Oh Hail No: How Well Do Solar Panels Fare in Unfair Weather?

Our region experiences a range of seasonal weather conditions, which is just one of many reasons why Western NY is so beautiful. We get it all – from picture perfect summer days to cold, snowy winters and almost everything in between.

Whether they’re roof mounted or on the ground, solar energy systems are tough enough to withstand all of the above while continuing to generate clean, money-saving energy. They’re designed with the elements in mind, which means they can handle pretty much anything Mother Nature has in store.

Here’s how well solar panels hold up in gnarly, unpredictable Western New York weather.


Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can and do work well in cold, snowy weather, and that includes right here in the Rochester area. As with most electronics, solar panels work better in cooler temperatures. Also, snow acts as a powerful reflector that can actually improve photovoltaic performance. It’s also important to note that our solar panels are installed at an angle, making it difficult for snow to accumulate.


Like vehicles, solar panels are put through a series of rigorous tests to ensure durability and performance under a variety of conditions, including pounding hail. For as destructive as hail can be, most solar panels on the market are designed to withstand golf-ball size hail.


Where there’s hail, there’s usually wind. The good news is that solar panels are durable enough to withstand both. Most solar panels can withstand hurricane force winds of up to 140 miles per hour before showing signs of damage. Also, solar panels are nearly waterproof thanks to the aluminum and glass used in their construction.

But don’t just take our word for it! Check this out – after the path of destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the solar energy system on top of San Juan’s VA hospital was still standing strong, and continued to operate without issue after the storm. Oh, and by the way, Hurricane Maria had winds as strong as 180 miles per hour.


Even on the foggiest of days, solar energy systems are still able to generate clean energy by capturing ultraviolet light. A spectrum of light exists far beyond what our eyes can see, and solar panels are able to capture this light on foggy, overcast days and use it to generate electricity. Notoriously overcast cities across the globe have successfully implemented money-saving solar energy systems with great success.


While it’s true that solar panels work best in direct sunlight, they can still generate electricity using indirect sunlight. No amount of rain or clouds can prevent sunlight from reaching the surface of solar panels, where it can then generate clean energy. Rain also acts as a gentle yet effective natural cleaner for solar panels and washes away any surface dust, dirt, or debris.

So, to sum it up, solar energy sytems are tougher than nails. They can stand up to hail, rain, and even wind all while saving money and energy. It doesn’t get much better than that. Find out more about how much solar energy can help you save – and say “Hail no!” to rising energy costs and fossil fuels.

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