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Sydney Hail Storm: Just how hailproof are those solar panels?

Here’s a problem coal fired plants don’t need to worry about.

Sydney’s ‘catastrophic’ hailstorm happened on Thursday, the damage bill said  to top $125 million. How much of that damage is to rooftop Solar PV? The last massive hail storm in Sydney was in 1999 — but there were hardly any solar panels then.

There are wild scenes and images everywhere.

Worst Sydney hailstorm in 20 years declared catastrophic

Jessica Cortis and Sascha O’Sullivan, The Australian

 At least 50,000 homes remain without power in northern Sydney and more than 1000 calls for help are waiting to be responded to by State Emergency Services after Sydney and the NSW central coast were yesterday rocked by the worst hailstorms in almost 20 years.

Before anyone yells “Climate Change”, Reader, Pat, found stories about hail the size of Eggs in Sydney in November 1929. Hail the size of Tennis Balls fell on Reids Creek near Brisbane in 1934 and hail the size of Tea Cups fell on Brookville in 1902. Paddington had “ice inches deep” on Nov 1, 1931. There are scores more Hail-the-size-of… Maybe building 2 million solar panels on a continent with hail the size of tea cups was not such a good idea?

It’ also quite difficult to tell just how bad the solar panel-related storm damage has been, but judging by the size of these hail stones, what solar panel wouldn’t break? If anyone can take photos for us that would be great.

From Twitter #SydneyStorm  See the hail smashing into the water.  Great Photography on Twitter.

 

 

 

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209 comments to Sydney Hail Storm: Just how hailproof are those solar panels?

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Any major damage to cells in a panel will severely reduce the efficiency of that system or render it useless, there are panel protectors you can place over the panels (like a big screen saver on your phone) but they are an extra expense and will reduce the amount of incoming light to the panel but increase the amount of heat absorbed, great if its solar thermal not so great if its Photovoltaic.

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    • #

      But look on the bright side, all these solar panels and windmills have now achieved their aim, curtailed severe heat and brought about severe cold. Better not install any more.

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      • #
        Yonniestone

        “Bright side” oh how very bemusing…….. :)

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          “Bright side” oh how very bemusing… …. :)

          Oh come on now Yonni, why not look on the bright side? At least on the bright side it’s easier to see what’s coming at you because there’s more light. ;-)

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      • #
        Greg in NZ

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-21/what-makes-thunderstorms-green/10646304

        Even your thunderstorms are turning green verdigris / turquoise (cool cloud photos from Sydney). Mt Hutt Skifield in the South Island woke to a decent covering of greenhouse verdigrishouse gas fallout – frozen water vapour in the form of 10-20 cm snow – which melted by midday because, hey, it’s the first day of summer, longest day, summer solstice… it’s supposed to be warm (it used to be warm). And talking of ‘It’s never happened before EVAH!!!’, Christmas Day is looking like a washout for the North Island (sub-troppo low sending in wet & windy nor-easters) while the South is in for calm, dry sunshine.

        If I may paraphrase Ricky Nelson’s Garden Party song: You see, ya, can’t please everyone, so ya, got to please yourself.

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          If I can get a few runs in by lunchtime, I’m good….

          More of this “warming” please…ski park operators will do well out of an LIA….

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        • #
          sophocles

          And Auckland has excessive rain, and electrical storms from those about three to four days later.
          Greg’s right: this last one in NSW has now left the Oz mainland and is forecast/projected/predicted to arrive here on or about Christmas Eve. All we can dream about is a dry Christmas because it doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen.
          (see Met Service satellite photo) of the Tasman Sea. The lower blob is from NSW, the upper streamer is a tropical airstream from Queensland. It’s drizzled all over us yesterday and the day before, gave us a mild electrical storm and is still drizzling on us.

          The NSW blob is shown on the pressure map as a small low, now two days away—arriving Christmas Eve. It’s thankfully nowhere nearly as intense as it was. (It’s the Low Pressure Area in the map.)

          Wonderful. Thank you …

          Our weather pattern is back to wash, rinse, bake/blow dry, and repeat.

          The Union of Nutters (UN) claim Climate Change (I had to use that Jo!) to be climate change caused by humans. This is natural Climate Variation, but Climate Variation with a big difference: the planetary magnetic field is weakening as the planetary magnetic poles set off to stage a magnetic reversal on us. It’s weakened by 5% over just the last decade. Wow!
          It’s our primary magnetic shield behind which our normal weather functions. What is it going to be like as it weakens even further?

          Robert Felix has a number of articles devoted to all the neat things planetary magnetic field reversals can hit us with like extreme volcanism as well as natural extreme weather.

          We are indeed living in Interesting Times. The IPCC is notable by it’s total silence about all which is actually occurring. It’s persisting with its fantasy. It hasn’t Got a Clue. We’re actually in a real crisis: a crisis of misinformation leading to gross mismanagement. We’ve got to get out of the FCCC—it’s dangerous to all mankind.

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      • #
        Allen Ford

        At least this storm was only “cätastrophic”. Wait till we get the proverbial ünprecedented one!

        10

  • #

    Some thirty years ago we had hail the size of grapefruits on the NSW midcoast. I wasn’t here, but I’ve seen the neighbour’s photos.

    If I can’t get access to the grid, I go solar. But I know how much heavy manufacturing and lugging is involved, even long after the system has been installed. And I know that a smashed solar panel which has to be lugged out was made with Australian coal lugged to Asia before it got lugged back here as product. For all I know the recycling will involve another Asian jaunt or two.

    Rather like new cars for Europe and the US every decade (whereby green is the new green but the old green isn’t), mainstream solar is about opening up bright shining uplands of debt and subsidy. In fact, that’s all it’s about. How obvious does it need to be? New money has to be confected and parked in sub-prime debt. Indispensables likely to get dinged-up over a ten year period are handy debt-sponges when real estate sleeps with the fishes. Since you need transport and power as much as you need a roof, are you going to argue? Keep watching your reno shows, but don’t forget to tune in to My EV Rules.

    Big Green is a purely destructive corporate racket where conservation runs second last and the punters run dead last.

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    • #
      Dennis

      If the mandatory EV legislation ever gets passed I wonder about the consequences, like ICEV being sent to the scrap yards, service stations being decommissioned, etc.

      We must try to stop using the word “green”, its usage has become a political statement for extremist politics of the far left.

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    • #
      yarpos

      I like the idea of My EV Rules.

      I hereby submit this video for your consideration

      I lady trying to put petrol in a Tesla. I make no further comment

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHPg2Mi2roI

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      • #
        Annie

        That must be one for El Gordo methinks!

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          • #
            OriginalSteve

            I think women are rightly more concerned for society generally, which likely influences decision making.

            We appeated to also see this in the SSM vote as well, the vote appeared to be skewed by women.

            The question is – is decision making dominated by an emotive or logic bias? And what is the split?

            Biblically speaking, the elders councils for heavy duty decision making were male dominated. Take from that what you will….

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            • #
              el gordo

              ‘… is decision making dominated by an emotive or logic bias?’

              Don Harwin’s decision making is dominated by emotion, a need to save the world for his grandchildren. Tony Abbott, on the other hand, realises the man is out of touch and should consider his future, its only logical.

              ‘Former prime minister Tony Abbott says the NSW Energy Minister has had a “brain snap” after he took aim at the Morrison government yesterday. The state’s Energy Minister Don Harwin accused his federal counterparts as being “out of touch” on climate and energy policy.’ 2GB.com

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Ab Fab does EVs?

        “But Sweetie…….”

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      • #
        Dennis

        Ok, my experience with a quite young and obviously independent young woman at a service station.

        Having refuelled and about to drive to Canberra (bicycle riding around Lake Burley Griffen for weekend relaxation and exercise) I stopped alongside the air supply where the young woman was squatting alongside the front tyre of her car. She had the air hose in hand and was pointing the nozzle at a capped tyre valve. Hiss, hiss, hiss. After observing I decided to very politely and diplomatically give her advice or assistance.

        It was almost like rousing a Lioness, I won’t repeat her words but they told me to get *******, began with an S.

        She then dropped the hose, climbed into her car and drove away.

        We mere males are such a nuisance, and so unkind.

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        • #
          wert

          She was blowing some dust away, not filling the tire? Never offer help if you are a man. There’s no point in that.

          Young women can pretty darn well ask if they happen to need. And I’m not lifting a one heavy thing for a young lady. For a good reason — even if I happen to be a male, it doesn’t mean I have any more willingness to use muscles I don’t even have.

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        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          I haven’t met her yet. With luck I mightn’t.

          10

    • #
      glen Michel

      I was caught in a huge storm East of Murwillumbah in 1985.There were many glasshouses in the district and the aftermath was ruin – all the vegetation had been stripped by hailup to the size of my fist. One can see these Cumulo-nimbus forming over the range then taking on a terrifying look as the moist sea breeze feeds into it.

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    • #
      Ozwitch

      How much damage solar panels receive depends on the size of the hailstones, obviously, but also the quality of the panels. Some panels are cheaper and more vulnerable to hail damage, some are far more reisilient. Panels have hail damage ratings which you can factor into your budget depending on how susceptible your area is to the little buggers. My panels have one of the highest hail damage ratings we can get because we live in a storm zone. Not to say that those cricket ball size stones wouldn’t have damaged our panels, but our risk is lower than others.
      I put solar panels up not because I am a green, far from it, but the cost of electricity was so exorbitant that we were basically forced into rooftop solar to avoid horrendous power bills which would have to pay as pensioners.

