How the solar industry is responding to the increasing intensity of natural disasters

How the solar industry is responding to the increasing intensity of natural disasters

Weather patterns have always been considered when determining solar system lifetimes and performance. Safety is also considered when establishing installation guidelines and product standards. The recent intensity of natural disasters across the country—a direct result of climate change—brings the adequacy of safety and performance standards into question. Are solar installations prepared for the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events of the future?

For the most part, it seems like we’re faring OK. When bad weather hits, there are more solar success stories than major failures. Rooftop arrays are surviving multiple hurricane hits and panels barely feel hailstorms. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned as natural disasters get worse.

Global safety and testing organization UL is paying attention. A good baseline for product standards today may need to be adjusted in the future. UL factors the full lifespan of a project, including any potential climate changes in year 20 or 35, into how arrays should perform...

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