Articles tagged "weather"

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Photo of a girl clearing snow off solar panels
What happens when there is snow on your solar panels?
I live in Buffalo, a city known for chicken wings and wicked snowstorms. Despite my city’s reputation for snow, much of the year is great for solar production. Still, I can expect to lose at least a couple weeks of energy production in the middle of each winter due to snow collecting on my panels and blocking out sunlight. It doesn’t take much snow to curtail electricity production. If there’s just a light dusting, there might be enough residual heat energy in the glass to melt the snow.
Photo of a lightning strike.
Do solar panels increase the risk of a lightning strike?
There’s a lot of myths when it comes to lightning, such as lightning never striking the same place twice, or that using an umbrella in a storm puts you at greater risk of being hit by lightning. It’s understandable: lightning is a mysterious force of nature to many, and it’s also destructive, causing over $1 billion in property damage in the United States every year. When it comes to solar panels, there’s one persistent myth, which is that putting solar panels on your home can actually attract lightning to your home.
Photo of hailstones.
Can solar panels withstand hail?
Did you know that the record for a hailstone in the United States is 8 inches? According to CNN, a giant hailstone discovered in South Dakota was the size of a volleyball and weighed almost two pounds. Yikes! If an 8 inch hailstone hit your solar array, there definitely would be damage. Luckily, hail like this is extremely rare. But what about more ordinary hail? Solar panels are designed and tested to withstand hail that is rated up to “severe” by the US National Weather Service, which is hail up to one inch in size or with wind gusts up to 58 mph.