      60

  • #
    Dennis

    I remember the 1999 hail storm, while driving home from the office I noted the green sky behind me as I drove to the lower north shore of Sydney where I lived overlooking Sydney Harbour with extensive views. Home safely before the storm I observed it move from the south west to the east and then north east. Where I was only rain fell.

    Relatives who lived in the eastern suburbs suffered badly damaged vehicles, broken windows, cracked roof slate and collected hail stones up to the diameter of an orange. Hundreds of homes were badly damaged as the hail storm moved past. The next afternoon I drove to visit family and the area was a mess, so many homes with tarpaulins covering the roof and damaged cars parked at kerbs. Damaged trees and gardens.

    The solar panel added factor must drive insurance policy prices up after the latest hail storm.

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    • #
      GD

      The solar panel added factor must drive insurance policy prices up after the latest hail storm

      But surely, only for those homeowners who have solar panels installed.

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      • #
        RickWill

        My experience with large hail stones is that they crack tiles. Baked tiles have higher fracture toughness than masonry so masonry are more susceptible. Significant damage comes from waterlogged ceilings that collapse. Once the ceiling collapses the interior fittings and furnishings suffer severe damage to the point of being worthless.

        Solar panels will protect the tiles they cover thereby reducing the amount of water into the ceiling cavity. Claims history would need to be examined closely to determine if solar panels actually increase claims or reduce them.

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        • #
          Yonniestone

          In a past life I was a roof tiler, we had a big hail storm across Western Victoria that hit us (Ballarat) in 1989, the sky went a strange sepia colour and there was little warning apart from the increasing roar, the hail ranged from golf to cricket ball sizes and in the aftermath cars, business, homes were all damaged.

          With roof tiles age can affect different types depending on manufacturing and materials used, we saw and repaired all types and where one old concrete tiled roof only had cracks the old terracotta one next door looked like someone fired a machine gun into it, also many old iron roofs were destroyed as the rust was unseen underneath.

          From experience Many old concrete tiles from the 1970′s to 80′s were very hard to cut by hand to the point of damaging the cutter and terracotta got softer with age, if you ever see a very old terracotta roof tile (Marseilles) with a hornet stamp on the nose don’t walk on them!, they’re as brittle as egg shells due to them being used as ballast in ships coming here and were damaged from the salt water.

          The opposite is for slate roof tiles where a load was found on an old shipwreck off Queenscliff Victoria and after salvaging were in such good condition they were used for restoring the historic post office, this isn’t surprising as a Welsh slate deposit was found on the Canadian shore and mined from the water.

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      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        Accidental red thumb . . Cause I agree that insurance will b e come an issue. It may cause some people to think twice about solar.

        121

        • #

          Insurance companies, for sure.

          Alas, the market is not ideally competitive and those companies that “spread the risk” of PV solar damage to those without PV solar aren’t unduly disadvantaged. Yet.

          Next time your insurance is up for renewal, ask them for a discount for not having PV installed.

          As PV systems age, the panels’ characteristics change and damaged panels cannot be replaced individually as the MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) cannot “find” that ideal tracking point to extract maximum power as the voltage/current ratio differs between old and new. It’s such a significant effect that repairs to damaged PV panels entail simply bypassing the damaged ones; unless another MPPT can be added into the system for a string of fresh panels to make up for the loss of power generation (on paper).

          If the PV system is not repaired, then the contractual obligations of the receiver of RECS may not be fulfilled. But nobody checks those things anyway. The virtue signals from roof-mounted PV solar are undiminished by hailstone demolition.

          30

      • #
        wal1957

        The solar panel added factor must drive insurance policy prices up after the latest hail storm

        But surely, only for those homeowners who have solar panels installed.

        I hope so, after all I have already subsidised the build and the returns. Why should I pay any more?
        ….sound of crickets!

        70

    • #
      Edwina

      That storm cost $1.5 billion for insurers. The chief forecaster said it would miss Sydney and he went home. The storm veered back. Radio announcers went beserk saying the BOM could not be looking out their windows. The forecaster had to hurry back. Embarrassing. Brisbane had a similar hail storm 2 years ago. Some people were injured from hailstones hitting their heads.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      For those interested in statistics
      https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/joc.1199

      Dates from 2003 so claims that storms were getting less in recent times whereas we all know now from the abc that the sky is falling regularly.

      There were hail storms in Sydney in 1986,1990, 1991, and 1999.
      The 1986 storm I remember from driving home in very heavy rain but no hail where I was, but about that year a number of company cars were severely damaged by hail in the eastern suburbs, and car yards had an excess of repaired cars going cheaply.
      Curiously there was another severe rain storm a year later almost to the day. Fun times playing dodgem cars on Silverwater road.

      50

  • #
    Rod Stuart

    The term “unintended consequences” comes to mind.
    It’s a phrase that is far more meaningful that “climate change”.

    222

    • #
      yarpos

      I must be missing something re unintended. They are outdoor installations subjected to the weather, just like roofs,skylights and cars. Lotso green thumbs so I must be off on a semantic tangent somehwere :-)

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      • #
        Annie

        You’d think so but you still get smashed windsceens with hail like that. The storm that did so much damage to our car in France wrecked huge numbers of windscreens (though ours survived, amazingly).
        In our very early days (mid-eighties) in Melbourne we had a neighbour who had a thoroughly pock-marked car from large-sized hail; he had bought it cheaply in Sydney as the body was so damaged.
        We were in Chatswood shopping centre in Sydney once just before Christmas (mid-eighties again) and there was the most tremendous racket on the roof during a storm…hail then too.
        Then there was a heavy hailstorm (late nineties) cutting a swathe through the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne the year our apricot tree had a great crop coming, just as they were almost ripe, every single one wrecked and the leaves shredded.

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        • #
          Annie

          Correction to the last bit….early nineties for that one in MEL.

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        • #
          RickWill

          Surely you can enjoy a few pock marked apricots. Another reason chicken wire enclosures are good for trees.

          I am somewhat surprised that cherry prices are not under $10/kg. Our little tree has produced about 5kg. My son’s partner said they are the best tasting cherries she has ever had; like any tree ripened fruit. My 18 month old grandson comes down to the trees to pick cherries. I then remove seed in a few and feed them to him. He would no doubt eat them until he was ill. At least he will know cherries grow on trees. We have had so much recent rain that some of the cherries are starting to split. That and hail may have impacted the overall yield in Victoria.

          Forecast maximum in Melbourne today is 19C. Full covering for cycle ride to the shop this morning.

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          • #
            robert rosicka

            Cherries here down to $3 a kilo pick your own and around $5 – $10 picked .

            50

            • #
              Annie

              Gosh…that’s cheap. Cathedral Cherries are $14 per kg around here but I did get some good ones in Coldstream on Monday, $7 per kg.

              30

          • #
            Annie

            It was very humid weather and they rotted before being ripe enough…they were near to ripening before the storm but not enough to enjoy.

            30

            • #
              Annie

              Tuesday, not Monday.
              The Cathedral Cherries are very popular here; they set up a stall in Taggerty to catch all the passing WE and holiday traffic.

              30

              • #
                Sambar

                Got to admit Annie I’m a regular at this stall for a number of reasons. Primarily I know where they are grown, they are fresh and local ( reduce my carbon footprint, buy local. Ha Ha ) I like to spend my money in the shire, and above all they are pretty good.

                60

              • #
                Annie

                It’s good to have a chinwag there too, if the people on the stall aren’t too hectically busy…nice people on it.
                I’ll pop into it later as a friend wants some and I said I’d try to deliver them tonight at our midnight service (in Marysville).

                10

          • #
            Annie

            Rick Will. My little cherry tree had a nice crop coming and I had it well-covered with bird-netting. Then the wind came up and blew some of it open when I wasn’t looking; precisely one battered fruit remaining. We have all sorts of thieving birds here…you name it, we have it. Trying to outwit them and our chooks is a full time job.
            I wouldn’t mind if they just came and had the fruit high up but they wreck the lot, given a chance and leave the ripped-apart remnants liberally scattered on the ground. All I ask is for some of the lower down fruit to be left for us and friends who’d like some too, not to mention treats for the sheep.
            I would love to have a full fruit and veggy cage but cost prohibits atm…we live on pensions.

            40

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Where solar is concerned,

      The road to hell is paved with good indentions.
      The panel that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.
      An ounce of silicon is worth a pound of coal.
      A cold front a day keeps the power at bay.
      Two cells don’t make a light.
      No array is an island.
      Birds of a feather fry together. (solar farms)
      A panel is worth a thousand bucks.

      I could go on and on and….

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    • #
      RickWill

      Panels are designed to withstand 25mm diameter hail stones travelling at terminal velocity. I believe this illustrates the standard test:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2RGZzAw3_c
      The last comment on being worse than nature is obviously incorrect. Largest hailstone ever measured had an approximate diameter of 190mm. It was a conglomeration of smaller hailstones that had probably undergone updraft during some part of its descent. It would be very high velocity updraft to suspend a 190mm diameter lump of ice.

      Another factor that influences impact resistance in the inclination angle at point of impact. Panels are required to be installed with some inclination so they are nominally self-cleaning.

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      • #
        Annie

        I’d noticed that the hailstones this time looked like conglomerations of small ones.

