If you want to protect your solar power system (solar panels and solar inverter) from lightning - that is possible, but it will cost extra.
Your solar power system can be damaged by direct strikes or (more likely) voltages induced by nearby lightning strikes.
The first thing to consider is how likely a lighting strike is. This map from the BoM shows the likelihood of lightning strikes in your area:
Your PV system can be protected by adding both:
- surge protectors
- lightning rods
These devices work to protect you from both direct strikes and voltages induced by nearby strikes. They are installed on both sides of the inverter power circuit and on any inverter communication cables. They either direct the lightning to earth or block the surges from going any further.
In our experience the most important surge protector is the one on the ethernet communications cables. So if you do nothing else - implement surge protection on any ethernet cables.
Lightning rods protect you from direct strikes. They provide an alternative, low resistance, direct route to earth so that the lightning is much less likely to go through the solar power system.
Obviously - if you install a lightning rod on your roof you need to avoid shading the solar panels with it.
Image credit: Erico
If you want lightning protection - ask your installer to quote it as an extra.
No matter what surge protection you employ - protection from lighting is not guaranteed. So before your panels are installed check that your system is on your home insurance policy.