It’s that time of year in Utah again, which means that on any given day, one can expect unexpected changing climate: snow or rain, clouds, clear blue skies and the dreaded inversion. For those who own solar, when bad weather hits, they aren’t just asking themselves how their morning commute is going to go; they are also wondering what kind of output they are going to get from their solar system.
Not surprisingly, one of the biggest questions people have when considering going solar is, “How will weather affect my solar system?” Especially here in Utah where there is a wide array of weather conditions and each one can have an affect on solar. The good news is that there is good news.
Kelly Curtis, Director of Operations at Solaroo Energy, gives the following examples of how each type of weather can affect your solar system and how you can expect the production quality to be in each case.
1. Clouds – Rain – Inversion
“Of course with anything running off of solar power, when clouds cover the sun it reduces the productivity and can decrease it between 40-90 percent, depending on how dark the clouds are,” says Mr. Curtis.
Mr. Curtis says, “A good solar company is going to plan with you to make sure your solar panels are in the best possible position to avoid things like snow. However, avoiding snow coverage altogether is not 100 percent possible.” One thing to note, however, is that your solar panels retain a fair amount of heat and, therefore, snow is less likely to stick and cause any issues.
3. Heavy Wind – Hail
“Utah doesn’t see much hail on a consistent basis, however, solar manufacturers, especially the ones we use, have done extensive testing to make sure that can endure hail of about one inch at speeds of 50 mph,” says Mr. Curtis. According to Mr. Curtis, the manufacturers have also done quite of bit of design work to make sure that solar panels can withstand high winds.
Mr. Curtis goes on to remind us that, “As in all things, nothing is ever 100 percent guaranteed, which is why we always recommend that you include your solar panels as part of your Home Owner’s Insurance policy to cover any damages that you may incur.
“Even though inclement weather can affect your solar production, it is important to remember that most solar production estimates factor in decades of local weather data; they will already reflect what weather normally happens, which includes rain, snow, clouds, etc. The great thing about going solar is, yes, you might end up with a week or two of rain or inversion, and you might have some snow as well, but what matters most is how much sun your solar system is soaking up throughout the whole year. This is where you see the amazing benefits to going solar.”
If you would like more information on going solar or how weather can affect your solar system, contact us at (801) 826-4888.