We receive many questions about the efficacy and technical aspects of solar power. But we sometimes get asked about the operating conditions as well. And one of the queries we saw recently was “Do solar panels make noise?”
Solar power is a fantastic source of renewable energy. Using solar panels to harness the power of the sun reduces your energy bill and increases your property value. But many people are hesitant to invest in solar panels because they don’t understand the technology involved.
Today, we examine this question to determine if noise is a factor in the use of solar panels in your home or business.
Do Solar Panels Make a Noise?
The short answer is no. Solar panels do not make any noise in and of themselves. But there are instances where your solar setup can be noisy, and we’ll go through those reasons, below.
To understand why this happens, let’s take a quick look at how solar panels work. The sun's energy beams down to earth and the heat and light are either reflected or absorbed. Photons in sunlight hit the photovoltaic cells in your solar panels mounted on the roof.
Heat and Light Energy
Do solar panels reflect that light? Yes, although only about half the amount that your windows do. So it doesn’t really cause much glare. And while solar panels do reflect some heat, they absorb about 30% of that heat energy.
Stored And Converted to Electricity
That energy, stored in special batteries, is then converted to electricity via an inverter. In case this has you wondering, “Hey, can I use a car battery for my solar panel?” the answer is yes, technically, but you probably shouldn’t. They aren’t designed for deep discharge and don’t last long when used in this way.
Possible Sources of Noise
Solar panels themselves don’t contain moving or mechanical parts. Hence, they don’t produce any noise. But there are other possible sources of noise associated with the use of solar panels. Let’s have a quick look at each of these.
If your solar panels haven’t been installed properly, or your roof is misshapen, you may sometimes hear some wind noise. This can be a good warning sign, as it is an indication that you need to check the installation of your solar panels.
A solar panel is never in direct contact with the roof. It’s held in place by a mounting rack which is bolted onto the roof. But a mounting rack that isn’t securely fastened can result in movement and noise in windy conditions. This can also occur in cases where a cable isn’t pinned correctly.
This is why it’s essential to wire and install your solar panels correctly. Our home solar panel kits are easy to install, but if you feel that you aren’t up to the task, get a professional to do it for you. This reduces the chances of wind noise caused by incorrect installation of your solar setup.
Improper installation isn’t the only culprit, however. There’s always a slight gap between the base of the solar panel and the roof. This is more of an issue when you have uneven roof tiles, but a small gap is always inevitable. Check for loose tiles, as sorting that out may resolve the problem.
Depending on the surface of your roof and how uneven it is, a wind tunnel can ensue in certain weather conditions. But if your roof is relatively even and you don’t experience extreme windy conditions in your area, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Solar panels produce DC rather than AC and this is stored in the batteries, but most electrical appliances are designed to run on AC. Because this is the type of electricity used on the grid, you need an inverter to convert the DC electricity from your solar panels into AC.
The most common noise that solar panel users report is a humming sound. That sound is caused by the inverter that converts solar power into usable electricity. There are two types of inverters used for domestic solar panels: micro-inverters and string inverters. Whether or not you experience this issue is dependent on which type of inverter you use.
When each solar panel is equipped with an individual inverter, these are called microinverters. A microinverter makes no sound. A string inverter is usually attached to the side of the building and can produce a low decibel output during operation.
String Inverter Hum
Most electrical devices heat up during operation. While solar panels get hot, they are designed to withstand extreme temperatures. However, they’re unlikely to stop functioning from excess heat. Inverters also get hot while in operation, especially larger ones with higher electrical production demands.
When the inverter heats up, it has an internal fan to cool it down. When the inverter speed increases and the fan rotates faster, it produces more noise. This can occasionally emit an audible hum of up to 45dB.
You would have to be quite close to it to hear that hum, though, as this is only a tad louder than a whisper, it’s unlikely to be noticeable. You could also reposition the inverter to a spot where any such noise won’t cause a disturbance.
A Daytime Issue Only
Because solar electrical production only happens during daylight hours, the inverter is silent at night. The chances are that you will never notice this humming sound anyway as it is masked by other ambient noise during the day.
Good-quality inverters are usually fairly quiet in operation and those are the only kind you’ll find when you shop at Shop Solar Kits.
The Right Kind of Noise
And now for the right kind of noise, the kind you get from a shout of joy. And we know you’ll be cheering once you join our solar energy affiliate program. The majority of Americans are interested in going solar. With referral commissions, you can make yourself some extra cash.
The Way of the Future
We know that the commissions most solar companies offer aren’t great, but we pay commissions up to 5%. Solar energy is the way of the future and our affiliate program could make a difference in your future. Now that’s something to make a noise about.
Our aim is always to make solar energy accessible and simple. Installing solar panels in your home or business offers some great benefits. They are not only an eco-friendly option, but they also lower your electricity bill too.
Our kits are easy to install and come with full instructions. And you don’t have to worry about noise from your solar setup, as this is negligible. So if you are keen on getting started with solar, contact us today.
Did You Find Our Blog Helpful? Then Consider Checking: