Solar Panels and Safety: Never Fear!

November 6, 2020

Like any other power source, solar panels come with their safety concerns. They are vulnerable like any other electric appliance, and as with those appliances, trusted solar system installers in Scottsdale, AZ will make sure they are equipped with proper safety precautions. Dangerous incidents with solar panels are uncommon, but we understand the need for reassurance. Here is an overview of potential safety issues and the features that neutralize them.

Potential safety issues

Solar panels are basically another appliance for your home. Besides being a power source, they also fall under the same category as dishwashers and refrigerators. As a result of the fact that they manage flowing electricity, they also face similar risks.

One of these is electrical surges. Surges occur when higher-than-normal voltage flies through your wiring. They can occur when transformers blow up or lightning strikes nearby. You are also likely familiar with surges that occur when you run too many appliances at once (like a space heater and a hair dryer on the same fuse).

Electrical surges are common for grid-tied homes, so there are already precautions against them. As long as your home wiring complies with current code, you will likely get through surges without significant damage.

Another issue that may occur is solar panel fires. These receive publicity, mainly thanks to those who oppose green energy solutions. However, they are a result of poorly installed wiring systems rather than the solar panels themselves. Damaged or improperly insulated wiring can lead to fires with any type of power source. For solar panels, fires usually ignite in the combiner box, which is where all wires connect.

Effective precautions

There is no doubt that these safety issues are cause for concern. However, there are also effective countermeasures that keep them rare. Basically, you are at no higher risk with solar panels than you are if you take power from a city grid.

One precaution is to update your home electrical panel to a whole-home surge protector. Besides reducing the damage from surges, it will protect vulnerable electronics. We are often advised to unplug computers during electrical storms, stop charging devices or plug these items into a surge protector. This becomes less of a concern with whole-home surge protection, and you have the added benefit of not worrying about your devices getting fried when you are not home to unplug anything.

Solar panels benefit from whole-home surge protection, but also from rapid shutdown mechanisms. That will stop current from flowing to inverters, which stops the surge and adds protection from solar panel fires. This is actually an advantage you can enjoy with solar panels that is not applicable to any other power source. The rapid shutdown mechanism also keeps first responders safe by making it easier for them to contain any fires within your home.

Enjoy the benefits of solar panels and do so safely by seeking trusted solar system installers in Scottsdale, AZ like Aneva Solar. If you’re interested in solar panels, we offer free evaluations to help you make an informed decision. Contact us today to schedule one!

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