Are Solar Panels Suitable for New Zealand Weather?

New Zealand is well known for the enormous variations of weather it receives. It's understandable that homeowners are concerned then about the likelihood of damage by the weather of their solar panels. Which leads to the question, can solar panels 'weather the storm?'

How Hardy Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels are designed to be mounted outside upon a roof or other suitable surfaces. This results in them being exposed to the elements 24/7. While not 100% immune to damage, solar panels are incredibly sturdy and able to withstand a wide range of weather conditions (with differences between individual modules), including:

  • Sun - panels are designed to absorb energy from the sun at a wide range of temperatures.
  • Wind - when installed the panels are secured firmly and meet local council installation requirements.
  • Rain - rain helps to wash about any debris off the panels to maximise energy absorption capabilities.
  • Hail - most panels are designed and manufactured to be able to withstand a minor hail storm.
  • Snow - cloudy and snowy conditions will still result in the collection of energy from the sun, just not as much as on a clear day. Snow will usually slide off panels due to the installation angle. 

Should damage occur by weather events and depending upon policy wordings, your house insurer may cover the costs associated with repairs and/or replacement.

Does NZ Get Enough Sun to Make Solar Panels Viable?

In Taranaki we can have wind, rain, sun and hail in the same day. While our local weather may not reach the warmest or coldest temperatures in the country, we are a viable region for the installation of solar panels. That's because a PV solar system is so efficient that it will transform even the smallest quantity of sunlight to electricity, even on a cloudy or rainy day. Heat or cold isn't a factor in converting sunlight to electricity, nor is direct sunlight, although this is the best option. Our article Roof Orientation and Suitability for Solar Power gives a good explanation of the points to consider when installing a solar power system.

As battery costs become lower, homeowners and businesses are beginning to install storage systems for the energy their panels produce. This lets them store and then use their captured solar energy at nighttime or times of high use, rather than selling it to the grid which pays less than the cost to use grid electricity.

We are happy to provide a free assessment of your property's suitability for solar power or simply have a chat and answer any questions you may have. Get in touch with us today and let's talk solar.

Posted: Wednesday 7 July 2021

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New Plymouth, New Zealand