Installing Solar Panels in Windy Areas: Key Tips

Installing Solar Panels in Windy Areas: Key Tips

Installing solar panels in windy areas presents unique challenges that require careful consideration and planning. To ensure the safety and longevity of your investment, it is crucial to understand the various factors affecting wind resistance, such as local building codes and quality assurance guidelines. In this blog post, we will delve into important aspects of assessing wind resistance for solar panels, including ASCE 7-10 standards and PVQAT guidelines.

Furthermore, we will discuss mounting systems specifically designed for high winds by complying with JIS and AS 1170 standard load calculations. We’ll also explore the differences between rail-less or traditional racking based on roofing material. Installing solar panels in windy areas may necessitate meeting strict installation requirements in hurricane-prone locations; therefore, we will provide guidance on reducing attachment spacing and identifying critical areas.

In addition to installation techniques, selecting solar panels with high wind load ratings is essential for surviving varying weather events. This article highlights reputable companies providing high-wind resistant solar solutions while showcasing examples of solar panel resilience during hurricanes. Ultimately, you’ll gain valuable insights into how solar energy can serve as a reliable source amidst natural disasters when installed correctly in windy regions.

Table of Contents:

Assessing Wind Resistance of Solar Panels

Don’t let your solar panels fly away. Follow ASCE 7-10 guidelines to ensure they can handle high winds and avoid safety risks.

Understanding ASCE 7-10 and its role in local building codes

ASCE 7-10 provides guidance on calculating wind loads for structures, including solar panels, to maintain structural integrity and meet building code requirements.

Importance of PVQAT guidelines for quality assurance

PVQAT sets international benchmarks for photovoltaic product reliability and performance under harsh weather conditions, ensuring durable solutions for consumers.

Key considerations for wind resistance

  • Panel design: Choose panels with a sturdy frame and reinforced glass to withstand high winds and debris impact.
  • Racking system: Use mounting hardware designed to handle wind loads specific to your region, adhering to ASCE 7-10 guidelines or other applicable standards.
  • Installation quality: Work with experienced installers who understand local building codes and can properly secure your solar array against potential wind damage.

Ensure your solar panels remain in place during inclement weather by taking the necessary steps to secure them properly.

Mounting Systems Designed for High Winds

Don’t let strong winds blow away your solar panels – choose a mounting system that can handle the pressure.

Complying with JIS and AS 1170 Standard Load Calculations

Make sure your solar racking system meets JIS and AS 1170 standards to ensure it can withstand high winds and maintain optimal performance.

Choosing Between Rail-less or Traditional Racking Based on Roofing Material

Consider your roofing material when choosing between rail-less or traditional racking systems to ensure maximum stability and security.

  • Rail-less systems: Ideal for standing-seam metal roofs, offering increased stability and faster installation.
  • Traditional racking systems: Compatible with various roofing materials but may require additional reinforcement in high-wind areas.

Don’t let high winds blow away your investment – consult with a professional solar installer to determine the best mounting solution for your specific needs.

Installation Guidelines for Hurricane-prone Areas

In hurricane-prone areas, such as Miami-Dade County, authorities may impose stringent guidelines for solar panel setup to guarantee that construction can withstand extreme weather events like hurricanes.

Meeting strict installation requirements in hurricane-prone locations

Follow local building codes and guidelines closely to ensure the safety and durability of your solar energy system in high-wind areas.

Reducing attachment spacing and identifying critical areas

Proper attachment of solar panels is crucial for stability during high-wind events.

  • Rooftop: Avoid placing panels near roof edges or corners where they might be exposed to higher wind pressures.
  • Ground-mounted: Consider using reinforced racking systems with additional bracing elements that can better resist lateral forces from strong winds.
  • Pole-mounted: Use sturdy poles made from materials like steel or aluminum, and be securely anchored to the ground with concrete footings.

Collaborate with your solar installer and local building officials to recognize any areas of importance on your land that may necessitate particular attention during the installation process.

Resilience Against Extreme Weather Events

Solar panels can survive extreme weather events like those in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, even saving lives during Hurricane Maria.

South Carolina residents were without power for two weeks after Hurricane Florence, but solar panels on the NREL Denver campus remained unaffected.

