Dirty Electricity, Solar Power

How can I protect myself from dirty electricity from solar installations?

With the push to move towards renewable energy sources, there is a growing generator of dirty electricity – solar power. To be more specific, grid-connected solar panels. Solar panels = dirty electricity + side effects. The principal concerns of grid-connected solar installations are the location of inverters, panels, control equipment and cables used in solar panel installations relative to sleeping and living areas.

Dirty electricity solar power

What are the potential risks from solar installations?

This concern stems from the introduction of Dirty Electricity (Line voltage transients) into the whole electrical installation, creating a mains-powered antenna radiating RF from the walls in low Khz up to the high Mhz range. Magnetic fields from the inverter also earth leakage currents dumped to the earthing system, causing nuisance tripping and localised ground currents. These may even pollute neighbours’ electrical installations.

In simple terms, this is the equivalent of bringing industrial-level exposures of a range of electrical frequencies into your home and sleeping environments. Exposure to electrical frequencies that would not have existed before the solar installation.

Solar power installations are long term investments. Exchanging a global problem with a potential personal health problem or damage to your electronic equipment does not fit the criteria for sustainability or ecology. As with any long term investment, when considering the potential effects on both
electrical and biological systems you will require clear factual information. So let’s unpack the issue.

What steps can we take to protect against dirty electricity from solar installations?

Solar power is here to stay and will be much more efficient soon, so even if you do not have a solar installation now, it is increasingly likely that you will in the near future. When making the transition to solar power, managing the risks from dirty electricity and choosing the best performing equipment, installing it with appropriate care and testing the installation for leakage of dirty electricity should be part of your considerations.

Inverters convert 12volt direct current produced by solar panels into 230Volt alternating current. This process produces magnet fields and electrical fields. Energy losses from that conversion are Earth leakage currents. Dirty electricity. The optimal way is to utilise DC 12V lighting and appliances.

Solar power

Things to look for to manage the risk from dirty electricity when considering a solar installation

Here are some points to consider when when vetting the equipment specifications for a solar power installation. Make sure you obtain written assurances on these points. By 2028 solar will be compulsory on new buildings so if you demand the best now, you may not need to call us to install a filter. 

  • look for systems with low or no dirty electricity often called harmonic or power factor 
  • look for earth leakage current values in Milli volts and compare between systems
  • ensure efficiency is the heart of any system you consider
  • bear in mind that alternative energy sources e.g hydrogen are coming, will your system be able to adapt? 
  • consider alternatives to roof installation and move equipment as far away as possible from living and sleeping areas
  • consider the earthing arrangements – this should be by means of a dedicated rod
  • obtain before and after measurements, and include a clause for the cost of retrofitting a whole house suppression device of your choice if the performance fails to be adequate.

Are you considering a solar installation and want to manage the risks from dirty electricity?

Please get in touch if you would like to understand more about how to install solar power whilst managing the risks of exposure to dirty electricity. Or if you have a particular system in mind and would like advice about its potential risks.