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Solar Panel Disconnect

By Benjamin Strusnik July 18, 2022

solar panel disconnect

Electricity generated by solar panels is the third-largest energy-producing technology in the world. Many American households have turned to installing solar power generator systems in their home and it is easy to see why.

Solar panels have the ability to reduce your carbon footprint and also play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating a cleaner environment. Not only does it help the environment, but it will also add some cash back into your pocket over the long term.

Having a solar panel system installed in your home will increase your monthly saving by reducing your utility bills and potentially gaining cash back through government solar tariffs and incentives. Yes, you read that correctly. Connecting a solar panel to the grid comes with great financial incentives.

You are even able to take your solar panels with you on travel. However, before we get there, we need to know how to properly disconnect your solar panels from their place of installation.

The following article will guide you through the correct way to uninstall your solar panels from your roof so that you are able to take them with you on the road.

how to disconnect solar panels

Why Would You Want to Disconnect Your Solar Panels

It’s more complicated to wire solar panels to your house than it is to remove them. But why would you want to?

There are many reasons why solar panel owners would want to disconnect their panels from their roofs. The majority of reasons involve being away from your home for a long period of time.

If your panels stay connected, there will be nowhere for the power to flow since your appliances won’t be utilized for a long time. This can cause your solar system to overload, damaging the panel itself and the things it is connected to.

Another reason for wanting to disconnect your solar panels is if you’re anticipating extreme weather conditions. Solar panel owners will typically disconnect the panels and store them safely if there are heavy weather conditions expected.

You may also want to disconnect your panels if you’re moving homes or want to use them on a camping holiday.

However, even when your solar panels are disconnected, they still produce potentially high DC voltages, especially if your solar panels are connected in parallel. That being said, you should know how to safely disconnect one without damaging the panels and the circuit.

How to Safely Disconnect Solar Panels

The process of disconnecting solar panels is not difficult, but you need to make sure to do it correctly. Follow the guide below to learn how to disconnect your solar panels safely.

how to disconnect solar panel

Disconnecting the Circuit Breakers and Switches

The first step you to take before pulling the plug on your solar panel wiring is to disconnect the circuit breakers and switches. This will ensure that the current flowing from the solar generator system is stopped.

Disconnecting the switches and circuit breakers will also protect you from getting electrocuted. There are usually two switches, so make sure you locate and turn them both off. Additionally, if you have a charge controller, make sure to switch that off as well.

If you have an inverter, it is likely that there are circuit breakers inside of the box. Be sure to open up the box and turn off those circuit breakers as well.

Once you have turned off all the possible circuit breakers and switches associated with the solar system you can move on to the next of disconnecting your panels.

Disconnecting the Solar Panels

Solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells which are constantly converting the sun rays into energy. Thus, this means that the panel can never truly be switched off.

To make disconnecting safer, make sure you have insulating gloves and that you’re doing the work during the late evening when the sun has set.

If you have two sets of solar panels connected to each other, it is essential to disconnect them first before removing them from your roof.

It is highly recommended to throw an opaque or black duvet or sheet over your panels. This ensures that ‘ghost energy’ is not being produced, minimizing the risk of getting electrocuted.

Once you feel safe and comfortable, remove the MC4 connectors from your solar panels, which will stop any current flowing through the panels.

If you really want to make sure that there is no current flowing through the circuit, you can use a multimeter to measure the voltage. If it reads zero, then you know you are safe and ready to go.

If you’ve connected your solar panels to a battery, you don’t need to worry. As long as you’re using a charge controller, everything will be fine.

disconnecting solar panel

Dismantling Your Panels

Once you’re sure that everything is disconnected, you are then able to remove the solar panels from your roof.

This is the easiest step and all it requires is removing the nuts and bolts that are holding down your solar panel to the bracket.

Remove all mounting components carefully, while holding the panels into place. When all the components are removed, you can remove the panels from your roof.

The Bottom Line

Disconnecting a solar panel is an easy process and it doesn’t require a lot of tools. However, disconnecting a solar panel and uninstalling it can lead to a wide range of problems.

Leaving a panel disconnected for a long period of time can lead to a reduction in its lifespan. Remember, it is continuously producing energy that has nowhere to go and this is the main reason homeowners refrain from leaving the solar panel disconnected for long periods of time.

So, at the end of the day, leaving your panels connected is much better than disconnecting them. You should only disconnect your panels as a last resort or if you are anticipating some really harsh weather conditions.

If you have any concerns or queries, then you should visit Shop Solar Kits, which has knowledge and expertise on all things solar-powered. They also have a wide range of solar products that you can use for your solar power needs.

disconnecting your solar panel

If you want to know more about solar panels, be sure to check out our list of helpful articles. We’ve got you covered on everything from properly connecting a diode to your solar panel to running a motor from solar energy.

Making the decision to connect solar panels to your house is one of the best decisions you can make. You are playing your part in combating climate change.

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