Examples of Solar Panel Resilience During Hurricanes

  • Hurricane Sandy: In 2012, New Jersey’s solar installations largely withstood Hurricane Sandy, providing much-needed electricity to affected areas.
  • Hurricane Maria: After devastating Puerto Rico in 2017, homes equipped with solar energy systems continued to function despite widespread power outages, providing essential electricity for medical equipment and other life-saving devices.
  • Hurricane Florence: In contrast to traditional grid infrastructure that suffered significant damage during this storm in South Carolina, most residential and commercial solar panel arrays survived intact and continued producing power throughout the event.

Solar Energy as a Reliable Source Amidst Natural Disasters

Solar panels’ resilience amidst hurricanes highlights their potential as a reliable source of energy during natural disasters.

Investing in solar energy can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lower greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change, and provide a more dependable power source during natural disasters.

Solar energy systems can be paired with battery storage solutions like the Tesla Powerwall or Sonnen Eco, allowing for continuous electricity supply even when the grid is down, providing an added layer of security and independence from traditional utility companies while ensuring access to essential power during emergencies.

Selecting Panels with High Wind Load Ratings

Living in a hurricane-prone area like Florida means you need solar panels that can handle winds of more than 160 MPH, and companies like Solar.com have got you covered.

Why Wind Load Ratings Matter for Solar Panels

Wind load ratings are crucial when choosing solar panels for windy regions, as they indicate how well a panel can withstand strong gusts and sustained winds without damage or dislodging. Following ASCE 7-10 and PVQAT guidelines is essential for ensuring long-lasting performance under challenging environmental conditions.

  • ASCE 7-10: Follow ASCE 7-10 standards when designing systems in hurricane-prone areas.
  • PVQAT Guidelines: Adhere to PVQAT guidelines to ensure durability under severe weather conditions.

Top Companies for High-Wind Resistant Solar Solutions

Investing in reliable manufacturers offering durable solar solutions is key to protecting your investment against potential storm damage. Some reputable companies specializing in producing high-wind resistant solar panels include:

  1. SunPower – Known for their Maxeon technology, SunPower’s solar panels can handle winds of up to 185 MPH.
  2. LG Solar – LG Solar offers robust solar panels with wind load ratings of up to 208 MPH.
  3. SunPortal – SunPortal provides specialized mounting systems that enhance the wind resistance capabilities of their solar panels, which can handle windspeeds exceeding 160 MPH when properly installed.

Researching and selecting high-quality, wind-resistant solar panel solutions is crucial for ensuring your system remains functional and secure during extreme weather events.

FAQs in Relation to installing Solar Panels in Windy Areas

Can solar panels withstand high winds?

Solar panels can withstand high winds when properly installed and designed for such conditions, with some panels rated to endure hurricane-level winds up to 160 MPH or more.

Does wind affect solar panels?

Strong winds can potentially damage solar panels if they’re not adequately secured, but proper installation and mounting systems can minimize the impact of wind on the solar array’s efficiency.

How can we protect solar panels from high winds?

  • Selecting well-built racking systems
  • Focusing on quality assurance through PVQAT guidelines
  • Complying with local building codes based on ASCE 7-10 standards
  • Maintaining strict installation requirements in hurricane-prone locations

What is the largest drawback to solar and wind energy?

The largest drawback of both solar and wind energy is their intermittent nature, as they depend on weather conditions for electricity generation, but integrating storage solutions like solar batteries can help mitigate this issue.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar panel systems can also survive varying weather events such as severe hailstorms and wind-blown debris, but it’s essential to have a well-built solar racking system and to ensure that the panels are installed correctly to prevent panel damage or tearing off the rooftop.


Assess wind resistance, choose appropriate mounting systems, follow installation guidelines for hurricane-prone areas, select high-wind resistant panels, and understand their resilience against extreme weather events.

Comply with local building codes such as ASCE 7-10 and PVQAT guidelines for quality assurance.

Reputable companies provide high-wind resistant solutions designed to withstand even the most severe weather conditions.

Proper planning and implementation of these strategies can make installing solar panels in windy areas a safe investment that provides reliable energy for years to come.