What Is HZHV Certified Solar?
If you live in South Florida, you may have heard the term “HZHV” solar. What does this mean? Well, after Hurricane Andre blew through in 1992, South Florida building codes were rewritten to ensure that structures could withstand the stronger storms. Thus, the High-velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) was created.
Our team at Solar Bear Orlando outlines what it means to be HZHV solar and what requirements are encompassed in this building code.
Which Areas Enforce HZHV?
The main areas where HVHZ impact ratings are crucial are Miami-Dade, Broward County, and Coastal Palm Beach County. However, we recommend installing HVHZ impact-rated solar panels and other products if you live anywhere near the Florida coast where a hurricane might pose a risk.
Alongside hurricane-prone regions are Wind-Borne Debris Regions which include any area within one mile of the coast where wind speeds of 110 miles or greater are possible.
HVHZ impact-rated products include roofing, windows, doors, shutters, and yes, even solar panels. If you live in an area in Florida that is prone to hurricanes, you may be required to install HSHV building materials throughout your home.
HZHV Solar Installations
Because of the strict building codes that were established after 1992, all structures must be able to withstand wind gusts of between 170-180 mph to meet HSHV requirements.
Areas closer to the coast also have higher wind speed resistance requirements than inland areas, and each area has specific zoning and requirements based on that specific zone’s storm exposure.
All materials used to build homes and solar installations in these areas must be tested and meet zone wind resistance requirements. Materials that do not meet these high requirements will NOT be approved during the permitting process.
Solar Panels Make Your Roof Stronger
The solar panels that we install have a minimum of 4000-pascal uplift resistance. What is a pascal? It is the pressure of one newton per square meter. For a frame of reference, 100 pascal is approximately the pressure of direct impact from a strong breeze of about 28 mph. Imagine 4000 pascal! Our solar panels are built to resist uplift even during hurricane season.
Plus, the mounting systems that we use are thoroughly tested and are rated for the required uplift ratings as well.
P.s. Due to the structural integrity of solar panels, they enhance the strength of your roof! Yes!
What Could Happen During a Hurricane?
During a strong hurricane, one of a few things might happen if HZHV codes were not followed:
- The entire roof could come off with the solar panels attached
- Areas of the roof without solar panels might have serious damage
- Solar panels may be torn off the roof leaving attachment points in place
Though nothing can truly protect from catastrophic hurricane-force winds, using HZHV-certified solar is a step in the right direction.
Built to Last
HZHV solar installations are built to last. Since they are structurally part of the home, they are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. As the solar industry grows and adapts, new solar products will continue to be introduced to the market, offering more secure and strong solar panels that can virtually withstand anything.
HZHV Solar Installations
Though we live in Central Florida and don’t necessarily need to follow the HZHV building codes, it is always a great idea to install the best quality solar panels available to you. We can still get heavy winds and rain from hurricanes as they pass through, so call Solar Bear Orlando to ensure that your solar panels are ready to weather any storm!
Call Solar Bear Orlando today for a solar installation quote (727) 471-7442!