Are Solar Panels Dangerous (Owners Must Know!)

Research shows that solar energy has health implications for humans. The solar cells that tap the power from the sun are the focus of these studies. It is critical to address these problems to advance the development of safer solar energy sources that both industries and consumers can use.

Modern solar systems contain components that emit significant radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (EHS), which can harm people who are hypersensitive to it. EHS is the primary health risk associated with solar for humans. In addition, chemicals used in production can harm the environment.

Solar energy has become progressively popular as an environmentally safer means of generating electricity.

  • People with EHS sensitivity get unwell from even modest levels of electromagnetic radiation.
  • Toxic chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid get used to clean the surface of semiconductors.
  • Gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride are dangerous elements in some solar cells.
  • Panels never shut off in the sun and pose a danger of shock if not handled correctly.

Let us look into solar energy production’s different health benefits and dangers.

Solar Panel Power Plant - Sol Voltaics: Solar Panel Information
Solar Panel Power Plant

Are Solar Panels Dangerous?

Solar panels are not dangerous if you understand how they function and how to use them securely. The truth is that they are no more risky than the main panelboard in your home. However, being acquainted with something we don’t entirely grasp might be unsettling.

As an example, consider electricity. We all use it in our homes nowadays, and we are comfortable utilizing items that function with it. However, there was a period when people were terrified of electricity. Nevertheless, it all boils down to knowing how to use or connect with it.

EHS is a health concern for an unfortunate few, but Minor frequencies from cell phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets may also cause such a health problem. In addition, solar energy production has the potential to exacerbate the situation.

Because some of the symptoms of this health risk, such as headaches and restlessness, are common and non-specific, a person inside a solar-powered house or office may be completely oblivious that it might be solar that causes discomfort.

Solar Panel Cell Components - Sol Voltaics: Solar Panel Information
Solar Panel Cell Components, Detail View

Are Solar Heat Systems Components Dangerous?

These heating technologies use a solar collector to process the power and generate heat. However, chemically or electrically sensitive people are at risk from these methods, especially if they are continually exposed.

A solar hot water system heats water by utilizing the energy from the sun and converting that energy into a heating component. Some solar heating systems can heat a whole home, not just the water.

Restaurants and many food processing plants use solar heaters to warm their water saving them thousands in utility costs. So solar heating systems are pretty safe unless you are sensitive to EHS or touch where you shouldn’t.

Solar Panel Mock Up With Cell Components - Sol Voltaics: Solar Panel Information
Solar Panel Mock Up With Cell Components

Effects Solar Power Have On The Environment

While solar power is still a more environmentally beneficial source of electricity than fossil fuels, it does not come without risks. For example, during the manufacture of PV cells, toxic chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are utilized to clean the surface of semiconductors.

If incorrectly discarded, the cells contain dangerous elements for individuals and the environment. Gallium arsenide and cadmium telluride are two examples. Solar power may appear to be the ideal energy source with fewer health risks to most humans.

The life-cycle analysis studies have found that manufacturing solar power equipment has significant health and environmental repercussions. Still, in comparison to other energy production methods, it seems insignificant.

The amount of solar energy that hits Earth daily exceeds global human energy needs thousands of times. In addition, solar power generation, whether through photovoltaic (PV) cells or solar thermal power plants, produces no pollutants that pollute the water or air, including greenhouse gases.

Rain On Solar Panels On A Roof - Sol Voltaics: Solar Panel Information
Rain On Solar Panels On A Roof

What Are The Effect Of Silicon Dust On Solar Panels?

The primary component of a solar panel is pure silicon. When recycled, it creates silicon dust; when inhaled, silicon dust is dangerous, especially over extended contact. Exposure to this dust can induce silicosis, a lung disease in which scar tissue forms in the lungs.

Scar tissue reduces the capacity of the lungs to handle oxygen. Furthermore, non-recyclable materials may affect the environment due to the lack of an environmentally appropriate means of disposing of non-functioning solar cells.

Are There Environmental Benefits To Using Solar Energy?

Solar panels use the sun to create environmentally friendly, renewable electricity. Replacements to fossil fuels reduce carbon emissions domestically and internationally, cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar energy influences human health and the environment, although it is not as bad as other pollutants. It is well-known to have a favorable influence on the environment. However, most of the electricity generated in the United States is generated by coal and natural gas.

The manufacture and use of fossil fuels are expensive and harmful to the environment. While solar energy is free and abundant, it is not as widely used as other forms of energy. Capitalizing on solar energy can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in the long run.

When I was very young, I heard someone say that we could power America for a year if we could catch a lightning strike. Unfortunately, humans cannot effectively capture and store lightning at this stage, but the sun is one of the most abundant and reliable sources of energy accessible now.