        90

      • #

        Rick,

        It would be very high velocity updraft to suspend a 190mm diameter lump of ice.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the terminal velocity of a sphere the same no matter the size – cannon balls and Leaning Tower of Pisa and all that? Or has that hypothesis been falsified?

        30

        • #
          Peter C

          Terminal velocity is due to air resistance. If there was no atmosphere, all objects would fall at the same rate (accelerating all the way). This was proposed by Isaac Newton (F=Ma) and proved by the American astronauts on the Moon.

          Consequently the density of the object is most important for determining the terminal velocity. A 0.1cm sphere of styrofoam (bean bag filling) falls more slowly than a steel ball bearing of the same size.

          You can try this experiment at home.

          30

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    Will an assessment of the damage done to rooftop solar installations be made public.

    Not likely.

    What can be done right now is to estimate the hail damage to the local Coal Fired power plant.

    Approximately Zero.

    Hail damage is a foreseeable engineering issue that would be assessed before the project was implemented. Obviously ignored for environmental reasons.

    Can’t say we didn’t see this coming, especially after the South American wipe out.

    KK

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  • #

    Wow, whodda thunk it? Glass house meet stones.

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  • #
    diogenese2

    Michael Achilles, great photograph. I have one like it taken from the Sky Swing overlooking Rotorau in 2011. I watched a gigantic deluge which left about 6 inches of ice across the city.
    I didn’t find out till the following day as it had all gone before I came down from the hill . However two days latter it was still on the ground around Lake Rotoiti. They will shout and rent their hair but really there is nothing new in heaven and earth.

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    • #
      GD

      That photo should win an award. Well done, Michael Achilles.

      Unfortunately, it will also further convince the younger generation of warmists that it’s all mankind’s fault and we are indeed destroying the planet.

      130

    • #
      Dennis

      I understood that the atmosphere greenhouse was up there?

      sarc.

      50

  • #
    Another Ian

    Meanwhile – the bill behind that bill

    “Germany’s green transition has hit a brick wall”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/21/germanys-green-transition-has-hit-a-brick-wall/

    130

  • #
    GD

    OT:

    On a brighter note, today is the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. I never appreciated this event until I moved to Geelong, Victoria. Over the past six years, it has been a joy to observe the delayed sunset and the long twilight. Many a time we’ve sat outside on the patio (as that song says) and enjoyed the extra hours of sunlight (aided of course by daylight saving) with BBQs, beer and banter.

    This year, while there have been a couple of summer days above 30C, the whole week leading up to the longest day of the year has been overcast and cold.

    I will prepare the BBQ for the ritual later today, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      Yes just how cold wet and miserable has the lead up to Christmas been?, out in public people have been commenting/complaining on the dismal summer here with the odd “It must be Global Warming” thrown in much to my delight.

      Put it this way I can’t remember ever having to put the winter lining back in my wet weather gear on the job during December, its not freezing but its not exactly the hottest summer evahhhh!

      152

      • #
        GD

        Yes just how cold wet and miserable has the lead up to Christmas been?

        I ride a bike all year round. It’s my attempt at keeping somewhat fit. Usually, at this time of year, I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt when I ride. So far this year I’ve only had a couple of days like that. The rest is full trakky-daks and windcheater. Not as bad as in winter but much more like August than December.

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        • #
          Yonniestone

          Fair enough, cycling really gets the blood pumping using major muscle groups but I’m sitting on a motorbike copping wind chill going at 10 to 60kph.

          I’ve noticed the increase in cloud cover this summer and the recent rain coming from the East is unusual for Victoria, not unheard of but a bit rare.

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          • #
            Bill In Oz

            I used to live in Far East Gippsland.I was told early on ( about 1987) that from 100 years of BOM records, the statistical probability of a drought or a flood in any month of the year was the same…And when an East coast low cycled down NSW, we were in for a bucketing..As the saying went ” Rain in the East, Three Days at Least”.

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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          I remember a bloke who frequently startled people around Monash University by riding his bicycle wearing shorts and T shirt in JULY. But he had just come from Canada (Prince Edward Island).

          20

  • #
    John

    Kinky Keith what did you mean the ” South American” wipeout?

    Do you have a description I can search on that or a link?

    Thanks from America

    20

  • #
    Sambar

    I was on one of the first flights into Mascot after the 1999 hail event. From the air the devastation was massive. Back in the day it wasn’t solar panels but rather the good old fashioned tiled roofs. This prompted us to make sure that the new house we built in 2000 had good old Lysart steel roofing.

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  • #
    Amr Marzouk

    Just heard you talk with James Delingpole on his podcast. As eloquent and informative as your articles.
    Merry Christmas to you and family, keep up the good work.
    Amr

    161

  • #
    Mark M

    For decades it has been clear that a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is critical to protecting Australia from worsening extreme weather.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/28/from-angry-summer-to-weird-winter-2017-was-riddled-with-extreme-weather

    Q. How many solar panels must Australia install before Australia prevents a carbon (sic) induced catastrophic hail storm?
    A. more than 2 million …

    December 3, 2018:
    The Australian solar industry has achieved another record-breaking milestone, with the number of households now enjoying the benefits of rooftop solar reaching a whopping 2 million.

    https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/number-of-australian-homes-with-rooftop-solar-tops-2-million-and-counting

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    • #
      OriginalSteve

      December 3, 2018:
      “The Australian industry has achieved another record-breaking milestone, with the number of businesses closing, with Socialism enjoying the dustructive benefits of rooftop solar reaching a whopping 2 million. ….”

      There…fixed it for you….

      120

  • #

    Our Solar Generator seems to have survived the recent golf-ball size hail attack, as also did our solar hot water panel unit. The previous cricket ball size hail storm in Sydney some 20 years ago was worse and wrecked our then solar hot water unit. At that time we did not have a solar generator, but it would certainly also have been wrecked. Our steel roof was totally unfazed by either hailstorm. Hailstorms are a severe critic of ‘renewable’ energy systems.

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  • #
    robert rosicka

    When travelling on the Plenty Highway from Alice Springs to Boulia earlier this year a mob of Galahs took off next to the road and were blown across the road by a strong crosswind shattering the solar panel I have on top of the roof .
    Odd thing is it’s still producing power .

    50

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I also have to wonder about the solar farms and just how much damage would occur if large hail was to impact them .
    Guessing a write off .

    120

  • #

    What about the electrocution risk?
    If the hail has also broken roof tiles as well as opened up a few solar panels to the rain then electrified water can flow through the quickly ruined ceiling, down the inside walls and onto the floor.

    90

  • #
    Tom R Hammer

    A couple of questions:
    1. Are subsidies still available for replacement panels on homes with previously installed panels?
    2. What are the NSW and federal requirements for disposing of broken PV panels (cadmium, nickel, etc.)?

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      Tom, considering that hail accompanies rain storms, with the broken panels, is there any release (washing out) of lead and cadmium from the panels onto the homeowner’s property (soil)and into the ground water? If so, what are the hazardous waste clean-up requirements? And what happens to the value of the property now that it’s been doused with hazardous chemicals?

      That aside, HAPPY HOLIDAYS,

      Bob

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      • #
        robert rosicka

        We collect rain water off the roof so now I have to wonder

        70

      • #
        beowulf

        And what happens when the rainwater off that solar-contaminated roof is collected in a tank for a home reliant on rainwater for drinking/cooking/washing?

        70

      • #
        ivan

        Bob, you have now highlighted the greatest problem with solar panels – their disposal at end of life or if broken.

        They can’t be consigned to landfill because of laws on hazardous substances disposal and I doubt that there are any local certified reclamation businesses.

        Non og the greens think about what has to be done with all their virtue signalling gimmicks at end of life when, in fact, they are headed for a polluted, poisoned earth as a legacy for our children.

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  • #
    Senex

    Damaged solar panels are difficult if not impossible to recycle, and would also not be accepted as landfill..

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  • #
    • #
      AndyG55

      Maybe the UK government can now get back some of the installation subsidies.

      ooooooo… the greenies would not like that, would they ;-)

      91

    • #
      ivan

      It might make some of the greens think – doubtful, especially when very few of the roofs in the UK actually point in the southerly direction and are no where near the optimum angle. I imagine that most of them are lucky to get 30% efficiency in the summer and maybe 10% in the winter. The efficiency isn’t helped by the panels being on the roof and almost impossible to clean.

      Efficiencies might be a little higher in Australia – more sun, but the same problems of direction, angle and cleaning apply.

      Another thing has anyone with panels actually measured their output to find out how close it is to nameplate values over a period of, for example, a month?

      20

  • #
    pat

    also looking forward to listening to Jo w/ Delingpole today.

    as we’ve come to expect from google’s alGOREithms, stories on hail-damaged solar panels are not easy to find. best to search images and link from the pics. here’s one found that way:

    25 Jul 2017: SolarPowerWorld: Small-scale EPC replaces 17,920 panels at two-year-old solar farm
    By Kelly Pickerel
    Sometimes freak accidents happen. Like when a hail storm takes down an entire 4.4-MW solar farm in Texas.
    “This was a very rare, unusual event,” said Adam Burke, president of Texas Green Energy. “It was a pretty isolated area, but it happened to be right over Alamo 2 solar farm. It was baseball-sized hail.”

