Solar Panels in Hurricane

How Do Solar Panels Hold Up in a Hurricane?

The state of Florida is at the most risk of damage from hurricanes in all of the United States. It also incurs the most cost in reconstruction after hurricane hits.

In many cases, hurricanes can cost Florida about 3 times as much as the second-most impacted state, Louisiana.

Hurricanes also leave a lasting impact. Besides the financial damage dealt, people are left without electricity for long periods of time. Electricity supply chains can even take months to get going.

Since Orlando is also a sunny city, the most logical solution to this problem is to invest in solar energy. 

Also, consider a study's findings that solar panels increase the value of a home by about $15,000.

There may still be many doubts before contacting a solar contractor in Orlando. We are here to clear them for you using real-world examples in the United States.

So, is a solar power investment safe in the state of Florida?

Solar panels installed by trusted solar energy companies in Orlando withstand elemental forces such as hurricanes astonishingly well. Contrary to intuitive thinking, solar panels from reliable solar power companies do not stop producing power in conditions such as hurricanes. They are also remarkably sturdy to the forces of nature.

A study finds that solar panels continue to generate power during hurricanes, even if direct sunlight is unavailable. Take the practical example of the VA hospital in San Juan, which continued to operate at 100 percent during a hurricane on solar power.

Solar power installation is vital as hurricanes, an uncontrollable force, leave large areas without power for extended periods. In many regions of the United States, cities hit by hurricanes go for months without power.

Does Wing Affect Solar Panels?

Since most solar panels are installed on rooftops to absorb unobstructed sunlight, one could conclude that they are also highly susceptible to wind.

So, how true is that assertion?

There is historic precedence for solar power in coastal regions to withstand strong winds. Solar power companies claim that their rooftop installations were unfazed by Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy, being a category-3 hurricane, had a maximum sustained wind speed of 110 mph!

What force puts the most pressure on rooftop-installed solar panels in the case of high winds? It is the Uplift Force.

However, if a reliable Solar contractor in Orlando has done your solar panel installation, there is little to fear. Uplift force is most damaging in cases of structural fragility, negligence or extreme hurricanes.

For most hurricane events, an excellent solar power company in Orlando would ensure that uplift forces have no effect.

So, the wind does not affect solar panels. The only worry might be of the wind tearing the panel from the very roof, but that can be minimized by only contacting a trusted solar contractor in Orlando.

Can Solar Panels Work During Raining?

The solar panels themselves are waterproof. Solar power companies take great care to test their products against heavy rain.

Solar energy continues to function in the rain as well as in any other weather condition – and is only concerned with the amount of horizontal irradiance, i.e., the amount of solar energy they can receive.

In fact, the rain may wash away dust and oil from the surface of the solar panels.

Solar energy companies ensure that solar panels are installed so that even heavy rainfall does not affect power production or the installation's life.

Can Hail Damage Solar Panels?

Hail is one of the most formidable forces of nature. Are solar panels well-equipped to deal with these conditions?

Take the example of a severe hailstorm in Denver. It completely shattered many car windows and left dents the size of golf balls.

However, there was an astonishing finding on the main campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. After the hail storm, only one out of more than 3,000 solar panels was destroyed.

Solar power companies in Orlando ensure that their products are guaranteed to withstand severe hailstorms. They are certified to stand up to even 1-inch hails falling at high speeds.

Can Solar Panels Withstand Hurricanes?

Hurricanes are extreme forces that put all man made structures to the test.

However, solar panels are wonderfully resistant. All tests that hurricane throw in their way, they pass astonishingly well.

When appropriately installed by great a good solar contractor in Orlando, solar panels withstand:

  • Uplift forces from severely strong winds
  • Unrelenting rainfall
  • Damage from small debris, such as hail

Your solar power company should also provide expert advice on where the solar panel installation must be done. An expert would look at your residence and advise you on topics such as:

  • Avoiding areas where a falling tree could destroy the solar panels
  • Selecting areas where the solar panels would provide the most energy output throughout the day

What Happens During a Hurricane?

Incredibly, solar power companies create a functional product in weather conditions without visible sun, such as hurricanes. How is that possible?

A study creates a quantitative analysis of 18 hurricane events. It concludes that power generation continues during events where direct sunlight does not happen. In fact, it finds that there is solar power available to be absorbed during daytime hours even though the sky is cloudy and raining. This energy is quantified as Horizontal Irradiance.

Due to the light diffusion in the sky, the horizontal irradiance never becomes zero. Hence, we can witness incredible cases like an entire hospital staying 100% functional without 11 months of power after hurricanes.

