(and Other Questions Grown Adults Are Afraid to Ask Out Loud)
We ho-ho-hope our post puts your mind at ease.
Leave it to my daughter to ask me a logistical question about you-know-who’s impending arrival: “Will Santa and his reindeer hurt your solar panels?”
Bless my four-year-old for understanding how much her dad loves solar energy. But she raises a good point. How can Santa avoid damaging millions of solar panels as he lands on top of millions of homes in a single night? The man has a tighter delivery schedule than Amazon, so you’d think he probably cuts corners on being careful during liftoff and landing his sleigh.
We know you’re too embarrassed to ask about the dynamics of Santa’s travel habits. After all, you’re a mature adult (and you’ll probably Google it when no one is watching).
We, however, are children at heart and have no issue giving you the results of our educated guesses, cough cough, extensive scientific studies on this matter.
#1: Will the reindeer’s hooves scratch my panels?
Here’s something we learned: reindeer hooves get harder in the winter, and magical hooves are no exception. As far as we know, elves don’t apply any special coating to the feet of Rudolph and his friends. So why don’t those hardened feet scratch your panels when reindeer land on your roof?
The short answer: solar panels are built to be tough. They can withstand the impact of a golf ball shot out of a cannon. If a golf ball flying at that speed won’t damage your panels, then you can rest assured that some friendly reindeer won’t, either.
#2: Won’t the Weight of Santa’s Sleigh Break My Panels?
Our roofs vary in size, so Santa doesn’t always have a choice as to where he’s going to land on top of our homes. He’ll probably have to settle right on top of some sets of panels. If that happens, then won’t the weight of the sleigh crack or damage those panels?
Here’s why we’re not worried. When we install solar panels, we bolt them down with grade-8 bolts and use methods approved by structural engineers. They’re sturdy. Not only that, but they’re strong enough to support the weight of a car.
Santa’s sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer won’t do any damage. Promise.
#3: Won’t the Sleigh Lifting Off Cause the Panels to Come Loose?
At some point, though, Santa has to leave for the next house on his list. Given his massive time crunch, he might be so concerned with getting to Point B that he doesn’t pay attention to how he leaves Point A. When he takes off, will the motion from his sleigh cause the panels to come loose?
We all know that high winds can damage your roof and anything on it. Thankfully, solar panels are built to withstand hurricanes up to 175 miles per hour. Santa’s sleigh and reindeer simply can’t generate enough air to shake your panels loose from your roof.
We’ve also never had a complaint from someone on early Christmas morning that their panels were mysteriously knocked off the roof.
Our Conclusion: Your Panels Will Be Fine
Don’t believe anyone who tries to sell you coating for panels specifically designed to withstand the motion of reindeer hooves or the landing patterns of sleighs. You don’t need it, so save your money.
(Shameless plug: you can also save money on your monthly energy bill, if you’re the type of person who enjoys things like having more money.)
As Santa would say, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!