    About one-third of the solar panels at OCI Solar Power’s Alamo 2 dual-axis solar project were visibly damaged by the April 2016 hail storm, with many panels having multiple points of impact. Alamo 2 is one of many sites within OCI’s 400-MW Alamo project for San Antonio’s utility CPS Energy. The damaged two-year-old solar array was still producing some energy, but CPS Energy wanted its asset back at full capacity…

    Although every panel didn’t have shattered glass, many were assumed to have microcracks, so it was determined to replace all 17,920 panels…
    During reconstruction (which began in November 2016), Texas Green Energy did a thorough inspection and found additional problems with the system, most likely unrelated to the hail. Tracking mechanisms weren’t working at 100% and connectors were loose…

    Burke said Texas Green Energy was invested in quelling any anti-solar rhetoric and wanted to get the solar project back up quickly.
    “I just imagined that people watching the news story of the hail damage that hit Alamo 2 saying, ‘See I told you! Weather comes along and destroys the whole thing. Where’s your power going to come from?’” he said. “I wanted to prove a point that these things happen and there are mechanisms in place to repair this just like anything else. It’s minor downtime and the whole plant is renewed and restored.”…READ ON
    https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017/07/small-scale-epc-replaces-17920-panels-two-year-old-solar-farm/

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    • #
      RickWill

      No doubt we will soon hear that Climate Change is making hail stones bigger. If that is the case then does it make economic sense to dramatically increase the area of vulnerable surface being exposed to hailstones.

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    • #
      pat

      related – great aerial footage:

      VIDEO: 1min51sec: 10 Apr 2017: KENS5 Eyewitness News: Alamo 2 solar farm damaged by Tuesday’s hail storm
      Homeowners continue to estimate the staggering damage from Tuesday’s big hail storm including the cost of ruined solar panels. But a solar farm on the northeast side may have the most panels cracked and crushed.
      by Jeremy Baker
      After the storm, a bird’s-eye view shows damage to what looks like close to a quarter of the Alamo 2 solar farm panels located off Binz-Engleman Road…
      There are close to 18,000 solar panels at Alamo 2 that can power about 800 homes…

      Childress lives about half a mile down the street from the solar farm. He has 40 solar panels on his roof. Of those panels, 14 got smacked on Tuesday night…

      ***Childress added that the panels from Freedom Solar were turned on for the first time two days before the storm, but now he’s had to shut them all off.

      “I know that Freedom Solar has a lot of customers, and I’m just ***waiting my turn for them to come, and the maintenance people to come and take a look at it,” he said…
      There aren’t just solar panels at Alamo 2, though. There are sheep who take care of the grass. Thankfully, they seem to have weathered the storm just fine.
      https://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/alamo-2-solar-farm-damaged-by-tuesdays-hail-storm/133803902

      50

  • #
    Ruairi

    A Grand Solar Minimum brings,
    Larger hail stones, among other things,
    A wide temperature range,
    Which can mean climate-change,
    As the jet-streams perform wilder swings.

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    • #
      Gerry, England

      Indeed, anecdotal evidence from the time reports hailstones the size of milk bottles. That would be a pint sized bottle – so just that tiny little bit bigger than a 1 inch test hailstone.

      60

  • #

    How many of the government employed expert “Climate scientists” knew weather events like this were normal and deliberately chose not to warn about the hail/solar panel risks to people, homes, property and the grid?
    The Age Fri Jan 3 1947
    “8-INCH HAIL
    Sydney’s Freak Storm
    A freak storm, with hailstones,
    said to be eight inches in circum
    ference, hit the Bankstown and
    Hurstvillc districts shortly after 2
    pun. on New Year’s Day.
    The whole of tho Eastern Suburbs
    felt the full effect of the hall storm,
    which was accompanied by only slight
    rain.
    Before moving towards the city,
    where It was also severe, the storm did
    considerable damage.
    So large were some of the hailstones
    that residents In the Bankstown area,
    St. George and Hurstville. reported that
    roofs were dented and some lawns were
    pitted with holes.
    Residents In the affected areas sola
    they were afraid to leave their homes
    because of the size of the hall.
    It was also reported that gardens
    were stripped within seconds, and that
    fruit and vegetables and flowers were
    ruined. ,
    Damage Is estimated at more than
    £1,000,000.”
    https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/205316782

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    • #

      Ooops sorry that was The Forbes Advocate
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/218418778

      This is “The Age” article of the same date.
      “SYDNEY, Thursday.— A survey
      of the damage caused by the
      freak hail storm which hit Syd
      ney and suburbs on Wednesday
      indicates that the havoc was
      greater than at first thought. The
      latest estimate of the damage is
      more than £1,000,000, and it is
      estimated that at least 500,000
      Panes of glass were shattered by
      the hail;
      Although the Government has
      decided that materials for storm
      damage repairs will have first
      priority, it is stated In official
      circles that it will be a long time
      before all demands for glass, tiles
      and other materials can be met.
      Labor is also a major problem.
      In many factories and workshops
      to-day hundreds of workers were
      idle while broken glass was
      cleared away and roofs made
      safe.”

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    • #

      Sydney March 1881,
      “Mr. H. C. Russell, the Government astronomer,
      has courteously supplied the following particulars.”….
      “The extreme length of the largest
      one, measuring from point to point, was 2 1/2 inches; this
      is the largest hailstone I have ever seen. Another
      one, not so large, but heavier, weighed 3/4 of an ounce.
      One stone, examined with a microscope, looked as if
      its centre had been formed of a collection of irregular
      plate-like pieces of ice, stuck together so as to leave
      spaces between.
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/107209688

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    • #

      1954 Large area of N.S.W.
      “At Walgett, 450 miles
      north-west of Sydney, hail-
      stones—some of them five
      inches in diameter—in-
      jured a clergyman and
      caused thousands of
      pounds’ worth of damage.”
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/12647138

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    • #

      Newcastle 1835
      ” The hail-stones which descended in a con-
      tinuous torrent, varied in size from five to six
      inches in girth, and were generally either of an
      ovate or circular form, but irregular in their su-
      perficies, being studded with the projecting points”
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/31717022

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    • #

      Brisbane 1897
      “The hail in the city was characterised by the largeness of the stones rather than by their number. Some were of such a sise as to be absolutely dangerous. One which came through a window in Queen-street was oval shaped, somewhat
      like a flat elongated onion. It weighed close upon 4 ounces and measured nearly 9 inches round its greatest girth and nearly 7 inches round least girth. The hail in other places was of a most enormous sise, many of them measuring
      fully six inches in diameter.”
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/82128600

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    • #

      Please don’t make the mistake of thinking this list of storms is complete.
      There are storms like this nearly every year. These are just the interesting articles. Lance Pidgeon.
      Melbourne 1901.
      “Enormous Damage
      Done.
      HAILSTONES LIKE HEN EGGS.
      - FOUR LIVES LOST.”
      The following particulars of the terrible
      hailstorm in Victoria and New South
      Wales,…”
      “The stones ranged up to l-1/2 in
      in diameter by actual measurement,
      or 4-1/2 inches in circumference.”
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/64554917

      50

    • #

      1812 Sydney.
      “notwithstanding
      the excessive heat of the weather the day after
      the hail fell, yet, strange to remark, some of the hail
      stones, after laying on the ground twenty six hours,
      measured four inches round.”
      https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/628576

      10

  • #
    Paul Miskelly

    Well done Jo to get this story up so soon after the Sydney hailstorm event.

    To tie this to your earlier article:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/12/deadly-a-quarter-of-all-solar-panels-pose-high-or-severe-risk/

    One can only hope that the resulting additional exposure of repair personnel in the fixing of these hail-damaged installations, (in addition to those identified in the report to Minister Angus Taylor as reported in your earlier post), does not result in any additional fatalities due to electrocution.

    If I might comment more generally: society demands absolute safety in such as nuclear power reactors, yet is smugly tolerant of what are very high levels of risk to life and limb from these so-called renewables.

    The wind “turbine” industry also has a very poor safety record, as many will know.

    Seasons Greeting to All,
    Paul Miskelly

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  • #
    Jeff

    I live on the North shore of Sydney and did not get any hail.
    I have had panels for 12 years and normal hail would not come close to damaging the toughened glass on a solar panel.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the large size hail was very patchy in distribution,
    and solar panel damage very limited.
    These days solar panels are cheap, and most of the cost is installation of electrical and frames etc.

    43

    • #
      JLC of Perth

      So that’s all right then.

      70

      • #
        Jeff

        Correction, I checked my records, installed 18 years ago, 11,422 kWh generated from 6 panels.
        No faults or repairs needed.
        I can’t give up the idea that rooftop solar may not be so bad.
        Less reliance on government and big company grids.
        No moving parts, generation at the place it is used, less upgrading of grid,
        even keeps the roof cooler in summer.
        If panel prices keep dropping, is it possible one day that almost every home could be self powered for a price that the homeowner is happy to pay, without subsidies ?

        56

        • #
          AndyG55

          “Less reliance on government and big company grids.”

          Sorry, NO.

          You are still totally reliant of the main grid for frequency stability.

          Sure, you don’t use as much of their solid reliable frequency stable supply…

          … but you are still TOTALLY reliant on it.

          133

          • #
            Jeff

            but you are still TOTALLY reliant on it.

            Not if you have battery backup and a hybrid inverter.

            57

            • #
              Hanrahan

              Jeez Jeff, you have some reading to do.

