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If you’re like me, you want to do your part to protect the planet.
So maybe you’ve considered alternative energy sources such as solar energy.
You’re excited about harnessing power from the sun, but then all the sudden someone mentions something about radiation?
What’s the deal?
So that’s the topic I want to cover today – solar panel radiation.
We’ll look at how they function and potential problems they pose, including the #1 risk factor you should be aware of.
A Look at How Solar Panels Work
Before we look at the potential harmful effects of solar panels, let’s discuss how they gather energy.
Solar panels can conduct the sun’s energy into electricity for our households through components called photovoltaic cells.
These photovoltaic cells are found between the semi-conductive layers of the panel, which contain different electronic properties.
When the photons from the sun reach the solar panel, these layers are energized, which in turn creates electricity. This phenomenon is called the photoelectric effect.
Take note that the electricity solar panels generate is a direct current.
This means that before it can be used in homes and businesses, the electricity has to be converted to alternating current.
For this to happen, the electricity passes through a wiring system that’s referred to as the inverter.
The role of the inverter is to turn the electricity initially made by the panels into a usable type of energy to power your gadgets and appliances.
Once the conversion has been completed, the energy goes directly to your electrical system for use as needed.
Potential Benefits of Solar Panels
First of all, they’re convenient because they don’t require large spaces to be installed and can be placed practically anywhere that gets direct sunlight.
Second, they aren’t noisy, making them ideal for both rural and urban settings.
In terms of maintaining it, little is required from you in order for the solar panel to work. So solar panels can provide a stable, consistent energy source even without hands-on maintenance.
Using solar panels can also help you reduce your electricity bill, which is the “pro” for most people, and why they consider solar energy in the first place – myself included.
Apart from cutting expenses, you can also earn some extra cash.
In many cases, you can get paid for surplus energy that’s generated and exported to the grid if the system is connected to one.
Lastly, the solar energy that’s produced can be used for multiple purposes because you can use it as heat or as electricity. It can even be used to power satellites in space or distill water in impoverished areas.
Do Solar Panels Emit Radiation?
Now that we’ve sorted through the pros of solar panels, it’s time to face the not-so-pleasing part about them.
Despite their advantages, many users have expressed their concern regarding the possibility that they emit harmful radiation.
However, this is a misconception. The solar panels themselves do not emit radiation; and if they do, they only produce a very small amount.
As long as you practice 2 of the 3 tenets of EMF protection – distance and duration – you should be fine.
Instead, it is the solar panel systems, particularly the smart meters and inverters of the solar panel that are responsible for radiation emissions.
These two components can emit large amounts of EMF and dirty electricity, which are the real threats to your health. Let’s take a closer look at that…
Solar Panels & Dirty Electricity
We had previously discussed the role of inverters in solar panels when it comes to converting energy.
The sad news is, this same inverter is also a significant source of dirty electricity.
Dirty electricity, also called electrical noise or dirty power, is a type of EMF pollution caused by electronics that need to change the standard electrical current to function.
It also describes electricity that becomes unusable as it gets trapped inside electrical wiring.
So it’s the conversion of electricity from solar panels to a more usable type for your home that leads to the production of dirty electricity.
This also happens when different modern devices require greatly varying amounts of electricity.
For instance, some devices might require an electrical system with 60/50 hertz to:
- Use a higher voltage AC
- Convert a 60 hertz AC to a low-voltage DC
- Draw power bursts through switching the electrical current on and off
When this happens, high-frequency voltage transients may occur that lead to dirty electricity.
This electricity then gets stuck in the electrical wiring, which can continue to build up and emit dangerous radiation up to 6 feet away.
How That Relates to the Smart Meter
Now that we understand how dirty electricity from inverters is produced, let’s touch on the effect of smart meters.
I mentioned that it can be a source of dangerous EMFs, but how exactly?
Well, first of all, smart meters are utility meters that are used to track the usage of data as well as transmit information regarding data use through wireless connections.
They’re convenient and beloved by utility companies because they no longer need their workers to read meters manually.
However, when that transmission of data occurs, smart meters emit huge amounts of dangerous RF radiation that can penetrate through the bodies of those exposed to it.
The silver lining is that not all solar panels are connected to smart meters – and that’s the kind you want to go for.
