Can Solar Panels Withstand Cyclones?


It is typical to question solar PV systems’ durability during cyclones and hail storms. Solar panels are indeed a significant investment, and it’s necessary to determine if they can withstand a natural disaster. 

Fortunately, materials used in solar PV systems and engineering have improved, making solar panels durable in extreme weather such as heavy rain, hails, and cyclones. Solar panels are much more resistant and robust than you may think. 

Do Solar Panels Work In Heavy Rain? 

It’s perfectly acceptable to worry about flooding and heavy rain during a cyclone. Solar panels are waterproof; thus, they can still generate energy during heavy rain. 

Solar panels are designed to convert not just direct but indirect sunlight into energy. They may be more functional with direct sunlight, but solar panels can still generate around 25% of their maximum capacity on rainy days. 

What you may not be aware of is that rain can be a good thing for your panels! Panels can often operate better after a rainy day as water washes away dirt, dust, and other airborne particles that may build up on your panels over time. 

Do Solar Panels and Batteries Work During Cyclones? 


Regardless of the clouds and rain that cyclones bring, your solar panels can still effectively generate energy. Although, cyclones can damage grid lines, resulting in power outages. All solar systems must withdraw any power generation for electricians’ safety when restoring the grid. In this situation, having backup power such as a solar battery, generator, or a Tesla Powerwall is necessary. This is most useful if you reside in an area where hurricanes and challenging weather occur more often, such as Far North Queensland. 

Can Solar Panels Withstand Hail? 

As mentioned, modern solar PV panels are designed to survive unpredictable weather conditions. However, one of solar PV panels’ weaknesses is hail. Large hail that is larger than 25mm in diameter can be destructive to your panels. 

The surface of your solar PV panels is built from a sturdy layer of toughened glass. Some hailstones that are as big as golf balls can weigh around 20 grams. While being heavy and expansive in nature, high-velocity hailstones can be challenging for panels to withstand. You may want to visit Australia’s Standards regarding solar PV panel construction to ensure that your investment can withstand as hail storms can be more frequent given the climate change. 


How You Can Protect Solar Panels From Cyclones

Solar panels are durable, but one common cause of panel damage is due to falling debris, which is frequent during a storm.

Your home insurance plans may also cover rooftop solar panels since they are considered an attachment to your home. Ground mount panels and solar carports, on the other hand, may need an add-on or supporting policy to your existing contract. Like every other investment, an insurance plan may save you down the road if a cyclone may do more damage than expected. 

We suggest that you reach out to your insurance provider and discuss such possibilities. Coordinating with a reliable provider will give you the best suggestions and information for these circumstances. 

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