The impact of extreme weather events on PV performance was studied by comparing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration database on severe weather with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) 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 kilometer/hour, 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
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the RE+ 2023 Exhibit, 11-14 September 2023, Las Vegas, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-87078


  • extreme weather
  • hail
  • PV
  • solar


Dive into the research topics of 'Extreme Weather Events and PV Systems Impact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this