              If you are on the grid with six panels the best you can say is “I’m not quite totally dependant on the grid”. You are still totally dependant for morning and evening peaks for meals and night time entertainment and, of course, you depend on the grid to keep your food safe to eat, as does the retailer who sells it to you.

              130

              • #
                Jeff

                Sure my 1kW system is not a serious amount,
                but just thinking about whether there is a future for widespread rooftop solar.
                Household appliances seem to be getting more efficient all the time.
                For example, once everyone had desktop PCs using hundreds of watts, now they are more likely to have a mobile using less than 10 watts with just as much computing power.

                35

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Are you connected to the grid or not Jeff?

              Do you pay a “supply charge” or equivalent?

              80

              • #
                Jeff

                Yes, I am on the grid Sam.
                I pay AGL 92.4¢ a day for Ausgrid’s poles and wires, which ends up being half my bill.

                30

              • #
                AndyG55

                Who paid for you “system” Jeff,

                You, or the taxpayer.

                As you say, still hooked up to the grid, absolutely reliant on that grid connection.

                Without it, your system would not last more than a few hours.

                60

              • #
                Jeff

                Who paid for you “system” Jeff, You

                Ahem, nope.
                Where talking 18 years ago, I didn’t think about it much back then.

                Subsidies are gradually disappearing, which is good.

                I’m just curious about the future.
                Centralised or decentralised power generation ?
                Maybe moving away from a few companies monopolising the market is good.

                35

            • #
              AndyG55

              WRONG again.

              You need to do some research, Jeff.

              82

        • #
          theRealUniverse

          I think I saw somewhere that most homeowners install solar just so as to NOT pay a huge electric bill. (install not included).
          Seems a good idea if you can do it reliably cheap.
          True, AG55 about frequency stability, that is a problem

          40

          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Really?

            If so, then what they are doing is paying a kWh price about equal to the standard grid charge per kWh.

            How:

            They need to add in the amortisation costs of their panels and inverter and the opportunity costs associated with the capital expenditure.

            I doubt they will be in front when they do that.

            71

  • #
    pat

    this is allegedly a hail-damaged solar array in Alberta, Canada
    https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5237/14486399993_2bfce845cf.jpg

    possibly the Cardston array mentioned here:

    2012: SkyFireEnergy: Hail vs. Solar Panels
    We are often asked “will my solar panels stand up to hail?” The answer is YES. A solar module or panel that is installed properly and tilted to face South should never break from hail. Up until a couple weeks ago we would tell people, “we’ve never seen a solar module (panel) being damaged from hail”…

    That being said, we learned that solar panels are not 100% safe when tennis ball and baseball sized hail hit a Southern Alberta town called Cardston. We do know of one solar PV system in Cardston that had broken panels from the hail storm…The solar panels in this case were mounted flat by the homeowner and not tilted South. Had they been tilted South, they likely would have survived indirect strikes of hail from the NW…
    So, should you still put solar on your roof, YES, of course! In the absolute worst case, if your house gets pummeled by basebell sized hail, the solar modules, the rest of the house (shingles, siding, skylights, windows, eaves, etc.) and your vehicle glass and body will all be covered by insurance. Just make sure to add the solar system to your insurance policy. Insurance premiums can vary from no additional charge to a increased premium that reflects the increased value of the home.
    https://www.skyfireenergy.com/hail-vs-solar-panels/

    40

  • #
    pat

    this is cute!

    28 Jun 2017: AlbertaFarmExpress: Alberta producers asking big questions about solar power
    By Jeff Melchior
    “If the modules get covered with snow, the light is blocked so of course they temporarily don’t function,” he said. “However, the times of the year solar modules would be covered with snow — ***December through February — is the time of year when less light is available so they’re less productive anyway.”…

    ***In some cases snow can actually improve the productivity.
    “If there’s a white surface in front of the solar array, the light gets reflected off of it,” said (Rob Harlan, executive director of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, a longtime advocate for the solar power industry). “So if you have a pond or snow in front of your array it’s going to increase the amount of light actually hitting the solar modules because of the reflection.”

    Solar modules are proving to be very durable when it comes to hail
    “It’s very rare for hail to damage solar modules and we certainly have some significant hailstorms in our province. They’re tested in the factory to meet test conditions that are equivalent to one-inch hail hitting the module at 88 kilometres per hour vertically when the module is in a cold condition.”…
    https://www.albertafarmexpress.ca/2017/06/28/alberta-producers-asking-big-questions-about-solar-power/

    30

  • #
    pat

    check the damage.

    Youtube: 1min59sec: Solar Panel Broken By Storm With Heavy Ice Rain | A TO Z TV
    I was planning that I will make a video about solar panel system. But few night ago there was a storm in my place with 500-600gm ice ball. The storm has less rain but huge amount of ice fall from the sky. It completely destroyed our residen(ce).
    That night our solar panel was hit by ice ball and it damage 8 panel from our 2.6KW system. Now we don’t have enough solar panel that can charge our battery.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpJKM65tsCo

    posting cos it’s CBC:

    PIC: Feb 2014: WRAL: Falling ice damages CBC solar array
    Garner, N.C. — Solar panels in a farm owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company, parent company of WRAL-TV and WRAL.com, were damaged Friday as ice melted and fell in chunks from the television tower.
    As temperatures climbed to 60 degrees, ice that had collected over two days on the 1,800-foot-high tower began to break up and plummet to the ground. By midday on Friday, those who work at the site, in Garner off U.S. Highway 70, had decided to turn off the power and leave…
    CBC sells energy produced at the solar farm to Duke Energy Progress, which has a state mandate to get more power from renewable sources.
    https://www.wral.com/falling-ice-damages-cbc-solar-array/13396686/

    above links to “IMAGES: Falling ice damages CBC solar array”:

    WRAL: SEE PIC #2
    https://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/image/13396756/?ref_id=13396686

    50

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Just listening to socialist radio and OMG the comments made by the lefties made me sick .

    97% of all scientists agree .
    The hail storms were caused by climate change.
    The cyclone was caused by climate change .

    I didn’t get anything else because the radio was accidentally hit by a flying brick .

    161

  • #
    pat

    you would think this would have made the news!

    2016: Aerspire: A glass-glass solar panel- the only panel which survived the hailstorm in southeast Brabant
    Limburg hailstorm results in large amounts of damage to solar panels…
    At least 1 billion euros have been lost in damages as a consequence of a storm unparalleled in its intensity…
    The editors of Solar Magazine spoke to a number of local installers a good 2 months later. Only one specific solar panel seems to have withstood the storm according to Van Deursen of HD Solar at Someren-Eind…
    LINKS TO 36-PAGE SOLAR MAG PDF (pages 6/7 seem to be the relevant article with wider angle of the damge shown in the second pic on this website)
    https://aerspire.com/en/a-glass-glass-solar-panel-the-only-panel-which-survived-the-hailstorm-in-southeast-brabant/

    30

  • #
    scaper...

    Q. How many climate nazis needed to change a light bulb.
    A. None, as they still have not evolved from their intellectual cot.

    70

    • #
      scaper...

      Q. What is the average IQ of a climate nazi?
      A. Below average of course.

      90

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Yes, that’s why they have those dog whistle chants at rallies, coz the processing buffer of the onboard CPU isnt big…..

        Oh look, a castle….

        70

    • #
      scaper...

      Q. How many climate nazis would be required to throw into a volcano to sate Gaia?
      A. None, as there are no virgins…all been rodgered by power poles.

      40

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    WOW. From the pictures I’d say you down there at the bottom of the world don’t do things halfway.

    I do have to wonder though, could hailstones like that be the origin of the epithet, “To hail with solar panels.”

    120

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Well…what do you expect at this late hour of the afternoon?

      80

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Roy, I thought it was clever….

        60

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Had it been earlier in he day my usual creativity could have outdone even Lucile Ball or Bob Hope. Or so I would like to flatter myself.

          But I will settle for the 11 green thumbs and OriginalSteve and hope I don’t have to buy a larger hat.

          10

  • #
    theRealUniverse

    OH dear, Trouble at Mill…..

