Do Solar Panels Work in the Rain? Tips for Homeowners

Do solar panels work in the rain? This is a question that many people ask before thinking about buying solar panels. Solar cells are meant for solar energy, so it might seem like solar panels would not be able to get any power during rainstorms. However, this is not true!

There are some steps homeowners can take to make sure they’re maximizing their solar panel usage and getting all the benefits of using solar energy, even when it is raining.

The rain itself will have no effect on your solar energy system. Solar panels are waterproof, so they’re safe from rain and moisture damage even if you live in an area that gets a lot of it!

In fact, rain helps to wash off dirt or other debris accumulation on your solar panels caused by birds for example. This means that rain might actually have a positive effect on your energy bill because rain helps to increase the amount of sun hitting your solar panels.

Tips to Maximize Output During or After Rain Storms

Solar power doesn’t require rain in order to work successfully and it’s also very safe from damage due to weather or elements like sleet.

Several solar panels with rain accumulated and pooled on the surface.
Solar panels are protected from rain but do check them after a rainstorm!

Even though solar panels will get very minimal amounts of power from raindrops or cloud rays, homeowners can still maximize their use by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure your solar panels are pointed in the right direction by using a rain sensor to detect when it is raining and will automatically point away from rain clouds, therefore maximizing power output.
  • Make sure your solar panels are clean and free of dirt after the rain has stopped. Rain can cause dirt to accumulate and this will affect the effectiveness of your solar panel.
  • Always make sure your rain sensor is working properly and isn’t dirty or faulty.

These three steps alone can make a big difference in how much power is being generated during and after times of rain!

Do Solar Panels Work in Rain, Storms, or A Hurricane?

Yes, solar panels are built to withstand rain, storms, and a hurricane. Always make sure your solar panel brackets are working properly and aren’t faulty.

Remember that lightning can be a problem during thunderstorms, so it is important to have your solar panels installed by a professional who can properly ground the system to protect against any lightning damage.

Storms can cause dirt to accumulate and this will affect the effectiveness of your solar panel. Just like after a big rainstorm, make sure your solar panels are cleaned afterward.

How to Protect Solar Panels from Rainstorms

Protecting your investment when storms come through can sometimes seem like an insurmountable task, but if done correctly it’s not too difficult.

The first thing you should do before a major storm comes through where there might be wind damage is disconnect all of your appliances from your inverter/charge controller so they aren’t damaged by any surges coming into them.

If you have a large enough battery bank and generator, this is the time to fire it up and let your batteries charge back up so they’re ready for storms again in the future.

If not depending on how heavy of storms we’re talking about here are some tips that can help with protecting your panels from rain damage:

  • Make sure there’s no debris overhanging your solar panel array or anything else above them because during high winds if something comes into contact with those panels it could cause permanent damage to at least one section of cells.
  • Even small branches falling down would be considered “wind” damage by most manufacturers which voids warranties since this type of thing usually happens during storms. Having trees trimmed around where you have your panels is a good idea.
  • If you have any type of metal roof, putting up some kind of hurricane protection (tarps etc.) would be advisable because the higher wind speeds might cause damage to your solar installation if they’re not properly protected.
  • If you’re in an area where storms are common water could pool up or even back up underneath your panels if they aren’t elevated. If this happens over time (months/years) it can corrode your array’s cables and also damage any junction boxes that may be located there as well.
Up close view of rain accumulated on the solar panel surface.
Rain can pool on your solar panels. Remember to check and clean them after a heavy rain storm.
  • Taking off all of the panels might seem like a great idea initially but when there are storms coming through regularly exposing everything for long periods isn’t recommended because corrosion is harder to prevent with no airflow whatsoever.
  • Keeping them covered will help slow down corrosion by reducing moisture inside wiring compartments, which would increase resistance and cause more frequent maintenance needed afterward.
  • If you have a metal roof decking underneath your solar panels, it’s very important to make sure that there’s no standing water on top of them regardless of whether the storms are coming in from overhead or not. This is especially true in coastal areas where salt spray may be an issue and could cause rust damage over time.
  • If you’re unsure about this for whatever reason take precautions when storms come through by covering panels completely with tarps but try to use something breathable if possible since trapped moisture can also do long term damage as well at times. In any case, keep things covered up until everything has dried off thoroughly afterward!
  • After every major storm comes through always check the inverter/charge controller first thing before reconnecting any appliances to make sure that it wasn’t damaged by storms.

All these tips will help you prevent damage to your solar panels in the future. For home solar power systems, storms can cause both short term and long term issues if they’re not properly dealt with beforehand so keep these things in mind next time there’s a bad weather forecast for where you live!

Final Thoughts

The good news is that solar panels can be used in both sunny and rainy weather conditions! Make sure you use the great tips listed above to protect your solar panel investment.

When it gets colder and hail is a possibility, read our guide on solar panel hail damage. By following our simple tips, you can ensure that your solar panel investment will work great for years to come – no matter what the weather throws your way!

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