Our customers often ask us whether it’s safe to put solar panels on the roof. They see glass equipment and begin to wonder whether it will survive the outdoors.
You see, solar panels convert solar energy into electricity. Now, you can’t have them doing this indoors, can you? They must be where the sunlight is easily and directly accessible. Fortunately, they are built to survive the vagaries of extreme weather phenomena, among other challenges.
Here are some of the challenges that your solar panels can withstand with ease:
Withstand Golf Ball-sized Hailstones
The PV cells are not exposed to the environment. They are protected by a thick layer of tempered glass, which can withstand most physical shocks. The tempered glass on most solar panels can easily brave through a hailstorm with 1-inch diameter hails. High-quality solar panels can even bear an attack on golf ball-sized hailstones. So, you can imagine how strong they are built.
Bear Wind Speeds of Up to 140 mph
PV cells are surprisingly strong. They can survive storms with wind speeds of up to 140 mph as long as the panels do not collide with heavy debris, such as a tree trunk, during the storm. Also, if the racking system is strong, the panels will not get uprooted during the storm. In fact, before a solar installer can even obtain a building permit for your system, they must have a structural engineer verify that your roof structure, combined with solar racking and the weight of the solar panels, can withstand hurricane-force winds.
Unaffected by Rain
Rain does not affect the structural integrity of solar panel installations. It does, however, affect the performance of your system by reducing the amount of direct sunlight falling on your panels. Even a cloudy sky can do that.
Interestingly, good rain can wash away any accumulated debris on your solar panels and improve their performance by a small but measurable degree.
Snow Is No Problem
Snowfall probably poses a bigger challenge on a flat roof, but even massive snowfall scenarios have been considered by the solar engineer for all roof types.Snow can accumulate on the solar panels but due to the angle of the roof on most homes combined with the slick surface of the solar panels, it tends to slide away quickly.
Worse Case? It’s an Insurance Claim
In the unlikely event that your solar installation suffers any damage due to a weather phenomenon or other accidents, you can likely claim damages as part of your insurance. You should discuss this possibility with your insurance provider and enquire about the type of damages they cover.