Solar panels are an expensive investment. They are currently the most expensive type of energy production method in the market. We know you want to take care of your expensive energy investment. However, while cleaning the solar system, you might wonder if you can walk on solar panels for better cleaning.
Here’s an in-depth guide on walking on solar panels for cleaning and a guide on the proper handling of your solar system.
Walking on solar panels
Yes, you can walk on solar panels. Modern PV cells are made up of strong and rigid silicone plates that are strong enough to hold the weight of a regular person. However, it’s never recommended to stand on solar panels. Why would you want to risk your expensive thousands of dollars investment just for cleaning?
Why Standing on Solar Panels isn’t Recommended
Solar panels are made from silicon chips. They aren’t made from steel or iron metal. Silicone is always a light plastic dense material. It’s prone to get damaged if a large force is applied to it in a smaller surface area. That’s why you should never stand on solar panels.
Not just that, the silicon wafers are non-bendable. They can break or get permanent dents and malfunction if an extreme force acts on them in a small surface area. Therefore, it’s never recommended to stand on solar panels.
Maximum Weight a Solar Panel Can Hold
Solar panels have a maximum weight-bearing capacity of about 75 PSI. The PSI refers to pounds per square inch. It defines the maximum weight capacity in one square inch. However, that depends on the type of solar panels you’re using.
The most rigid solar panels are glass-layered ones. They have glass on the top for protection. Some companies offer tempered glass and some use double-glazed glass.
However, both of them work great. They can offer a maximum weight of about 75 PSI. If your solar panels don’t have glass protection, the weight capacity will be much lower because of the lack of protection and the thin silicon wafers they use.
Regular crystalline panels can offer a maximum weight capacity of about 22 PSI. Thin panels can offer a maximum capacity of about 18 PSI.
Safety Standards for Walking on Solar Panels
Walking on solar panels is never safe and it’s against the safety protocols. Even if the panel has glass protection, the glass can still break. If that happens, 2 types of risks are involved.
The tempered glass can cause serious injuries like deep cuts. If you’re standing on the panel and the glass breaks, the broken glass can stab you in the body with serious injuries..
Solar panels produce DC power. DC power is even more dangerous than the AC voltage available in your house from the grid. The panels, when exposed to light, produce a voltage of above 150V DC. That’s enough to electrocute you to death. Being exposed to that much voltage, especially DC, is enough to kill you more than one time. Any current higher than 80 DC Volts is lethal or at least injurious to the human body. Standing on the solar panels, and if it breaks, electrocution is possible.
Damages that a Solar Panel can get by Standing on them
There are various ways by which your solar panels can get damaged. Here’s a brief outlook on them:
Cracking of the Glass
Cracking of the glass is very common damage when you stand on the solar panels. The glass on them is already tempered or double glazed glass. However, micro-cracks or already cracked points in the glass can create a weak point at a particular surface. Standing on that sensitive point can cause a dent or breakage in the glass. If that happens, serious glass stabs and electrocution are possible.
Scratches on the Panel
Standing on the panel with the shoes is more prone to give it scratches. The soles of the shoes cause friction between the panel’s surface and the shoes. Eventually, it creates scratches on the surface of the panel. These scratches cause efficiency loss in the panel. It’s because the scratches on the panel reduce the photon impact. The lesser the photons impact the panel, the less energy it’ll produce.
Breakage of the PV Plate
If your solar panels don’t have any kind of protection, it’s highly prone to crack from the point of standing. The panels are made from thin silicon wafers. Silicone wafers aren’t meant to bear weight and tension. If an extreme force is applied to them at a particular level, they would simply break. Some plates do offer back metal plates for the support, but the majority of the commercial and residential solar plates don’t use any kind of support.
What Happens if the Solar Panel Breaks?
If your solar panels break, there are some things to do. First, make sure that no one is inside or near the panel when it breaks. Then call a professional who can come out and repair it.
Here are some other tips:
- Have an inspection by an expert who will check for any damage caused by weather conditions or vandalism.
- If there is damage from weather conditions, wear protective clothing and take pictures of any cracks or missing parts so you can file a claim with your insurance company.
- Most manufacturers will have a warranty on their products that lasts for 10 years. If they don’t, they can usually send a replacement part if you can show them where it broke. The manufacturer may also be able to help you get a replacement part at a discounted price.
- If your warranty is expired or no longer covers your solar panels, then it’s up to you to pay out of pocket for any repairs or replacements needed from any solar installation in Washington, DC. But keep in mind that this may not always be affordable.
Also Read: Benefits Of Solar Energy To The Environment
Is standing on the solar panel safe?
Standing on a solar panel is not recommended as it can cause severe injuries and even death. The standing position of solar panels is used by some farmers to irrigate their crops, but this is not recommended by professionals.
Can solar panels electrocute you?
The panels, when exposed to light, produce a voltage of above 150V DC. That’s enough to electrocute you to death. Being exposed to that much voltage, especially DC, is enough to kill you more than one time.
Is it safe to stand on the panel with glass protection?
No, micro-cracks or already cracked points in the glass can create a weak point at a particular surface. Standing on that sensitive point can cause a dent or breakage in the glass.