5 Risks of Installing Solar Panels
Although installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can be both environmentally and economically advantageous, the tradesman carrying out the installation can find themselves at risk of a number of different harmful occurrences during the process. Here are some risk factors to be aware of when carrying out this type of work.
Many people who think of solar power as a completely clean and green form of energy are surprised to learn that the process of manufacturing PV panels includes the spraying of the photovoltaic cells with toxic materials. Anyone coming into close contact with the panels, risks inhaling these materials. Therefore, you may want to consider wearing a protective face mask to shield your nose and mouth from these hazardous substances.
When you’re doing any kind of work on a roof, including mounting solar panels, there is always the danger of falling off. This is especially the case if moss, lichen or other slippery substances are present. In order to remove such substances from a roof, spray them with a liquid moss killer. If part of the roof is insecure, there is also the risk of falling through. Ask a solar installation surveyor to determine whether the roof is able to bear both your weight and the weight of the panels.
Part of the solar panel installation process involves wiring inverters. This task carries with it the risk of electrocution as inverters contain high voltage. To avoid injury, make sure that the input power is off before opening the terminal block, never insert any wires or any other objects into the inverter, don’t spill any liquid on it and switch off the power straightaway if the inverter starts producing smoke, odor or strange noises.
You’ll be using a variety of power tools, including drills and electronic screwdrivers. Operating such tools can result in injury if the user doesn’t take necessary precautions and doesn’t take care. If you’re planning to install PV panels in the near future, it’s important to keep your tools well maintained, to keep any blades sharp and to examine power cords and pneumatic hoses on a regular basis in order to ensure they’re in a usable condition.
Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields
Although the electromagnetic fields produced by photovoltaic systems are weak, they are still there. Anyone installing PV panels runs the, albeit small, risk of experiencing the symptoms of exposure to electromagnetic fields. Although there is currently no scientific evidence to back up their claims, some members of the public have attributed conditions such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression to exposure to electromagnetic fields.
The good news is that practically all of these risks are manageable as long as you, as a professional contractor, are aware of them. You have the power to be smart about how you deal with them by preparing yourself, the property and the panels accordingly. However desperate the homeowner is to get the solar panels on their roof, it’s just not worth cutting corners when it comes to safety precautions and processes.