So, if solar energy companies can provide a reliable piece of machinery in such extreme conditions, solar power companies in Orlando will definitely be able to provide you with equipment that withstands hurricanes.

During hurricanes, energy is cut off abruptly and for long periods. The hospital mentioned earlier was a part of the most prolonged blackout in US history. Most other cases are not very reassuring either. Hence, solar energy installation in Orlando is vital.

Energy Issues in Orlando After Hurricanes

Let’s take the specific case of the state of Florida since it is also the most vulnerable to hurricanes.

A study shows that energy generation in the state of Florida can decrease beyond an astonishing 70% in large regions during a category-4 hurricane. This statistic even includes undamaged solar energy infrastructure in Florida.

The electricity grid may become fully offline in some cases. Solar energy companies in Orlando are vital in sustaining infrastructure not only during a hurricane but also during post-hurricane periods.

Reliable solar power equipment stays fully functional during hurricanes!

As an example, during hurricanes Camille and Laurie, two solar panels were operating without any drop in performance.

Testing and Real World Performance

Solar energy companies must perform extensive tests on their products before putting them on the market. This is especially true for states that are susceptible to extreme weather.

Solar energy companies in Orlando conduct exhaustive tests.

Standardized industry quality tests ensure that solar energy companies only sell products that survive harsh environmental conditions. For example, the International Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force conducts tests that only allow resilient solar panels to be produced.

These tests check for:

  • Physical strength to mechanical stress. Good solar equipment would not only survive facing hail storms but also being walked on, crashing with small debris, etc.
  • Survivability of solar panels in harsh environmental conditions
  • Resilience to extremely high and low temperatures, humid or arid environments, etc.
  • Strength against exposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • Ability to handle electrical stress in unnatural conditions.
  • Winds of up to 140 mph, equivalent to a category-4 hurricane such as Hurricane Laura

These ensure that even during hurricanes, solar energy companies in Orlando can provide reliable sources of power during conditions such as lasting blackouts.

Time after time, real-life examples appear which attest to the assurances given by solar energy companies in Orlando.

What Happens After a Hurricane?

Expect long periods where energy production does not perform at 100%.

Traditional sources of energy face several issues after hurricanes.

  • The facilities may have incurred damages resulting in delay.
  • There are usually a lot of faults in the supply line. Important transformers malfunctioning would give a problem to vast areas.
  • Wires may have problems where they either completely stop circulating electricity or short in such a way that it may be dangerous.

Shorts in electricity, especially in flooded regions, can be lethal. People must ensure that all wires are in good condition after a hurricane.

  • All electric points must have a good grounding
  • All wires must have proper insulation

Do solar panels need to be taken care of after a hurricane? No, because the panels themselves are highly resistant to extreme weather.

In many cases, solar energy can become more efficient after heavy rainfalls. This is because the solar panels are now clear of dust and oil.

Contact the customer service of your solar power company in Orlando for inspection and assistance.

How to Prepare for Hurricanes to Keep Your Solar Panels in Place?

The best thing to ensure the safety of your solar installation is to contact an expert. Expert assistance and advice should be available from the solar contractor near you.

The expert will consult you on the following:

  • What is your return on the solar panel investment?
  • What type of solar panel installation best suits your needs?
  • How the installation must be made in order to minimize damage, for example by large debris crashes or tree-falls.

Occasionally inspect your solar panels. Clean them with microfiber clothing or water. Contact your solar power company in Orlando in case of irregularities.

The most important thing to consider around solar installations is the manufacturer and installer. Solar energy installations are surprisingly resilient to the most extreme of forces in nature and continue to generate power during and after hurricanes. Orlando is also blessed with sunny weather on most days and is ideal for solar power investment.

Click here to schedule an appointment with the most trusted solar power company in Orlando.

Can I Really Get Solar Energy for $0 Down & $0 Out of Pocket

You Can Get Solar Energy For No Money Down and No Money Out of Pocket, but it’s not free.

In this article, we are going to dive into what exactly $0 Down $0 Out of Pocket means in regards to adding solar panels to your home.  If you are shopping for solar panels in Orlando or Florida then you have inevitably have heard the Phrase “Get Solar Energy for $0 Down and $0 Out of Pocket”.  This claim is designed to get you excited about adding an energy efficient product without any money involved. That might be where there begin to be some confusions. Here are some simple explanations to this statement as well as some guidelines to follow to get your best deal on solar panels.

Check out other great videos to help you understand more about solar energy and Solar Companies Youtube – Emerald Sun Energy Channel

What does $0 Down (NO Money Down) mean? First off it is NOT FREE.  You are buying something. However, if you are able to qualify for available financing then there is No Money Down as the entire purchase can be funded because many of the financing options available for solar companies do not require any money down.  Hence the entire solar project will be funded by the financing company.

