Solar panels and strong winds.
Posted 11 March 2012 - 20:03
However, one thing does strike me. These are adjoined flat panels anchored to roofs, with a gap in between the panels and the roof tiles or slates, such that the wind can get underneath them
Can someone assure me that these panels can withstand wind speeds of 80 to 100 miles an hour, that they won't become airbourne missiles during a storm, and that they don't drag half the roof with them if they do detatch. I am sure the ground work has been done, such that the structures can withstand a one in one hundred year gust, or whatever neccesary parameters that manufacturers and installers use, but I cannot help thinking that during the next strong storm, some of these panels and related debris may become a significant threat to life and property.
I would also wonder what would happen to these panels, if there is another tornado similar in size, longevity and strength to the one that affected Birmingham back in 2005, or Selsey back in 1998, occurring within a built up area.
#2 Guest_Chris Lloyd_*
Posted 11 March 2012 - 21:44
As far as I am aware they are just anchored to the tiles. Any strong gust of wind underneath would rip them off I would imagine.
It will happen sooner or later. I think house insurance may also be invalidated if damage was caused by one being removed.
A definite case of solar disarray rather than solar array if heaven forbid it happens.
I can't imagine many solar companies have done risk assessments on this.
#3 Guest_Chris Lloyd_*
Posted 11 March 2012 - 21:48
It's part of the reason why I mounted my homemade one's flat on my flat dorma window roof - they just sit on it. I started off with them angled south but was worried abou the wind getting underneath ( though strong northerlies aren't that common I suppose).
This post has been edited by Chris Lloyd: 11 March 2012 - 21:51
Posted 11 March 2012 - 22:47
Solar PV panels are bolted to a frame. The frame is bolted to the main roof timbers via a steel support that runs under the tiles and bolts onto the timbers that are holding the roof up. So it's more than likely if a panel came off something *really* bad is happening to the roof anyway - like a tornado. In which case there'll be plenty of tiles flying all over as well.
The worry is that some panels haven't been installed correctly - such as sticking above the roof line / too close to the gutter or roof edge; or bolted onto thin rooft timber that hasn't been strengthened.
In theory a PV installer should run wind loading calcs to ensure the roof can take the added weight. I bet most don't though.
Added: Generally house insurers consider solar PV as part of the house fabric and covered by building insurance (at least mine did)
This post has been edited by grahamread: 11 March 2012 - 22:49
Posted 11 March 2012 - 23:02
So, only if the roof becomes a missile do the panels likewise.
This post has been edited by Peter H: 11 March 2012 - 23:04