What You Might Not Know About Solar Installations and Severe Oklahoma Weather
It’s a fair bet that storm conditions are what’s being addressed when the topic is severe Oklahoma weather. Across social media, videos and photos feature dented cars, damage to outdoor structures and comparisons of hail sizes to household objects.
However, even among Oklahomans with solar installations at their homes or businesses, solar panels aren’t a part of the storm damage conversation.
Solar panels are built to last.
How do solar installations endure severe Oklahoma weather?
Brent Dolf, Solar Power of Oklahoma’s field operations manager, explains why solar panels withstand Oklahoma’s worst weather.
“Traditional roofing shingles are far more likely to receive severe weather damage,” he said. “I’ve never seen a solar panel that was lost to hail.”
“Solar installations withstand 150 mph winds and extreme conditions, often enduring even harsher weather,” Dolf noted. “Solar panels bear weight, including walking during installation.”
“Panels have a 25-year warranty. Any weather that’s going to do significant damage to your solar panels is going to do significant damage to your home,” Dolf said.
Dolf’s own home solar panels – all 27 of them – are covered under his homeowner’s insurance, a practice he recommends for anyone purchasing a solar installation.
“It added about $180 per year to what I pay for home insurance but I paid an electric bill of one dollar last month,” he explained.
Solar panels produce electricity throughout the year in any weather
“Misplaced concerns that solar installations and solar shingles can fail to produce energy in cloudy weather remains fairly common among some Oklahomans,” Dolf said.
“Some areas use solar power despite frequent rain, as the overall yearly sunlight compensates for cloudy or foggy days.”
Dolf said rain helps solar panels by rinsing off dust, keeping them cost-effective in the long run. “As for winter storm conditions, such as accumulations of ice and snow? They don’t negate the ability of solar installations to produce electricity. He assured, “Snow won’t harm them. Solar panels can melt snow and ice quickly with collected sunlight.”
Dolph summarized the efficacy of solar panels with a final statement:
“One thing I tell anyone who asks any questions connected to bad weather and a solar installation? Solar panels are engineered for two things: To be tough and to be efficient.”