What does $0 Out oF Pocket (No Money Out of Pocket) mean? This statement may be the one that causes the most confusion because it often leads people to believe that it is free.  Again it is NOT FREE, you are buying something. However, if you qualify for available funding it is true that you will have $0 Out of Pocket. The easiest way to understand this is to look at the example below.  What it points out is purchasing a solar panel system for your home will not affect your budget. Meaning you can use the money you already are paying the power company to instead pay for your solar power system that will improve your home’s value and convert a variable expense (power bill) into a profitable asset (solar panel system).  In most cases, you will actually be cash positive depending on which financing option you choose. So you can purchase your system with the money you already spend because your solar panel financing payment will be less than the amount of money you save on your power bill by switching to solar.

What do I need to do to qualify for this solar program?  Simply call Emerald Sun Energy a local Florida Solar Company located in Orlando and serving all of Central Florida, We will first do a customized energy consumption analysis to determine the size of the solar panels system you need.  We will then draw out a solar panel spec drawing so you can see how the panels will look on your roof. Then you can choose the financing option that best meets your needs and fill out the online instant approval application, we will have a decision within minutes of application.  The basic qualifiers are you will need a 680 credit score or greater to qualify. The financing company will also be looking at your debt to income ratio to determine if you are a good candidate for a solar energy system. Usually, a debt to income below 45% with a household income of $50,000 is able to be approved.

Example of how $0 Down $0 Out of pocket looks like:

With the advanced additions of Solar Energy Financing Florida Homeowners can get solar for No Money Down and No Money Out of Pocket

With the advanced additions of Solar Energy Financing Florida Homeowners can get solar for No Money Down and No Money Out of Pocket

First, we must figure out the amount of money you will be saving on your power bill every month to find out how much money you have available on a monthly basis to pay for the system.  In the above example of an actual solar customer, before they started using solar there power bill was $231 per month and after they switched to solar energy their power bill dropped to $29 per month.  Which is a monthly savings of $202 per month? So that means so long as we have a financing option that requires less than a $202 a month payment then we will be able to provide solar for $0 Out of Pocket because we are just redistributing money you are already spending to convert an expense into an asset.

Next, we will examine the financing options offered by the above Orlando Solar Company.

In the above example, you can see the available financing options for the customer where a 12 Year or 144 payments of $199 which is $3 less then they would pay the power company.  Or a 20 year (240 payment) option would be $162 per month essentially saving customer on average $40 over what they would have paid the power company. That is a yearly positive cash flow of nearly $500 plus they improved the value of their home and reduced their carbon footprint.  WOW!!

Please keep in mind in the above example we are using Net Sales Price which is the price of the Solar Panel System after you received your 30% Federal Tax Credit.  If you somehow do not qualify for the tax credit you will still be able to get the system for no money out of pocket but it would be only on the 20-year option that would accomplish this.  Either way, you are purchasing an asset using someone else’s money to pay for it. This is one of the biggest ways wealthy people keep and grow their wealth. You can see more about that is this video “Solar Energy is a Better Investment Than The Stock Market”

As you can see from the explanation and example provided $0 Down $0 Out of Pocket isn’t free but it is a tremendous opportunity for homeowners to be able to add Solar Energy to there home without affecting their monthly budget.  Please keep in mind that the 30% Federal Tax Credit expires at the end of 2019 so your window for taking advantage of such a great opportunity is closing. There will be a couple of years of reduced tax credits but you will have missed out on the biggest one, while you can do it without affecting your budget.

Questions you should ask your solar company – part 5

Questions you should ask your solar contractor – part 4

29. What happens during the solar power installation process?

The Solar power installation process consists of engineered drawing that is submitted for permit approval.  After permit approval and installation, a date is scheduled. Most installations for homes will take 1-2 days. After installation, it will be submitted for a final inspection.  After the inspection is completed your local power company is notified with an interconnection agreement which they will come out and swap out your meter for a bidirectional meter that will be able to monitor the power your solar power system will produce for the power company.  The total installation process takes 4-8 weeks depending on permitting, interconnection agreement and weather.

30. Should I ask for a solar monitoring system for my solar panels?

Yes.  Most solar contractors will not include the monitoring.  You would be advised to ask for it. You can always get your energy output readings from the inverter if it is a string inverter system.   However, you will have to go to the inverter and familiarize yourself with its report settings in order to get your solar energy production readings. It is a microinverter system you will need monitoring or you will just have to rely on the power companies tracking numbers.  If you have a string inverter system by SolarEdge w/ power optimizers you need to have the cellular chip upgrade to your system. Then you will be able to track the energy production from your solar panel system through an app you can download onto your phone. You will be able to see the day to day energy production, weekly, monthly and yearly solar energy output.

