes generating solar power. According to Soochow’s Baoquan Sun, it becomes a lightweight device due to its unique device design. Furthermore, within three to five years, the field is expected to produce a prototype product due to its quick developing. According to the sources, this idea seems to be very interesting as without destroying the output of the solar cell during sunny times a hybrid device harvests kinetic energy from water. However, with the fall of raindrops, the solar power system generated from the device needs to be significantly higher to start making an overall difference to a solar panel’s output.

 

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to HahaSmart.com and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years. For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.
 

Lightning striking solar panels are rare

 

Just like most things, if your solar panels are directly hit by lightning, there is probably going to be some damage. This can happen, but the instances are extremely rare and homes can install lightning rods to direct the lightning away from the panels. Again this is extremely rare, and if you live in a state that does not have regular thunderstorms, then you probably don’t have to worry. 

 

However, direct strikes are considered rare, and if you live in an area that is frequently stormy, you should be more worried about being hit indirectly. Indirect strikes of lightning close to your solar PV system would induce an electric surge, breaking down the conductors. Such a strike can also cause dangerous sparking, damaging the solar panels and igniting combustible materials. If there is a high chance of lightning storms in your area, you need to consider protective measures early on in the design stages of your system. A good homeowners insurance policy will also guard against those natural disasters, even if something only happens to the solar panels.  
 

Solar panels can withstand hail

 

Solar panels are strong, and so is the steel racking holding them in place. Hail should not be a problem unless it is big enough hail where it’s a problem everywhere. If the hailstones are just small little pebbles, then there is no problem, those little guys can’t generate enough force to hurt those panels. They are encased in steel tempered glass, and they are tested in extreme weather conditions. However, if you have some storms that can dump hailstones the size of baseballs, then those stones are going to break windows, damaged roofs, and hurt solar panels. If you live in that area, you can buy special panels that are able to withstand that huge amount of force, and Again, it is important to cover them on a good homeowners insurance policy in case an epic storm like that happens to damage even the storm rated panels.

 

What if I live in an area with high winds and hurricanes? Solar manufacturers make sure that they design solar panels to withstand high winds. If you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, your insurance company will require that you have “hurricane proofing” for your solar panels. Also know that should any damage occur, solar manufacturers have warranties and you should have homeowners insurance to help with any repairs, as needed.

 

How effective are my solar panels in other weather conditions such as fog and rain? As highlighted by Residential Solar 101, under cloudy and rainy weather conditions, your solar panels drop 40 percent or more depending on how dark and heavy the rain and clouds are. Now, if we’re to look at the fog, know that your solar panels will still work. For example, the amount of power you’ll generate depends on the thickness of the fog; if the cloud cover is at its worst, your panels might half of the energy they normally do, but a thin layer of fog has much less impact on solar energy output. Even if you live in an area with lots of foggy days, what really matters is how much sunshine your roof receives over the course of a whole year, not on a given day.

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