With zero moving parts, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are one of the most durable energy generation technologies known to man. With minimal upkeep, your installation can continue operating at peak performance for decades. In fact, many solar installations from the 1970s are still generating clean, free energy for their owners.

So sure, solar PV power plants are highly reliable and durable.

But how durable are they when exposed to high wind speeds that can happen during storms?

Let’s take one instance:

A thunderstorm that occurred in June this year at Punjab, saw the uprooting of several solar panels and mounting structures, leading to heavy losses. The panels installed at a higher elevation apparently were more affected by the heavy winds than the ones installed at a lower elevation. The installers were not really sure whether they could re-use the uprooted panels.

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Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com

 So where does this put installations in high wind zones?

Although many of today’s leading panels are designed for extreme weather conditions, this doesn’t mean they can withstand everything Mother Nature throws at them. Proper mounting and racking are essential. This is especially true in regions which can receive high-velocity winds and are easily subject to thunderstorms.  This is why it is so important for your solar panel installation to have been done by an experienced technician.  Solar panel installation needs high- end design, especially when it comes to the robustness of its structures.

Ensure that the racking structures are able to withstand the local wind conditions and are made of high-quality steel or aluminium. They should have a wind-speed tolerance of a minimum of about 150 kmph, especially when located in high wind zones. Also, go through the panel specifications to ensure that they would not be subject to micro-cracks and can tolerate wind loads up to a minimum of 2400 Pascals.

You might want to check out these questions on Solar Power Plant Evaluation – Location Specifics

  • Evaluation of  performance at high temperature – Here
  • Evaluation of performance when exposed to high amounts of dust – Here
  • Is the solar power plant located in areas prone to floods and water logging? – Here