However, if you choose to sell the surplus of energy that you obtain, you’ll most likely be required to use a smart meter and will therefore be at risk of exposure to the radiation it emits.
Check out our complete guide to smart meter radiation here.
What About Solar Hot Water Systems?
Apart from electricity, solar energy can also be used to warm you up through solar hot water systems.
With the help of a solar collector installed on your home’s roof, the system can heat water, which it then pumps into a storage tank, ready for usage.
Solar hot water systems are popular as an alternative means of heating that’s comparatively inexpensive and much more earth-friendly.
However, electrically sensitive people may experience discomfort while being around these systems due to its pump.
Even though the pump is small, it can still be a source of harmful radiation when people are exposed to it at a close distance.
The good news is if the pump is placed farther away – say a room far from any bedrooms or even in a separate building – it may be harmless to you.
But there is the option of enjoying solar-heated water without using any electricity, and that’s with a method called the thermosiphon system.
The setup of this system is a storage tank placed on your roof with attached collectors below it.
They’re only suited for mild frosted climates though.
What About Inverter Radiation?
Now let’s take a closer look at the second problem component of solar panels – the inverter.
Inverters can be installed in two ways:
- They can be in the form of a large box placed close to the electrical panel.
- They could be “micro-inverters” inside or under the solar panels but are still connected to a larger inverter.
Whatever way your solar panel inverter is installed, it can still emit radiofrequency radiation as a byproduct of converting electricity into alternating current.
Some people who have solar panels, or are neighbors with a solar panel owner, have complained of related minor health issues and/or annoyances.
This makes sense because the wires of the inverter can act as an antenna through which radiation can be emitted.
Safe Distance from Solar Inverter
If these solar inverters pose a threat to our health, what’s the safe distance away from it?
The answers vary.
Some people say being just 3 feet away can cut the damage of exposure. Others think it’s better safe than sorry and recommend staying 10 feet away.
One reader shared his measurements of magnetic fields and noted that they were as high as 10 mG at 2 feet away from the inverter.
To put that in perspective, the safety range for magnetic fields is less than 2 mG.
At 9 feet away, levels dropped back down to an acceptable range.
Since the inverter is the key problem with solar panels, here’s some more info via video:
Video credit: Environmental Radiation LLC
Solar Panels and Emf Sensitivity: Anecdotal Evidence
Since solar panels have grown more popular, a lot of people have been expressing their concerns about its effects on their health.
More than that, several individuals have complained of discomfort as they got closer to a solar panel system.
For instance, one observer who happens to be electrosensitive noticed that while he was looking for a house, he got increasingly ill as he stayed in an area with solar panels.
Luckily, he had a radio-frequency radiation meter at hand, and when he measured the homes, he found distressing news:
The solar-powered houses had high readings of RF radiation. No wonder he suddenly felt disoriented, nauseated, and dizzy.
Another concerned citizen shared her experience regarding EMF exposure due to dirty electricity.
She said that due to the high frequencies of their house’s wiring she developed low-grade fevers, night sweats, dizziness, and nerve pain.
Knowledgeable of EMF, she suspected the culprits were her electronics and other appliances that caused variable speed frequency drives.
As soon as she turned their circuits off, she rested much better and the sick feeling went away.
How to Protect Yourself from Solar Radiation & the Dirty Electricity Associated with It
Still, solar panels can be worth it, which is up to each family to decide for themselves. You can certainly still have a solar panel system and shield yourself from potential EMR at the same time.
Here are some tips:
- Keep your system DC and purchase appliances that are DC-powered
- Use EMF protection paint
- Get a smart meter cover.
- Purchase a dirty electricity meter and measure to identify hot spots, which you can then shield.
- Place the inverter in an area where your family doesn’t spend much time. Make sure that the space also doesn’t share a wall with a high-traffic room.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do solar panels cause health problems?
It is not the solar panels themselves that can cause issues, but rather its components that emit harmful radiation and dirty electricity.
Instead of worrying about the panels, consider the smart meters and inverters linked to them, as they are the true culprits.
2. Can you get cancer from solar panels?
No. If you’re concerned that solar panels may increase UV ray exposure in a particular area, rest assured that myth has been debunked.
Certified EMF Expert, Chief Editor & Researcher at Beat EMF. I’m in charge of testing all the products and sorting through the duds to deliver effective EMF solutions for your family. Learn more about me here.