Storm Tips for PV Owners

Posted on Thursday, August 07, 2014

Unless you have an off-grid system running independently of the grid, it is advisable to shut off your PV system until after the high winds and rains pass.  Doing so is as easy as switching the large disconnect switch (usually installed outside, near your electricity meter) to the OFF position.

If you are using a generator, make sure your PV system is in the "OFF"  position.  Running a generator with a PV system at the same time could harm either the PV system and/or the generator. 

Installed solar PV systems are rated to withstand at least 105 mph winds.  Gusts during a hurricane may exceed 105 mph, particularly on the Big Island.

If you have a solar PV system that has been damaged in a flood, storm or cyclone, you need to have an electrical contractor inspect the system and check it is safe.  Even if the network supply is turned off, some types of PV systems will continue producing voltages during the day whereby the PV cells and associated wiring will be still live.  An electrical contractor will make any repairs and check the system is electrically safe before it is re-commissioned. This check needs to be done before other clean-up work starts around the PV cells and associated electrical wiring.

During a clean up

  • Do not attempt to turn on or off the system after a storm/flood/cyclone.
  • While this sun is out, your solar PV system is generating electricity. Always treat the system and associated wires as live.
  • Stay away from the solar panels and wiring.
  • Have an electrical contractor check the system.

If your system has been checked and is safe follow the start up procedure.  Licensed contractors are strictly regulated by the State and City & County.




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