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4 steps to prevent storm damage to your solar installations

For investors, solar installations are properties installed outside, and constantly tested by nature while generating electricity from photovoltaics or wind.

For example, hurricanes, hail, lightning strikes and floods caused by heavy rainfall, etc. It will blow away the solar panel, or cause vicious events such as the destruction of the entire solar power system.

In the face of sudden natural disasters, how can you minimize solar installations loss?

Below is PVMars solar energy equipment supplier for frequent weather events such as hurricanes, lightning strikes and heavy rainfall.

It is here to share with you 4 steps to prevent damage to solar installations in severe weather.

4 steps to prevent storm damage to your solar installations

PART1: Check the solar device bracket structure / counterweight / install windproof pull rod

Before the hurricane come, we need to conduct a comprehensive and detailed inspection of the support structure of the solar installation.

The general solar panel fixing support can withstand Wind load: 55m/s, Snow load: 1.5kn/m2. You can click on the orange font to learn more about rack/bracket structure.

But just in case, we still need to check whether the screw fasteners and fasteners in the bracket structure are fastened firmly.

We also need to check whether the welds are falling off, and whether the side pressure blocks in the solar module are fastened.

Rail-free mount solution for install solar panels

If the solar panel is installed on a tile roof, you should check whether the hooks and fixtures are installed firmly and fix them as soon as possible.

To increase counterweight, we can also place bricks or sandbags under the solar panel bracket.

Of course, the counterweight design needs to be calculated and configured according to the roof’s load-bearing capacity.

For solar installations that cannot be protected by additional counterweights, additional measures can be taken.

In other words, increasing the fixing force, using wire ropes, etc., to bind the photovoltaic module bracket. In addition, fix the bracket structure with rivets.

Install windproof pull rods and tighten them to prevent photovoltaic support twisting. The ground support should be tamped to the ground anchors on both sides of the pv array.

PART2: Check the drainage system of the solar system\electrical equipment\clean up foreign objects

For large-scale ground solar installations, check whether the photovoltaic system drainage channels are unobstructed in time.

If there is a blockage, it needs to be unblocked in time to prevent regional water accumulation at the solar power station.

Pay attention to the weather forecast in real time, make a drainage emergency plan in advance, and add temporary drainage facilities before the rainstorm.

Examine the insulation and sealing performance of each solar installation’s electrical equipment. If the solar panel sealing status is poor, it must be dealt with in time.

However, some key electrical nodes, such as DC wiring, AC wiring, and other positions, require investigation. If there are sealing and wiring problems, they need to be dealt with immediately.

PV combiner setup on ground support

Installation of solar panel arrays For photovoltaic power stations with low-lying terrain and easy water accumulation, consider removing the inverter from the site or relocating it on high ground.

Users of industrial and commercial solar power plants, with solar inverters installed on the roof need to check, whether the inverter bracket is firm and the fixing is reliable.

And before hurricanes and rainstorms come, it is recommended to switch off the DC switch of the inverter.

Also, turn off the AC distribution box and photovoltaic combiner box circuit breakers. Until the bad weather has passed, turn it on again, according to the PVMars usage instructions, and check the usage one by one.

Until the bad weather has passed, turn it on again, according to the PVMars usage instructions, and check the usage one by one.

It is necessary to focus on checking whether the lightning protection grounding of the system is reliable, so as to prevent lightning strikes from affecting the system on rainy days.

There are some foreign objects near the solar system, such as satellite dishes, water heaters, etc. Sometimes placed on top of the user’s home.

Billboards and exterior wall signs near industrial and commercial power stations. Solar installations should be handled or reinforced in time to prevent them from being dumped or damaged.

PART3: Check the solar system insurance policy

Natural disasters are unpredictable, and their impact is also difficult to estimate.

Therefore, purchase photovoltaic insurance in advance to share the risk, and when an accident occurs, you can get compensation and reduce losses. Photovoltaic insurances include:

①All risks during the operation of solar installations: mechanical or electrical accidents, non-mechanical or electrical accidents. For example, fire, explosion, objects falling from the sky, etc.

Natural disasters: property losses caused by tornadoes, lightning strikes, storms, floods, blizzards, icicles, snow, hail, freezing rain, mudslides, collapses, sudden landslides, etc.

②Indirect loss insurance: operation interruption and additional cost insurance: covers indirect losses caused by natural disasters, accidents, etc.

Resulting in the interruption of photovoltaic power station operations, including the reduction of expected power generation and subsidies and the increase in fixed costs.

PART4: How can BIPV translucent window solar panels prevent hurricane attacks?

A new generation of BIPV solar panels is colorful. While increasing appearance, they can also use limited space to generate power and provide stable power to various commercial buildings.

It is one of the trends in solar panel development in the future.

550W BIPV Multi-color Translucent Solar Panel for Building in UAE

So if we encounter a hurricane, what can we do to deal with it?

We can use newspapers, and adhesive strips can be attached to the outside of the BIPV. Acts as a buffer to prevent glass shards from flying.

When newspaper or other paper is blown by the wind, it absorbs some of the wind force, slowing the speed at which glass shards fly.

However, there are some things to remember:

Choose the right tape — the tape needs to have waterproof, dustproof, high temperature resistance, aging resistance and so on.

Apply the tape correctly — the tape needs to be flat, free of bubbles, and cover the entire solar panel surface.

Regularly check the tape — if it is aging or damaged, it needs to be replaced in time.

The following are some common tapes used to protect BIPV glass translucent solar panels:

  • Double-sided tape
  • Waterproof tape
  • Dustproof tape
  • High temperature resistant tape
  • Anti-aging tape

Prevent problems before they happen:

Finally, we remind everyone that after a storm, if you approach or touch the connection parts of photovoltaic inverters, solar devices and power cables, electric shocks may occur.

In the event of a flood, damaged solar panels may have faults such as poor insulation, and there is a risk of electric shock when they are touched.

We must avoid touching with bare hands, or take anti-electric shock measures. (use rubber gloves and rubber boots, etc.) to reduce the risk of electric shock and ensure the safety of personal and property.

The wind and rain will eventually pass, and you will surely welcome the sunshine. PVMars is with you!

About the author
Zoey Zhao is a content developer at PVMARS Solar. She has a BA in English and a MA in Journalism. Prior to joining PVMARS, Zoey worked as a writer for various brands in the automotive and construction industries. She is passionate about sustainability and is currently exploring all things renewable!

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PVMARS Solar will set up 120 energy user service centers around the world. It will provide on-site investigation, design drawings, solar energy storage system solutions, transportation of goods, assist you to import solar energy storage system, installation services, and continue to cooperate with local engineers, exclusive agents and foreign merchants.

We sincerely hope to work with like-minded partners. Win-win cooperation to achieve harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature.

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