Oh Hail…

Considering that I had to file a ‘hail’ claim for my roof this week, this story is MUCH worse…

An onslaught of hail in southeastern Texas that destroyed large portions of a massive solar farm is highlighting the perils of trading traditional power sources for vulnerable “green” alternatives and sparking concern about the potential for chemical leaks from the broken panels.

Aerial footage captured the significant damage suffered by the Fighting Jays Solar farm in Fort Bend County, Texas. The March 15 storm shattered hundreds of panels and prompted a nearby resident to question if the solar panels were leaking chemicals such as cadmium telluride, which is linked to serious health risks in humans.

Full article, HERE from Fox.

And the biggest hail we saw was golf ball sized! I’m betting the hail down south was even bigger! And the costs will probably be between $500000 and $1000000 to replace those, plus how much time to replace them?

And that means no output for how long?

Soooo, how’s that green energy working out now? And who’s going to pay to fix it???


Oh Hail… — 22 Comments

  1. I feel your pain. We got the insurance adjuster today; he’d already been to at least one other house on our road.

    I now understand how people could “never hear the tornado coming” – golf-ball-sized hail hitting the widows, much less the roof and side of the house, was stupefyingly LOUD.

  2. One of our senior high excursions was to the Texas Tech’s solar steam plant. They had a parabolic mirror setup turning water into super heated steam. 700 psi as I remember. About the size of a 10 meter satellite dish. I don’t recall how many mirror segments it had, but they were realigned each night to maximize their output. Back then, it was all manual.

    Hail was a concern. They used a honeycomb that looked a lot like cardboard behind the glass. It was about four inches thick. A football hero took a hammer and pounded the tar out of the hammer, didn’t crack the glass. Pretty impressive.

    I doubt you could apply that to solar cells.

  3. I am a retired Electrical Engineer originally from California. I have always thought Green Energy is a waste. I first saw the Wind Farms in the Altamont Pass and then many Wind Machines were not operating. Plus this area is a primary north-south transport route for birds and these Wind Machines kill them in mass.

    Then solar farms in the desert get built near small towns they are within a few years are dead and being ripped out. The large solar array that was built to focus heat to a steam plant also died.

    The several things these Green Energy have is: 1)made of toxic materials from overseas countries, 2)not great for producing energy compared to Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Hydro, or Oil, 3)All get govt subsidies, 4)They take up land and cause environmental problems later.

    • The other unwanted side effect of those solar-focus plants is that they literally roast birds that fly into the beam. Although they don’t kill as many birds and bats as wind turbines.

      I’m all for small wind generators for houses and such. Not the big, inefficient, water-table-lousing, land-gobbling turbines.

      • Try finding an insurance underwriter to cut a policy for a replacement solar farm. Maybe the taxpayers will do it again?

      • From what I’ve seen, small wind turbines just don’t seem to be cost effective. It can get windy around here (east of the Cascades), but the county has zero bird choppers, while it does have about 36 MW worth of solar. (Built to “replace” the 100 MW that’s being tossed by damn removal on the Klamath River.) We have a lot of ranches with large grid tie systems for the irrigation wells, but the only ranch that has a windmill uses it for decoration. On rare occasions, it generates a few watts. (Traditional windmill tower and size, though the blades car colorful.)

        I have a smallish (3.6Kw) solar system set to run our well, with a bit extra that could be shared with the house if/when the grid goes toes up. No problems for the birds, and the batteries get charged on days better than awful, for most of the daytime. When I was looking at systems, wind just didn’t make sense. Too many moving parts, and the eagles and hawks didn’t need the giant Osterizer. That and the wind is unreliable.


    Oh wait, we subsidized that.

    Que Rod Serling, “Imagine a race that has mastered nuclear fission, but insists on using glorified windmills”.

  5. My cousins are thinking about moving back from the Philippines after twenty years or so. Came back for a long visit, bought a truck and camper trailer for their three month stay. Bought some property in Kansas (where she is originally from) and were getting ready to sell the trailer before they went back to PI. A hailstorm did so much damage to the trailer that the insurance company gave them more money than they were asking for the sale. Worked out quite nicely for them.

    My sympathy lies solely with the taxpayers who financed this green BS AND who didn’t vote for progressive Marxist politicians.

  6. There are also problems with the windmills that they think can produce enough energy to replace coal, oil, and nuclear energy. They kill birds including bald eagles indiscriminately. Also they have been toppled by high winds and then sent to a landfill where they pollute the environment. These green minded people do not look at all the damage their ideas create let alone at the lost jobs by going 100% green. If we go along with them it will destroy our nations economy and the rest of America with it.

  7. The greenies don’t have much respect for what this planet can do. Hail, derechos, and microbursts would be heck on solar panels. And that’s not even the worst the atmosphere can unleash.

    Their little climate projections don’t account much for volcanoes, either. For people who claim to love the planet, they don’t have respect for her, do they?

  8. I doubt anyone with their own money as the only investment would delve into a solar farm. That, and I doubt an insurance company would offer a good premium to cover damages. With the damage from the hail destroying the most expensive part of the equipment, I doubt any decisions on rebuilding will be until after the next election. If the government isn’t on board, the folly will be exposed, and another taxpayer money pit will be needed for cleaning up the mess.

  9. The day I got married the then small mountain town was hit by a huge thunderstorm. Some of the hailstones were baseball sized. Some were even partially clear ice.

    One aunt remarked, “I always knew when Frank married all hell would break out”. That got a lot of laughs. The sixty or so homeowners with ruined roofs probably didn’t have much to laugh about.

    Anyone who lives in hail country should use metal panels. Might not be visually pleasing but they stand up to almost any weather challenge. They do require frequent inspections and maintenance (fasteners and sealants).

  10. If space aliens arrived in a world that tamed fusion to find us generating power with windmills and vulnerable (to snow, hail, dust) solar panels, they’d keep on going. No intelligent life remains.

  11. WSF- Good point, but there are ‘restrictions’ on what kind of roof is allowed… Sigh…

    drjim- Hope it misses y’all!

    LL- Concur!

    • Look inti the metal shingles. Nearly indistinguishable from conventional fiberglass or asphalt shingles. Better wind resistance and nearly invulnerable to hail.

  12. It’s my understanding that commercial solar panels are typically rated to withstand 3″ hail stones. I think that is considered the minimum worth bothering with.

  13. So, with all those hazardous chemicals leaching into the ground—- are we going to see a .GOV superfund coming along to remediate that ground?

    OR (more likely) since it’s a “good” hazardous waste- and not eeevill crude oil- are they just going to turn a blind eye on it like all the endangered birds killed by windmills?

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