    30

  • #
    pat

    as usual, the following type of info – even when slanted in favour of the solar industry – is only likely to be found in RE media. lots more at the link:

    29 Jan 2018: SolarPowerWorld: How the solar industry is responding to the increasing intensity of natural disasters
    By Kelly Pickerel
    The recent intensity of natural disasters across the country—a direct result of climate change—brings the adequacy of safety and performance standards into question…

    ***Renewable insurance provider GCube found that 50% of solar claims (from 2011 to 2015) came from weather-related incidents, far outpacing the electrical failures we’ve come to expect most.
    “Average solar claims severity in the last five years has increased by 87%, predominantly as a result of the greater impact of weather-related losses,” GCube said in its 2016 Cell, Interrupted report…

    Wildfires
    Huge sections of California felt the increased intensity of wildfires last year, and it feels unrealistic to expect a solar array to make it through the flames when entire homes are destroyed. But what is expected is that solar panels ***won’t contribute to a fire or be a danger to the surrounding area…
    When traveling in the San Francisco Bay area, Solar Power World editors heard stories of residential solar panels exploding into pieces after the wildfires across Northern California in October 2017…
    If those exploding solar panel stories were true, they were probably freak accidents and not a result of poor solar panel standards, said UL principal engineer Ken Boyce…
    It’s difficult to even find statistics on solar panels involved with fires, let alone starting or spreading them…

    Hurricanes and tornadoes
    On the ground, solar arrays can still be at risk of wind damage…
    Flying debris does seem to be the larger concern. Even when a solar mounting system does its job and keeps panels mounted to roofs and the ground, an airborne lawn chair or rock could be what pulls a system down. In those situations, homeowner’s insurance should take care of the damaged panels…

    Hailstorms
    It’s also difficult to hide from hail. An April 2016 hailstorm in Texas damaged 4,000 panels at a 4.4-MW site. Baseball-sized hail hit Alamo 2 solar farm near San Antonio ETC…
    Freak accidents aside, hail damage is not a huge concern. NREL analyzed 50,000 solar systems installed between 2009 and 2012 and found the probability of damage from hail ???was below 0.05%…
    “We have seen great coverage from these customers by homeowner’s insurance,” said Cromwell Solar’s Rogge…

    Blizzards
    The weight of that snow will probably not harm a solar array…
    “We do not recommend our customers to clear snow off their panels,” said Ashley Regan, director of business development for CIR. “Using a shovel, brush or similar item could damage your panels and system. Your system warranties do not cover any cracked glass or disturbed electrical wiring that may result from a homeowner trying to remove snow, so it’s best to let them be.”…
    While no one wants great amounts of snow to fall in a short period of time, the good news is that it’s not a permanent weight solar panels have to carry. Snow melts eventually…

    Floods
    For residential installations, flood waters affect the inverter more than the panels…
    “I am beginning to think about battery systems though, which are typically heavy and mounted on grade. They will be vulnerable to even minor flooding events.”…
    Where to house these energy storage technologies may be the next big concern when considering disastrous weather…
    Perhaps an increase in solar panel installations will mean a decrease in climate change and wild weather, but only time will tell.
    https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/01/solar-industry-responding-increasing-intensity-natural-disasters/

    hail-damaged solar panels will only show up in house insurance claims, of course.

    40

    • #
      sophocles

      Snow melts eventually…

      Yeah, like next summer. Maybe. The time between the “snow” and the “eventually” is time without any power…

      40

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Speaking of snow after so many good seasons we must surely be due for a bad one with little or no snow .
        Which of course will be unprecedented and caused by climate change no doubt .

        41

        • #
          sophocles

          Speaking of snow after so many good seasons we must surely be due for a bad one with little or no snow .

          Dunno Robert. I’ve lived in Auckland for about 63 years. Some winters have been relatively warm, some pretty wet, some pretty dry, and a few bloody cold with an even smaller number of those (one about every 7 or 8 years or so) with a bit of snow thrown in. That’s from well before Klimate Change was even thought of, and up to now. I spent one winter in Melbourne (1990) and it’s winter weather and temperatures, apart from being somewhat sunnier, seemed just like Auckland’s.

          Auckland’s weather is frustrating. Come to Auckland and have all four seasons in one day. I never leave home without my parka handy. If I’m going for a walk in the Waitakere Ranges, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bright sunny day I always have a warm garment and my trusty parka in my pack.

          10

          • #
            sophocles

            Auckland’s lattitude is c. -36°s lattitude. Gibralter’s is c. 36° too—almost exactly our antipodes. (Go a bit west …). Climates are sort of similar.

            10

  • #
    Another Ian

    Time to follow a leader

    “100% Solar”

    “The UK is on its way to 100% solar power, and only has 100% left to go.”

    https://realclimatescience.com/2018/12/100-solar/

    100

  • #
    pat

    this pic is not in the Japan Times articled linked below, so check it our here:

    PIC: Solar panel damage Japan Times, June 2015
    https://cdn.japantimes.2xx.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/n-gunma-a-20150617.jpg

    9 Dec 2016: Aerial photos capture dark side of solar power plants
    by Tomoko Otake
    PIC: Solar panels damaged by a levy collapse in September 2015 are shown along the Kinugawa River in Joso, Ibaraki Prefecture.
    Koichiro Otaki started taking aerial pictures of photovoltaic power stations in April 2015. At first, it was an innocent desire to capture their sheer scale and aesthetic value that motivated him, he says…
    “I was simply captivated by their geometric beauty,” Otaki said of the panels…

    As he racked up experience, however, he started having mixed feelings about his subjects, he says.
    Because solar parks require large tracts of land, some businesses bought up golf courses in the countryside that were abandoned after the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s and installed panels there. He also heard from owners of other solar parks that, since the state-subsidized project is so lucrative, they wanted to level more mountains to install more.
    “I realized that, under the veil of ‘clean energy,’ solar power has proliferated across Japan for reasons that had nothing to do with clean energy,” he says…
    11 PIC GALLERY, INCL SOME OF NUCLEAR WASTE FROM FUKUSHIMA
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/09/national/aerial-photos-capture-dark-side-of-solar-power-plants/#.XB2inuR7nIU

    30 Nov: Phys.org: Sun setting on Japan’s solar energy boom
    But renewable energy investments have plateaued and are set to fall in the coming years as Tokyo cuts back subsidies while commodities including coal, oil and natural gas remain cheap.
    Japan is also facing a shortage of land for new solar installations.
    Kyocera, which is behind the floating farm south of Tokyo, is building a solar plant on an abandoned golf course…

    Japan is also raising eyebrows with plans to invest billions of dollars at home and abroad in new power plants fired by cheap coal—even as it calls for more green power at home.
    That includes half a dozen large coal-fired power stations within about 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Tokyo, which Greenpeace has branded “simply insane” over health concerns posed by air pollution…
    Within the G7 club of rich nations, Japan is alone in investing heavily in coal-fired energy on its own soil, with more than 40 new power plants in the pipeline…
    https://phys.org/news/2016-11-sun-japan-solar-energy-boom.html

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      pat

      no mention in the text, but has the pic I posted – wind-damage:

      16 Jun 2015: Japan Times: Wild winds cause damage, injury in Gunma
      PIC: Solar panels are shattered by gusts in Isezaki, Gunma Prefecture, Monday afternoon
      https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/16/national/wild-winds-cause-damage-injury-gunma/

      judging from pic at bottom in the following, this was probably the array damaged by wind. guess they didn’t take that into account!

      24 Feb 2015: GSYUASA News release: GS Yuasa Launches Operations of 1 MW-Output GS Yuasa Gunma Photovoltaic Power Plant!
      - 100 kWh Storage Battery System Enables Power Supply During Disasters
      GS Yuasa Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 6674; “GS Yuasa”) has constructed the 1 MW-output GS Yuasa Gunma Photovoltaic Power Plant on idle land within the Gunma Plant (Isesaki City, Gunma Prefecture).
      Operations were commenced after construction was completed free of occupational injuries and accidents, and the opening ceremony was held at the Gunma Plant on February 23.

      GS Yuasa Gunma Photovoltaic Power Plant uses the Feed-in Tariff System for Renewable Energy to sell the power generated to Tokyo Electric Power Company. In addition, because the plant is equipped with an independent operation output function and 100 kWh high capacity lithium-ion battery, 100 kW of power supply to the plant is possible as an emergency power source in the event of a power outage…

      GS Yuasa Group provides means for the effective use of renewable energy including systems for supplying power in the event of a power outage from a disaster or other causes through the combination of solar power generation and storage batteries…

      3. The plant is equipped with a quick charger for electric vehicles that allows the charging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles during both normal operations and in the event of a power outage from a disaster or other causes.
      https://www.gs-yuasa.com/en/newsrelease/article.php?ucode=gs151006530913_165&ucode=gs151006530913_165

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      theRealUniverse

      Japan has to (look at other energy sources) after they busted up their nice ‘nuke’ power station..;)

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    Hanrahan

    So what will happen? Will the damaged cells be recycled and if so will it just be to reclaim silver with the rest in landfill?

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    Bill In Oz

    Here in Mt Barker almost 1 in three houses have solar panels.
    But I think we will see the installation of hail netting over these houses soon.Hail storms happen here. And folks will have to save their solar panels from destruction some how. :-)

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    pat

    24 Jun 2016: InternationalBusinessTimes: China: Aftermath of tornado and hailstorm that killed 98 and injured over 800 in Jiangsu province
    Deadly tornado and hailstorm flattened houses near Yancheng city, a few hours’ drive north of Shanghai
    By David Sim
    The accompanying hailstorm appeared to have also contributed significantly to the destruction that reduced farm buildings to mere piles of bricks and tiles. GCL System Integration Technology Co Ltd, a huge solar cell module maker, said the 40,000sqm factory it part-owned had collapsed.
    ***Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said the GCL facility was used to store hazardous chemicals, and was located near a drinking water plant and a river. “The release of these chemicals could pose significant risk to public health and the local ecosystem,” Greenpeace said in a statement…
    TWO PICS FOLLOW OF FACTORY (UNNAMED) BUT IS IT GCL AND IS/WAS THE ROOF COVERED IN DESTROYED SOLAR PANELS?)
    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/china-aftermath-tornado-hailstorm-that-killed-98-injured-over-800-jiangsu-province-1567317

    25 Jun 2016: Xinhua: Rescuers disposing chemicals at storm-hit plant in east China
    NANJING: Rescuers are racing against the clock to safely dispose of chemicals stored at a solar panel factory, which was destroyed during a severe storm in east China’s Jiangsu Province.
    Heavy rain, hailstorms and a tornado battered parts of Yancheng City on Thursday, leaving 98 people dead and 846 injured. The storm also destroyed the 40,000-square-meter solar panel factory, which is partly owned by GCL System Integration Technology Co. Ltd.

