Changing Weather and Solar Panels

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What are the effects of weather on solar panels? The increased severity of weather events and climate change are impacting every homeowner, including those with home solar systems. Arizona’s 2021 monsoon season has been one of the most active since 1896, resulting in increased flash flooding, more trees down, and widespread power outages. Let’s briefly look at what you need to know about solar panels and how weather events may affect installed panels in the Valley of the Sun.

How Do Solar Panels Function?

In simple terms, solar panels work by photovoltaic cells converting sunlight directly into electricity. When photons, particles of sunlight, strike these solar cells on top of a roof or on the ground, the solar panel turns the photons into electrons of direct current (DC) electricity. The inverter then converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is used to power household appliances of all types.

One common solar panel misconception is that they need direct sunlight to properly generate clean energy. Although the sun is the main source of energy that the panels absorb and convert into power, the way sunshine is projected onto a solar panel cell doesn’t necessarily require direct sunlight.

Solar panel cells only need the photons emitted from daytime sunlight. When it’s cloudy, the sun’s photons are still radiating into the atmosphere and absorbed by the panels. Direct sunlight is preferred over indirect sunlight for optimal solar panel energy absorption. For example, on cloudy days, solar panels only produce 10% to 25% of solar panel capacity.

Impact of Weather

Home solar panels are manufactured to handle a wide range of climates and conditions, such as heavy rain, pounding hail, high winds, excessive heat, and freezing cold temperatures. During the manufacturing process, each solar panel is tested for extreme weather conditions to receive an Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) certification. UL certification is a good starting baseline, but it doesn’t mean that all home solar panels have the same durability and quality. UL certification simply means they have passed the minimum number of tests required to be certified. In fact, the most durable, highly rated solar panels are built to continue operating in wind speeds up to 140 mph. It’s important to not only select the best quality solar panels, but also to look for a locally owned installation company that can ensure they are placed optimally. The best-in-class businesses provide expert knowledge you need to make the right decisions, they can properly install panels ready to face any weather condition and provide an all-inclusive warranty. Cool Blew Solar excels in all these areas.

Ready to learn more? Call your local solar panel professionals today at Cool Blew Solar at 623-234-2836. We’re here to help answer your solar panel questions!