Storm Tips for PV System Owners

Learn what you can do to protect your solar PV system during tropical storms and hurricanes.

Tom Rendle

Last Update vor 8 Monaten

We want you and your family to be safe during storms and their aftermath. We also want your solar investment to serve you well for years to come.

With tropical storms and hurricanes come the hazardous conditions of heavy rains and destructive winds. In preparation for these storms, along with stocking up on supplies, securing loose items in your yard and heeding evacuation orders, it’s important to understand some basics of solar PV systems and get some tips on how to prepare your PV system for severe weather.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are attached to the roof securely and designed to withstand the gusty wind conditions of most storms. However, when winds exceed 105 mph structural damage to homes and businesses may occur. While it is extremely rare for solar panels to come loose from the roof, flying debris may cause damage to the panels such as cracked glass.

In addition to wind damage that solar panels may sustain, the utility lines in your area may experience power surges caused by line slap in high winds or by power lines felled by trees or other debris. Power surges on your service lines can damage any electronic equipment. Enphase Microinverters have integrated surge protection, greater than most traditional inverters, however, if the surge has sufficient energy, the protection built into the microinverter can be exceeded, and the equipment can be damaged.

Unless you have an off-grid system (not connected to utility service lines), we recommend that you turn off your PV system to isolate it from the utility to prevent a power surge from the grid.

Disconnect the PV System from the grid before the storm hits. Turn off the PV disconnect (if installed) and your PV breaker(s). This will protect help your PV System against voltage surges coming from the grid.

Remember that Enphase microinverters will not produce energy if the power grid is down. Microinverters will wait five minutes after grid is back to normal before producing power.

Once the high winds and heavy rains have passed, you may turn the PV system back on.

If there has been visible wind damage to your property or to your area, call your installer to check the integrity of the system before reconnecting your PV System to the grid. If you find damage did occur to the PV panels, inverters or wires, DO NOT touch the paneling or wiring since there is risk of electric shock (or electrocution).

If there has not been visible wind damage in your area, you may reconnect your system once the storm has passed and the grid power has been restored. Please reconnect your system in the late afternoon, during the evening or in the early morning hours. This will help minimize disruption to the utility grid during the critical period when restoration activities are ongoing. To complete the process, you may close the PV disconnect switch and PV circuit breaker(s). If any circuit breakers trip after turning the system ON, turn the system OFF again immediately and contact your PV System installer.

Enphase makes solar simple, safe and smart. By taking these few steps, you can give yourself one less thing to worry about. Be safe!

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