    The disposal of the hazardous chemicals, including ammonium gas and silane, is due to be finished Saturday, according to Zhou Xiang, head of Jiangsu fire corps and director of the rescue headquarters.
    A total of 470 people were working in the factory when the storm hit. Two cooks were killed and over 70 factory floor employees were injured…
    http://www.xinhuanet.com//english/2016-06/25/c_135465770.htm

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    • #
      pat

      o/t but re GCL this week – read all:

      19 Dec: SolarQuotesBlog: GCL Solar Panels Struck From CEC Approved Products List
      by Michael Bloch
      Australia’s Clean Energy Council has announced all GCL System Integration solar panel models will be removed from its Approved Products List today.
      In order for a solar power system to be eligible for Australia’s major solar subsidy, modules and inverters that are part of the system must be present on the respective Approved Products List at the time of installation.
      The CEC said all GCL modules (50 listed yesterday) were to be delisted “due to use of components which were outside the scope of the certificate.”…

      Panels delistings have been quite common in 2018. Yesterday we reported 246 solar panel models and 72 inverters were struck from the CEC’s lists this year as a consequence of results from its testing program. Thousands more modules were dropped when new standards, terms and conditions kicked in on December 1…READ ALL
      https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/gcl-panels-delisting-mb0869/

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      • #
        pat

        just a thought.

        shouldn’t such news be published prominently on all our media…and not only on a solar website?

        same goes for all the cons of solar – it should all be common knowledge.

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    pat

    Sky News International (Channel 605) has been getting into the Christmas spirit by just now re-broadcasting (for who knows how many times so far) the turgid “In Too Deep” documentary:

    In Too Deep: The race to save our ‘Wild West’ seas
    Ed Conway, Economics Editor
    Most of the oceans are safeguarded by United Nations treaties for what they call “the common heritage of mankind”…
    Plastic pollution – something we at Sky News have spent the past year documenting – is only the beginning of it…
    The rise in sea temperatures in recent years, itself a consequence of climate change, is causing coral bleaching episodes on a regular frequency.
    There are fears that many of the world’s tropical corals will simply die off, which would spell disaster for local ecosystems, since corals are the gardens in which most of the marine life of the tropics live and breed…

    But if we carry on the way we have in recent years, there is an alternative future – one where sea levels rise, causing untold costs; where fish stocks run out; where coral reefs die and the ocean’s capacity to keep absorbing our carbon dioxide diminishes.
    We are seeing what Bank of England Governor Mark Carney describes as a “market failure”. We are running out of time to put it right…
    https://news.sky.com/story/in-too-deep-the-race-to-save-our-wild-west-seas-11277333

    not recommending it, but the full video is here:

    9 Jun: Sky News: Sir David Attenborough: ‘The human race will regret it if we don’t act on plastic now’
    VIDEO: 43min27sec: Video: In Too Deep: The race to save our seas
    Sir David is less optimistic when it comes to Donald Trump and climate change, saying even he would not be able to persuade the US president that it is a huge global problem…
    A keen recycler, he is passing on plastic and has ditched single-use plastic bottles.
    He also wants the government to ban plastic straws…
    https://news.sky.com/story/sir-davids-fears-for-marine-life-as-plastic-waste-grows-11398104

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    Serge Wright

    I live in the worst affected area on Sydney’s upper north shore and I can confirm that solar panels don’t like 8cm hailstones. Most of the newer panels seem to have suffered total wipeout, whereas the older panels seem to have held up better. I have the old Suntech 180w panels and mine survived OK, despite some concrete tiles being cracked. I can see one property that has Trina panels and they have all been trashed, and another with LG panels with similar damage. We also have a fire rescue truck parked on the side of the road, no doubt waiting for someone to get electricuted or fall off their roof.

    Aside from the panels, I can confirm that colorbond roofing is the best defence against giant hailstones, followed by concrete tiles. New concrete tiles (>10yrs old) fared ok, whilst the terra cotta tiles are by far the worst. Houses wih these tiles have huge gaping holes and look like they have gone through a meteor shower.

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    Lobby

    This was the most hilarious ‘not’ read. You would think the introduction of poly-carbonate roofing would have been a bigger conversation than solar PV as far as insurance. How on earth did Solar PV get caught up in some bizarre anti green debate. It’s a technology and in a sense an appliance that you can choose to install or not. It can succumb to damage from wild storms, Maybe. I’m guessing by the tone of this ‘conversation’ that every solar panel in Sydney was destroyed but can’t find evidence of this. I was just in Broken Hill, at the scrap yard with the aftermath of the last hail damaging storm and it wasn’t solar panels that sat in mountains like large crushed block pyramids. Note here that Broken Hill has one of Australia’s biggest solar farms. It was corrugated roofing by the 100′s of tons and a dedicated multi insurance one stop panel beater set up in a factory. Stop spreading paranoid fact-less fear…

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-11/broken-hill-begins-clean-up-after-major-hail-storm/8019474

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    pat

    21 Dec: Barron’s: What Will Happen to Chinese Solar Stocks as Beijing’s Support Dims?
    By Craig Mellow
    The industry is solar energy, which China seemed poised to dominate until earlier this year…
    Beijing played a political role to match at the global Climate Change Conference just completed in Poland…
    But back home, solar installations have dropped by one-third compared with 2017, and bellwether stocks like GCL-Poly Energy Holdings(ticker: 3800.Hong Kong) and Sungrow Power Supply(300274.China) have fallen by half…
    The cause of this cataclysm is no mystery: an abrupt moratorium on state subsidies for new projects that took effect June 1. China prioritized solar as part of its latest five-year economic plan drafted in 2015, but got more than it bargained for. Green entrepreneurs overshot the 2020 gigawatt target by 2017. That drove a $14 billion deficit in a subsidy fund paid for by power customers, and a thicket of logistical and financial bottlenecks. Solar energy costs twice as much as fossil-fuel equivalents in China, and wind power 50% more, says Dennis Ip, head of power and utilities research for Daiwa Capital Markets in Hong Kong. “The government wants cheap electricity for industry, but it doesn’t have the money to subsidize alternatives,” he says…

    “Actually the recovery is already on its way,” says Frank Yu, a Beijing-based principal consultant for energy specialist Wood Mackenzie…
    This autumn it raised the 2030 target for renewable energy from 20% to 35% of total supply putting more onus on consumers to buy more alternative power. A national carbon trading market is on tap for 2020, ***which should particularly increase the cost of coal-generated electricity. “Environmental and climate change policies will keep favoring renewables,” Yu concludes…
    https://www.barrons.com/articles/china-changes-direction-on-solar-support-51545407773

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    robert rosicka

    I’ve had a Baldrick cunning plan to avoid hail damage ! Put the solar panels under the house where they will be safe and protected – Genius or what .

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      AndyG55

      On a more practical note, you could install them face downwards.

      They have a strong fossil fuel made aluminium back on them that would be reasonably resistant to most hail stones.

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      • #
        Another Ian

        Andy

        Andy

        You’re nearly on a winner there.

        Put in for a federal funding grant to perfect the

        “Andy Spinner – solar panel rotator”.

        “Innovative control system senses oncoming hail threat and turns your panels so the metallic side is uppermost.”

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      sophocles

      Or with the aid of a photo sensor to predict darkening skies and an electric (of course!) motor attached to each pv plate, you could flip them over in case of hail. When it lightens up, the motor flips them back. You’ll need grid power rather than battery < evil grin >

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    steve

    Seriously how does the left always get credited for new technology? They don’t own this! My grandfather went from crystal radio repairs to programming computers in his life.

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    Mark M

    With rooftop solar power providing so much energy, will there be a noticeable drop in supply, and consequent rises in prices?

    Or will the destruction make no difference to supplies?

    I say there will be no notable difference in power supplies without all the solar panels.

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    The coming Ice Age is starting off with some practical jokes and puns. ‘Snow is a thing of the past’? Here, have some large balls of solid snow. ‘Solar panels can provide most of our electricity’? No (smash) they (crunch) can (wham) not! (whack)

    Anyway, we shall see how the statistics of heavy hail occurrence progress as this beginning new solar minimum has the usual global cooling and drastic climate change effects.

    Here in SW Sydney we only got inch-sized hail on Thursday, and not very much of it. I don’t have any solar panels up, due to tree shading. By the way lightning damages solar panels too. Does not even need to be a direct hit, as the EMP induced in the wiring wrecks the reverse voltage protection diodes. See http://everist.org/NobLog/20160504_solar_panels_vs_emp.htm (my article.)

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    Crakar24

    Time to go a little ot https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/australia-likely-to-miss-2030-paris-emissions-target/news-story/085fbdf76a2ede46cf8c54a2b8312135

    Can anyone explain to me what “climate pollution” is as stated in the opening paragraph?

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    • #
      Serp

      It’s a synonym for “emissions” if I’m any judge of context; and “emissions” almost always implies “ghg” so be quick and find a safe space to escape from possibly harmful information which may be incoming…

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    • #
      sophocles

      CO2 emissions.

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      Chad

      Its only CO2/ GHG until that discussion gets too difficult,..
      …..then it will change to any other “toxic” pollution (such as NOX, diesel particulates, Methane, etc etc etc)
      Some of which are very valid, but are simply intoduced to muddy the discussion regarding AGW.