31. Do I need to install solar batteries with my solar power system?

In Orlando Florida, you are able to tie the system into the power companies grid nullifying the need for the solar batteries.  You might want to consider a Tesla Powerwall as a backup generator system. Keep in mind when you use a Tesla Powerwall it will not back up your entire system but rather provide power to critical energy sources during a power outage.  Mainly your main loads are what you are backing up. Refrigerator and stove with an outlet for a light and fan. If you wanted to back up for the entire house you would probably need 3 Tesla Powerwalls. I typically do not recommend battery backups where grid access is available.  There are a few reasons for this. First, off I feel a traditional generator is a better power outage backup then solar batteries, because when the power goes out it is usually accompanied by bad weather that will reduce the systems overall production and leave you with intermittent power outages.  Secondly, Solar battery solutions only last 7-10 years, meaning you will have to replace the batteries 3 times during the life of your solar panel systems life, more than doubling the cost of the system. Finally, solar batteries put off a strong magnetic field that I do not like putting near the home.  If you had a shed that was 100 feet from the home then I might put the batteries there. There are some great whole home generators that you can install for the same price that will actually give you enough power to power your entire home for a week.

32. Can the local Homeowners Association (HOA) stop me from installing a solar power system on my building?

It is illegal for an HOA to prevent you from installing solar panels on your home.  Some will have requirements such as they need to face the back of the house but even those are speculative.  Meaning if the performance of the system mandates that the solar panels need to face the front of the house for peak performance then they can not stop you from placing them there.  I do recommend checking with the HOA for any guidelines they request and whenever possible adhere to those requests. In cases when you cannot adhere to their guidelines then your solar company can send them a letter explaining why we must break there suggested guidelines.

34. How will Solar Panels be mounted?

Solar panels will be mounted to a racking system and it is that racking system that will be mounted to the roof.  More specifically to your homes truss system when available. That means no solar panels will be mounted directly to your roof.  This method reduces and potential leaking factors that may arise if the panels were installed directly to the roof.  Ironridge solar mounts are the most durable mounts on the market and graded to withstand 140 mph winds.

For more Questions you should ask your solar company check out our ongoing series:

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 1

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 2

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 3

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Contractor – Part 4

Questions you should ask your solar company – part 4

Questions you should ask your solar company – part 4

22. Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?

Depends.  If you are thinking about replacing the roof or you know it needs to be changed in the next 3 years I would seriously consider changing the roof before adding a rooftop solar panel system to your home.  The Solar Panels will actually help to extend the lifespan of your roof by protecting it from weather damage like wind and hail.  You should get a replacement roof option with your solar energy system.  Many Solar Companies will offer this for a small upsell that you can include in your system.  However, the downside of paying it upfront is if the solar company you contracted with goes out of business then you will have to pay someone else to reinstall your system.  Emerald Sun Energy includes a solar panel replacement if you utilize our recommended roofer to do the job.  This only applies to normal roof replacement.  If your roof is damaged during a storm then your insurance company can be billed for the additional charges incurred to reinstall your solar panel system.

23. How long will my solar power system last?

Your solar power system will come with a 25 year performance guarantee, it will actually last 40-50 years.  You will have to replace the inverter at 12 years but solaredge offers an extended warranty on their inverter up to 25 years.  It is a great investment to extend the life of the entire solar energy system to 25 years.

24. What happens if I sell my solar house?

This is one of the most important reasons why it is better to own the system over leasing a system.  When you sell your home you will sell it with the system and receive on average a $20,000 increase in the value of your home.  According to Forbes Magazine, the average home increases its value by over $20,000.  If you are leasing a system when you go to sell your home you will have to require the buyer to assume the lease as well as the leasing company will have to approve the buyer.

26. How do I compare solar quotes?

Comparing solar quotes is not an easy task.  There are many factors that you have to be able to weigh against one another.  Such as quality of Solar panels, inverter, racking systems and wiring used. You will also have to compare company performance, financing options offered by companies(unless you secure your own financing prior to shopping), then you will have to compare add ons like maintenance, roof replacements and others.  Using a third party solar consultant to compare quotes is a great investment. You can usually get someone to compare your quotes for under $400 not a bad investment to protect against a mistake in purchasing $20,000 – $30,000 solar investment.  To find out more on what to look out for when purchasing Solar Energy for your home, read “The Secret Guide to Buying Solar” the most comprehensive solar buying guide on the market.

