How do I prepare my PV solar system for a storm or hurricane?

There is actually nothing special needed to prepare your PV system. Government building codes require PV systems to be installed securely enough to handle most severe weather events. Depending on your location on the island and the height of the building, PV systems are generally rated to withstand at least 105 mph winds (however, the solar system is only as strong as the underlying structure, and some older houses in Hawaii were built at a time when the building code was less strict).

Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • If there is a power surge PV solar systems will turn off automatically in order to protect themselves.

  • If there is a blackout, and your PV system does not have battery backup, your system will automatically turn itself off and will restart after power is restored to your area.

  • If there is a blackout, and your PV system has a Tesla Powerwall or other battery, it should continue to function independently unless it has been damaged by the severe weather. If the system and battery do not appear damaged but are not functioning, please call us for assistance.

  • If you have a Tesla Powerwall 2, when a storm or severe weather is on the horizon, increasing the likelihood of a utility power outage, Powerwall triggers Storm Watch. This mode automatically charges Powerwall to maximum capacity so it can provide backup power. 

  • While it is likely not necessary to take this action, you do have the option of disconnecting your solar system from the grid and adding another layer of protection against power surges. To do so, simply move the large handle (disconnect) switch located next to your HECO meter from ON to OFF. The solar system will not offset your electricity use while this disconnect switch is in the OFF position. When the storm is over and electricity from HECO is restored, move the switch to the ON position, and the solar system will restart shortly.

What should you do after the storm?

  • Check to see if there is debris on the solar panels and remove it. Seek assistance if you have a steep or high roof. 

  • Do a quick check to see if your system is working.  All solar systems have ways for you to tell if they’re working or not – either from an online monitoring program or by inspecting the inverter on the side of your house.

  • If you see visible damage to your system, DO NOT TOUCH the panels as they may still be conducting electricity. Call your installer immediately and keep family and pets away from the damaged system. 

  • You can report power outages online by using this link or contacting Hawaiian Electric by phone at 1-855-304-1212.

Reaching RevoluSun

Feel free to call RevoluSun's Customer Care Department at (808) 748-8888 with any questions or concerns.

If weather conditions force us to close, you can still reach us by calling our main line (808) 748-8888 and selecting the option for our Severe Weather Hotline.