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  • #
    Idiot_Wind

    Hello Everybody,

    Here in the UK I was concerned about Velux windows installed in the roof of my new home. I therefore searched on-line for advice and found this film from Velux of their hailstone test:-
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB0-PhowTQ4

    Notice that in this clip they claim, “Hailstorms are Australia’s costliest natural disasters”. The test shows hailstones of up to 72 mm diameter and 180 grams being fired at the windows at speeds up to 172 kph.

    So the knowledge about the damage from hailstorms was out there for anybody to find! However, I suspect that the PV manufacturers and vendors (and their political friends in high places) were not so interested in this inconvenient truth – I may be wrong of course!

    Incidentally, Europe is also susceptible to damage from large hailstones. About 5 years ago a colleague living near Cahors in France
    suffered severe damage to an out-house and to the bodywork and windscreens/windows of his car; his neighbours for several kilometres round about suffered similar damage.

    Regards,
    Idiot_Wind.

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    Clive

    Along the lines of the failure of renewable gear:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfzgIxMEo8g

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    Greebo

    Can’t wait until PVs form a major part of generation. Nobody can tell me that all those panels are going to be replaced overnight. So, we’ll have months of restricted supply probably for months, just in time for the next hailstorm. Genius.

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    Rocky

    I have a Magic Show to demonstrate the Magic of CO2.

    Let us fill a clear sided bin with Air or

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    Rocky

    I have a Magic Show to demonstrate the Magic of CO2.

    Fill a clear sided bin with Air or 2500 Ping Pong Balls Coloured to Represent what is in Air.

    Start with N2 or Nitrogen … Blue Ping Pong Balls … 78% say 80 times 25 is 2000 less 50 is 1950 Blue

    So far So Good …

    O2 is 21% or 21 times 25 which is 500 plus 25 is 525 White Balls

    So now there is 2475 Ping Pong Balls

    Argon lets make that Orange and at 1% is 25 added to 2475 for 2500 but there is one left so take out one blue

    for 2499 and Add One Green Ping Pong Ball for CO2

    Now for the Magic

    Show anyone who can add up how CO2 can block heat ?

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    • #
      Robber

      You forgot water vapor, methane, aerosols etc. But nevertheless that magic green ball absorbs heat and sends some of it back towards earth. And what happens if you add a second green ball? I have yet to see a definitive experiment.

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    William

    In 1976 Toowoomba had a massive hailstorm causing huge damage across the city. Our house was badly damaged and it was months before we could move back in as so many houses and businesses were affected that tradesmen were few and far between. There are some images here

    Obviously all because of global warming.

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      Greebo

      I was living in Cammeray at the time of that one. We got hit pretty hard as well.

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      • #
        Greebo

        Well, obviously not THAT one. But Sydney copped a beauty in ’76 as well. I saw people parking cars under the shop awnings to escape hail damage, only to have the weight of the ice collapse same awnings onto their cars.

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    Ve2

    And they have the nerve to say Melbourne has crap weather.

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      AndyG55

      These are one-off events.

      Melbourne’s “weather” is pretty much all the time. ;-)

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        Another Ian

        A local posted to Victoria in WW2 and in contact with relatives. When he complained about the weather he was told “Wait till spring gets here”

        Punchline of the story was that he went to sleep one afternoon and when he woke he was told that spring had been and gone.

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        Ve2

        You’re kidding aren’t you.
        That torrential rain we had a couple of weeks go is normal up there, back in the 90′s a newspaper ran a front page detailing the last 10 Easters, only 1 day of the 40 was dry, they regularly run stories with hints on how to get rid of mould in your house.
        Severe hailstorms occur every couple of years.
        The humidity in Sydney is almost as bad as Brisbane.
        Better weather? Maybe for 3 months of the year.

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    yarpos

    If anything happens in Sydney it is soooooo much more important than if it happens anywhere else. They always make out its some sort of apocalypse/armageddon event because its near Sydney, bushfires are a classic with Scoop McTavish reporting from some parking lot all geared up.

    Even back in the 70s they used to hail damage sales along the Parramatta Rd car yard strip. Just more of same , but now there are more of us to hit and we like installing fragile stuff to be damaged and then be surprised when it does get damaged.

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      Annie

      Sydney is the Centre of the Universe of course.

      Years ago, 1987 actually, I took our emigration application papers up to London to lodge at Australia House. My mission had been delayed by the hurricane a few days earlier. We had a stop at Basingstoke and could hear the announcement ‘Basingstoke, Basingstoke, this is Basingstoke’. I couldn’t resist muttering loudly ‘Centre of the Universe’, to the stupefaction of my fellow passengers. I expect they thought I was mad! If you know Basingstoke, it’s a massively expanded ordinary English town, accommodating London’s overflow population.

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    [...] STOP PRESS. Jo Nova on solar panels and hailstorms. [...]

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    Paul Miskelly

    Hi All,
    If I may enlarge on my comment (#25) re the comparison of the stringent safety requirements demanded of the nuclear power industry vs the apparent complete lack of any safety culture in the renewables industries, (hydro dams being the exception), it is interesting to speculate on what might result in solar panel design should the same safety criteria be applied to this form of generation as to nuclear reactors.

    Lest there be those who would like to think my discussion of the need for the imposition of these safety and reliability requirements is bordering on the faintly ridiculous, we need only to take the musings of such as contributor “Jeff” to their logical conclusion. After all, even “Jeff” agrees that the ideal solar PV installation is that each household so equipped be entirely self-sufficient, having no grid connection whatsoever.

    Dare I suggest that, under that scenario, we very suddenly enter a world where the safety and reliability requirements on such as solar panels, inverters and batteries, become that much more stringent. Now we really are entering a realm where these products really must operate like the household refrigerator: be safe and reliable to the extent that these matters are out of sight and out of mind.

    Clearly, after that recent Sydney storm event, an immediate requirement for all solar panels erected in thunderstorm-prone areas is some form of “eyelid” to protect the active surface during thunderstorm events. The mechanism would have to be entirely self-powered and completely tamper-proof. Something along the lines of a garage roller-door system comes to mind. Of course, it would also need to be entirely self-cleaning so that such as leaf and tree debris does not jam its moving parts. This would approach the Gen I and Gen II nuclear reactor design criteria. Of course, what would be much more desirable is the imposition of the Gen IV criteria, whereby such a protective system would be an entirely passive design.

    A first step towards an entirely passive system might be that the panels would swing into a vertical position, entirely under gravity, once the onset of a storm event was detected. How such a system would be erected on a house roof I leave to clever architects. Placing it as some sort of awning would be out of the question as this denies the advantage of utilising otherwise unoccupied roof space. It also reintroduces electrical safety concerns by placing the panel closer to people.

    Then of course there is the thorny issue of waste disposal. The links to the hail-damaged Alamo 2 solar tracker PV flat-panel story, so thoughtfully provided by “pat” (at #21, #21.2 and #34), and “AndyG55”, (at #56), give some very useful ballpark statistics. It seems that this “farm” (in Texas), consisting of some 18,000 panels, having an installed capacity of a (paltry) 4.4 MW, according to that news report. According to the report at: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017/07/small-scale-epc-replaces-17920-panels-two-year-old-solar-farm/ , that is, a solar industry publication, all 17,920 panels were subsequently replaced, as the risk of the possibility of microcracks in all seemingly undamaged panels could not be avoided. That one-off event indicates to me the sheer scale of the waste disposal problem resulting from these low-energy-density electricity-generation facilities. Remember, that waste, unable to be recycled, and no doubt comprising some several hundred tonnes of material, results from a mere 4.4 MW installed capacity. (Others will be quick to point out that 4.4 MW installed is no indication of the average, much lower, capacity.) There is an end-of-life to all such panels, so, after some 25-30 years, dare I suggest that we are saddling our descendants with a stupendous waste disposal problem? (And don’t forget that applies also to both the necessary battery storage systems and that other “renewable” technology, wind farms).

    Yes, yes, I hear the pundits saying that by comparison, the nuclear waste disposal problem is intractable, etc., etc. However, consider this: now that we have a handle on the sheer scale of the waste disposal problem resulting from intermittent renewables, do keep in mind that the quantity of waste resulting from this tiny 4.4 MW solar farm far exceeds that from several years of operation of a 1000-plus MW (and remember, in the case of a nuclear power plant, that’s real electrical output MW, available 24/7). And, contrary to what the pundits will tell you, unlike all the dead solar panels, lots of this nuclear “waste” can be recycled both into further electricity production, and useful radioisotope applications. (I’ll be in trouble with the anti-nuke brigade for suggesting both of these, and particularly the latter, but there it is.) What would be the quantity of solar-panel waste resulting after 25 years of 4000-plus installed MW of solar panels, (as some sort of “equivalent” to our 1000 MW nuclear plant)? Answer: an absolutely staggering amount.

    To lighten up – it is Christmas after all – does the suggestion of protective “eyelids” and passive safety systems inspire any graphics-able person to produce some Heath-Robinson-esque cartoons?
    Secondly, here is an alternative definition of heavy water (a real conundrum this one): that’s a cricket-ball sized lump of a hailstone crashing into a hapless solar panel.

    Again – Seasons Greetings to All – and thanks again Jo (and Co) for hosting such a wonderful site.

    Paul Miskelly

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