27. What are the different types of solar panels?

There are many manufacturers of solar panels to choose from.  Make sure the solar manufacturer you are looking at offers at least a 10 year manufacturer warranty and a 25 year performance guarantee.

There are two types of solar panels.  Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.  Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive but are more efficient and durable and worth the price difference.

28. What are the different types of power inverters?

There are three main types of inverter systems you can choose from.  First is a string inverter system, micro-inverter system and power optimizer systems.  String inverters are highly inefficient and require a perfect situation to utilize them.  However, they are the best option for large commercial jobs. Micro inverter systems for homeowners will increase the amount of efficiency the system can produce over a string inverter system.  There is a larger increase in maintenance with this system and for commercial use, this system is a virtual maintenance nightmare. The third system is the solaredge power optimizer system.  With this system, you can get the added efficiency of the micro inverter systems with a reduced long term maintenance on your system. This is the most prefered system to use for homes. For commercial it is also a good solution but in many cases, the straight string inverter is going to make the most sense.

For more Questions you should ask your solar company check out our ongoing series:

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 1

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 2

Questions You Should Ask Your Solar Company – Part 3

Questions you should ask your Solar Company – part 3

Questions you should ask your Solar Company – Part 3

16. Which is better – solar Energy loans or solar Energy leases?

Increased options available for solar energy loans have made them the optimal choice over a solar lease. Two distinct differences apply to solar energy financing, first you will receive a 30% federal tax credit and second it will increase the value of your home. Also, solar financing options now are available as low as 2.99% – 5.99%.  In Florida, Leasing a solar panel system is illegal and you have to tie the solar energy system to the electric companies electrical grid.  Leasing options are not as favorable because of the terms and that you do not receive tax credits or the increased value of your home. However, when leasing a solar panel system the leasing company is responsible for all of the maintenance of the system while when purchasing the homeowner is. Many solar companies will also include maintenance of the system but you will have to ask them to include it in most cases.

17. What is the difference between secured solar loans and unsecured solar loans?

A secured solar loan would usually entail an equity position on the home where an unsecured solar loan would operate more as straight credit. The advantages of a secured solar loan would be getting to write off the interest paid from the loan as well as getting a low rate without additional financing fees. The advantage of the unsecured solar loans is that there is no additional equity position/lean put on the home. There are also very attractive low rates available but you will usually have to pay upfront financing charges to get them

18. How do I choose the best solar loan?

To get the best solar loan you have to compare the total cost of the loan. Most people make the mistake of looking at the price of the solar panel system over factoring in the monthly rate and the term on the loan.  So when you look at the actual total of the loan it will calculate the total amount of money you will pay for the solar energy system including the interest.  To figure out the total cost of the loan you need to multiply the monthly payment by the number of payments(term) of the solar loan. That will give you your true system cost and allow you to compare your best deal.  Most Orlando Solar Companies will try to show you a lower cost of the system but have a higher monthly payment then a more expensive system because they are charging you a higher interest rate.  To get a lower interest rate the financing company will charge an additional financing charge which will increase the sticker price of the solar panel system.  However, because of the lower interest rate, your actual total cost of the system will be less.  This is important to understand and to get more information on this and other sales practices used by solar companies you can read “The Secret Guide to Buying Solar”.

19. Can I afford to go solar?

The better question is can you afford not to… The price of solar is now very attractive with the lowest rates ever (70% less than in 2009) combined with the current 30% tax credit and low financing options it is usually at least $50 a month cheaper than paying the power company and as time goes by the amount you save only increases.  Consumer Reports came out in 2016 and said there has never been a better time to go solar and that remains to be true.

20. Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

If your roof is less than 10 years old your roof is probably a good fit for a solar panel system. The best pitch that works for solar is 30 – 45% which includes over 90% of home roof pitches. Solar Energy will work with other pitches but you might sacrifice some efficiency in the process.

21. What size should the solar energy system I get?

The average system size that is purchased in the US is a 7KW solar power system. However, this differs from what size system you need. To determine the actual size that is needed you will need to know your monthly average kWh. In Orlando, Florida if you have $190 a month power bill you would require a 10KW solar panel system to produce enough energy to offset your electric power bill.  Emerald Sun Energy is an Orlando Solar Company that services the entire central Florida region Including Daytona, Orlando, Melbourne, Tampa, Vero, Sebation, Kissimmee, Lake County, Seminal County, Brevard County, Polk County and everywhere in between.

For additional Questions you should ask your solar company please see related posts:

The 7 Most Important Question to Ask Your Solar Company – part 1

Questions you should ask your Solar Company – part 2