Solar panels are becoming a popular choice due to their clean energy production and how they can help homeowners save money on their electricity bills. However, in regions prone to severe weather like tornadoes — like here in Missouri and Kansas — concerns about the durability and safety of solar panels often arise. How do solar panels fare in the face of these powerful storms, and what measures can be taken to mitigate risks?

Here’s what you need to know about solar panels and tornadoes.

Understanding the Threat

Tornadoes are nature’s formidable force, capable of unleashing destruction in a matter of minutes. With winds that can exceed 200 miles per hour, and the ability to uproot trees, demolish buildings, and transform landscapes, tornadoes pose a significant threat to infrastructure and human lives. 

In areas commonly affected by tornadoes, residents and businesses must consider the resilience of their energy systems, including solar panels.

The Strength of Solar Panels

Contrary to common misconceptions, solar panels are remarkably durable structures designed to withstand various environmental stressors. Most solar panels undergo rigorous testing to ensure their ability to withstand hail, high winds, and extreme temperatures

In fact, many solar panels are rated to withstand wind speeds of up to 140 miles per hour or higher, meeting or exceeding the standards set by building codes in tornado-prone areas.

Tornado-Resistant Design

While solar panels themselves are inherently strong, the key to ensuring their resilience in tornado-prone regions lies in their installation and mounting systems. 

Proper installation by certified professionals, adherence to building codes, and the use of quality mounting hardware are crucial factors in enhancing the tornado resistance of solar panel arrays.

Other recommended practices to ensure your solar panels stand the best chance against tornadoes include:

  • Secure Mounting: Solar panels should be securely anchored to rooftops or ground-mounted structures using appropriate mounting hardware and techniques.
  • Reinforced Support Structures: In areas with a high tornado risk, consider reinforcing support structures and using additional bracing or ballasting to prevent displacement.
  • Impact-Resistant Glass: Opt for solar panels with tempered or laminated glass, which offer increased resistance to impact from flying debris.
  • Regular Maintenance: Conduct regular inspections and maintenance to identify and address any signs of wear, damage, or loose components promptly.

Emergency Preparedness Tips

Despite the resilience of solar panels, it’s essential to have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan in place to mitigate risks and ensure the safety of occupants during tornado events. This plan should include several key components.

 Firstly, establishing clear evacuation routes and emergency protocols for occupants in the event of a tornado warning is crucial. Additionally, maintaining communication channels with local authorities, emergency responders, and solar system installers is vital to receive timely updates and assistance. Considering backup power systems, such as battery storage, is also recommended to provide electricity during grid outages caused by tornadoes. 

Lastly, it’s important to review your insurance policy to ensure adequate coverage for your solar energy system and property in the event of tornado-related damage, providing financial protection and peace of mind.

Solar Panels and Tornadoes: Key Points

While tornadoes pose a formidable challenge to infrastructure and safety, solar panels have demonstrated their resilience in withstanding these powerful storms. By adhering to best practices in installation, maintenance, and emergency preparedness, solar panel owners can harness the power of the sun while maintaining peace of mind in tornado-prone regions.

As we continue to innovate and adapt to the challenges of climate change, solar energy offers a path toward a more sustainable and resilient future, even amidst the storm.

Ready to Talk About Going Solar?

If you are looking for the best solar company in Kansas City, look no further than KC Solar. They are your local Kansas City solar panel installation experts. Once you schedule a no-pressure site visit, our experts will help you understand what solar system specifications would be best for your home or business.

KC Solar is a local company made up of KC natives with KC pride — in our city, and in our work. Which means we’ll always give you the best of ourselves.

Get in touch with us today.