Solar panels are built to withstand the weather. Before installation panels are tested to make sure that they stand up to a variety of weather conditions. However, that does not mean that they are 100% weatherproof, all the time. So, what are some of the weather conditions that can affect solar panelling?
While it’s possible for ice dams to form on a roof with solar panels, installing a solar PV array won’t increase the risk of ice damming. Just like solar panels, your roof is flat, generally dark, and heated from underneath by the warm air that builds up in the attic. Basically, your entire roof is one big solar panel with one exception. The panels you install will help reduce your emissions and your utility bills!
So, if ice damming does occur, how does it happen?! Ice damming occurs after a heavy snowfall when warm air in the attic causes the snow to melt causing water run-off. This water then refreezes into ice when it reaches a colder edge of the attic.
You can reduce the risk of ice damming on your roof and/or solar panels by cleaning the snow off of them with a brush or blower. By brushing the snow off of your panels you will also increase the ability for your panels to produce more energy in the winter months.
Your biggest risk of ice damming will be in the winter after heavy, wet snowfalls. If this happens and you’re unable to clear the snow from the roof yourself and are worried about ice damming, you can call a professional roofer or company that specializes in clearing snow off of the roof to remove the ice dam typically using steam.
Solar panels themselves are manufactured with tempered glass that is rated for 1” hail hitting it directly at 55 miles per hour or more. Given that the panels are installed at a 20-degree angle (or greater!), means that hail will impact the panel at an angle, allowing it to withstand even greater force. For extra protection, you can often get your panels insured under your home insurance policy. Many insurers will not charge additional fees for solar panel protection.
Many people think high temperatures benefit solar. However, high temperatures can affect the efficiency of solar panels. Increasing temperatures will raise the rest state of electrons which will result in a lower voltage, known as a voltage drop. This voltage drop will equal lower output from your panels. Nonetheless, efficiency will balance itself out because with warm weather comes a lot of sun.
Nowadays, solar panels are made to withstand harsh weather conditions. Bring on the wind, rain, hail, snow, lightning, high temperatures- we’ve got this. Advanced technology and extreme durability make solar panels what they are today. Solar panelling is a long term 30+ year investment that will offer you return on investment and a greener promise for the future.