Does Weather Affect Solar Panels?

Weather and Solar Panels in San Diego,CA

Although it’s almost always sunny in southern California, homeowners often have questions about how the weather will affect their solar panels. Here’s a quick breakdown of how weather could potentially impact San Diego solar panels and energy production. 

Hail

Many solar panels on the market have UL certification, this means the panels have gone through extensive testing to withstand hail. This testing, however, isn’t to determine how hail could impact the energy output of the solar panels, but to ensure exploding glass caused by hail doesn’t put people in danger. Part of the testing involves striking a solar panel with a one-inch steel ball at terminal velocity.

Lightning

While slim, there is a chance the panels can be damaged by lightning. However, the National Electric code requires proper grounding, which can help reduce but not entirely prevent the risk. 

Wind

Wind damage is also unlikely, especially in southern California. Solar panel companies discovered that many panels held up against hurricane Sandy back in October 2012. Choose a reputable residential solar company that will mount your panels correctly and offers a warranty on the work. 

Snow

While it’s best to choose a spot on your roof least affected by snow, that may not always be possible in the event of a snowstorm. But solar panels are typically dark enough to retain heat, making snow melt faster than you might expect. 

Clouds and Fog

Cloudy conditions can affect solar production by anywhere from 40 percent to 90 percent depending on how dark the rain clouds are. With fog, it depends on how dense it is. With incredibly thick fog, you might produce just five to ten percent of what you normally do. A thin layer that burns off quickly won’t have much effect on your solar energy production. 

Weather Warranty

Most solar panel warranties don’t cover weather-related damage from things like hail or lightening. However, many homeowners’ insurance policies do. When you decide to install solar panels, be sure to call your homeowners insurance provider to update your policy and understand the coverage extended to your solar panels. 

Still on the fence about converting to solar energy? Contact CES Solar San Diego at 1-855-45-COAST today to schedule your free consultation and learn if going solar is right for you.