Solar and rain – any issues?

What the Guru says

Hi Solar Guru, we had so much rain lately, is this a problem for my solar panels. After all there is electricity in them.

You do not have to worry about this. Solar panels have been built to withstand rain, hail and shine. They will be fine on your roof - do not buy budget of cause. However the wiring on your roof and the quality of the installation is something you definitely should pay attention to. Use a good local installer and you should be fine.

Can rain cause issues with solar panels?

Solar panels are designed to sit on roofs for many decades. So the built and sealants of quality panels are designed to handle rain and harsh weather conditions very well. In fact, rain is needed from time to time to clean tilted solar panels and wash off any accumulated dust. This, in turn, will improve their efficiency and output generation.

snow storm and rain that may affect solar panels

Nevertheless, like many weather-related events, rain does have a risk for your solar system. Especially if combined with lightning and heavy wind. You can reduce such risks if:

  • Your solar panels are correctly installed. This includes ensuring they are sitting at an angle and the clamping zones are correct.
  • Trim back nearby trees and branches which could hit the panels during a wild wind and rain storm.
  • If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, which is not that likely in Australia, you may need to remove heavy snow from your solar panels to prevent them from being damaged.
  • Make sure you have chosen a quality installer, as the key damage from rain usually occurs in the wiring and water penetration of isolators and fuses, which were not installed as per specifications by installers rushing the job.

It seems pretty obvious that on rainy days your solar system will produce less electricity (around 70 % plus less than on a sunny day), but it will still produce some PV output, which is good news.

In summary:

Rain is not a major cause for concern regarding solar panels. With proper installation and maintenance, solar panels can continue to operate effectively and efficiently in rainy conditions for decades.

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