Solar Photovoltaic Resilience

Ensuring the durability of solar hardware in severe weather is a vital yet underappreciated element of broader energy resilience. It requires an understanding of storm dynamics, engineering, risk assessment and fault analysis. We draw on lessons in PV resilience from across federal sites to improve the standard of practice in the broader solar community.

Solar PV Caribbean Field Inspection Reporthurricane damaged solar panels

The 2017 hurricane season damaged solar arrays on many federal sites, throughout the Caribbean and Southeastern United States. The LBNL team collected lessons from site visits and industry experts to develop recovery and rebuild plans for agencies.  The work revealed best practice resiliency specifications intended to be used with future PV installations.

Most notably, the 2017 hurricane season revealed key systemic, industry-wide gaps with regard to PV storm durability. The solar PV industry is just now starting to address weather durability issues ranging from codes, standards, product designs, testing, installation practices and operations.  This report provides useful technical guidance and recommendations. 

For more information on best practices for PV procurement, visit LBNL's Renewables Procurement page


Solar Photovoltaic Systems in Hurricanes and Other Severe Weather Fact Sheet

This DOE FEMP-sponsored fact sheet provides practical and useful information on important design, construction, and operational factors that can have a significant effect on the ability of a photovoltaic system to survive a severe weather event.   

common storm-related failure modes of solar PVExisting PV Array Storm Vulnerabilities & Risks Sub-Frame Deflection, Fastener & Module Damage

This presentation discusses PV array storm vulnerabilities caused by sub-frame deflection as well as fastener and module damage.  The goals are to highlight the potential need for retrofits and reinforcement of existing arrays as well as changes in codes and standards.

PV Hardware Vulnerabilities Revealed During Storm Stress

This presentation, delivered in partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), discusses major failure modes in PV systems caused by storm damage and provides potential corrective actions with associated costs that can be used to mitigate damage.

Coming Soon...

Solar PV Vulnerabilities Guide

This guide is intended to help identify and correct the most common solar PV system vulnerabilities that can improve overall performance and increase the likelihood that the systems survive major storm events like hurricanes, thunderstorms, and blizzards. This guide draws upon best practices and industry guidance from a variety of sources.