Extreme Weather and PV Performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The impact of extreme weather events on photovoltaic (PV) performance was studied by comparing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration database on severe weather with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PV Fleet database on continuous PV performance. We identified 170 systems that were immediately impacted by weather events. These severe weather events lead to a median loss of only 1% of annual production. However, flooding and high wind events were found to have an extremely long tail extending to 60% loss, showing that these discrete events can pose a substantial risk to PV systems. Besides the short-term impact of lost production due to outages, we also found a statistically significant increased performance loss rate (PLR) for high wind events above 90 km/h, by comparing PLR before and after these events. Similarly, hail events caused higher PLR for hail sizes of and above 25 mm indicating that more stringent hail testing for PV modules is required. In addition, very high snow loads may also cause increased PLRs, but more data are required to better quantify the impact. These findings illustrate the substantial risk extreme weather events pose short- and long-term to fielded PV installations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-86414


  • Bars
  • Databases
  • Degradation
  • durability
  • extreme weather
  • performance
  • photovoltaics (PVs)
  • Production
  • reliability
  • Snow
  • Storms
  • Time series analysis
  • Wind


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