If we could catch and store all of the sun’s energy that shines on the Earth for only one hour, we could provide enough energy to power the whole world for a year. So harnessing the sun’s energy is something we as humans can do today.

House Solar Panel Setup Infographic 1
House Solar Panel Setup Infographic 1

Does Solar Reduce Respiratory And Cardio Health Issues?

One of the most important advantages of solar energy is that it emits relatively few toxins into the environment. As a result, you can also enhance the health of others around you while lowering your carbon footprint.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researched that increasing the use of solar energy will significantly reduce emissions of harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter, which are hazardous to human health.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar electricity reduces chronic bronchitis, respiratory and cardiovascular difficulties, and fewer lost workdays due to health issues. In addition, solar energy has numerous advantages like saving money on your electric costs and reducing stress.

Are Solar Panels Dangerous To Touch?

Solar panels are safe to handle, as long as only the frame or glass covering is touched. Most solar panel systems today include modules that are greater than 300 watts. A standard size solar panel of approximately 300W had open circuit voltages of around 40 V and currents between 7 and 9 A.

Considering that a small current is enough to kill you quickly, you can imagine what could happen if you put your hands on a solar panel’s terminal outputs. Workers installing Solar panels have died in the past, but it is infrequent. Electrocution is always a possibility because solar panels cannot be switched off.

This is because every module does not include a switch to lower the voltage to zero. So, as long as there is sunlight, the solar panel’s terminals will have an open circuit voltage, waiting for a medium such as wire, metal, or, in the worst-case scenario, human hands to close the connection.

You are making a deadly error if you are ignorant of this and assume that your solar panels are turned off merely because they are not connected to the grid.

Resources

General Solar Panel FAQ

What Problems Do Solar Panels Solve?

In environmental terms, solar panels can potentially solve a handful of problems, including;
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Greenhouse gases
4. Reduction in fossil fuel use

For individuals, solar energy allows you to become completely self-sufficient when it comes to your electricity needs and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

What Are 3 Important Uses Of Solar Panels?

The three most important uses of solar panels are;
1. Solar electricity. This can be used to power almost any appliance in your home, including TVs, computers, and fridges.
2. Lighting. In addition to the use of low-power, LED lightbulbs, solar panels can provide an efficient, low-cost, and environmentally friendly way to provide lighting to homes. 
3. Portable solar. In our modern, always-connected lives, our phones, tablets, and computers are almost always with us, and all run on batteries. Portable PV chargers can help keep our batteries topped up no matter where we are, as long as there is some sun to charge them.

Do solar panels give you free electricity?

Once the cost of the array is paid in full, the energy it produces is free. There are ongoing maintenance costs, too, such as annual panel cleaning, etc. 

How much will my electric bill be with solar panels?

Suppose your solar array includes a solar battery backup system, and it is large enough to fully cover your energy usage per day. In that case, your monthly electric bill will be next to zero dollars, even with a grid-tied system. 

If your solar array does not include a solar battery backup system, then at night, your house or business will use grid electricity. That cost will vary but expect to pay from 1/3-2/3 of your average electric bill, and that cost will fluctuate seasonally. 

Do you save money with solar panels?

The simple answer is, Yes, you save money with solar panels. There is an initial upfront cost, but since solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, you will save money over time. You will also begin to see monthly savings in energy bills, but there are other ways that solar panels pay you back. Those include:
1. Adding value to your home or commercial building 
2. Monthly decreases in energy costs
3. The ability to add more energy appliances without increased monthly costs
4. The potential for tax credits for going solar

Can solar panels power a house 24-7?

Most definitely! Solar panels can certainly power a house 24-7, with the addition of a high-quality inverter and a suitable battery bank, of course. To power, a house under normal usage will require a massive solar array, though, and there will be a very expensive initial financial outlay.

Do I need to tell my energy supplier I have solar panels?

This depends on where you live, but in most cases, it’s not necessary to inform your energy supplier that you have solar panels. That said, you may be producing excess power with your solar system, in which case you may be able to sell that excess power back to energy companies.

In this case, you’ll naturally need to be in contact with them. 

What Are Solar Cells Known as and Why?

Solar cells are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are called so because the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means light i.e. photo and electricity i.e. voltaic.

These cells generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This effect basically causes the generation of free electrons from the semiconducting silicon material of the solar panel when sunlight hits its surface.

What Type of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient and Why?

There are currently three types of solar panels available in the market that are:
1. Monocrystalline
2. Polycrystalline
3. Thin-filmed

Among these, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient among all others.

Does heat enter your home through the roof?

Absolutely. Heat enters your home through your roof, and on a hot day your attic can get up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Through conduction, heat from the sun warms your roof which then warms your attic and the rest of your home.

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