The state of Utah alone has invested over $4 billion in solar energy, as there’s enough solar to power over 500,000 throughout the state. With that said, many remain skeptical about solar panels, particularly regarding the noise they make.
So are solar panels loud? What kinds of noise do solar panels make? Are there ways to quiet your solar panels?
That’s what we’re here to look at today. Read on to find out more about whether solar panels are loud and what goes into modern solar panels.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
There are different solar panels, but the ones you’re most likely going to see in residential settings are photovoltaic, or PV panels. These convert light from the sun into electrical energy.
PV panels are commonly used in solar panels and work by absorbing the sun’s energy through the PV cells in the panel itself. Photons, electrons, and silicon eventually combine to make a reaction to produce a current.
PV cells are grouped and combined in a back sheet. Layers of glass make up a solar panel, and multiple panels are put together to produce a high amount of power.
In short, panels take in light from the sun and use different reactions to convert it to light. But do these reactions actually make noise?
So…Are Solar Panels Loud?
So are solar panels loud? The short answer is: technically, no.
Solar panels themselves emit little, or really any noise. They don’t have any moving parts that turn or churn to make any kind of noise. Once installed, they’re there to take in sunlight and convert it all to energy.
There are different aspects of both installing and maintaining solar panels that may cause noise. Let’s go over those factors here:
Most solar panels are installed by attaching them to a mounting rack and bolting that rack to the roof. The panels themselves never touch the roof, so no sound is made through direct contact.
As such, the installation process might be a bit noisy. After that, incorrect installation may cause instances where unwanted noise is created. Panels that are poorly secured often create noise on windy nights.
As we just discussed, improper installation can produce some noise from your solar panels. With that said, the wind often creates noise even if your panels are properly fitted.
The natural gap between the roof and the base of the panel creates a “tunneling” effect that might make noise on windy nights. If the roof is uneven, this issue is more pronounced.
On very windy nights, the wind might catch the edge of the panel and emit a creaking noise from the roof itself. This is quite rare, however, as contractors know how to secure panels properly even in the event of wind.
Before we discuss how inverters make noise, it’s important to understand that these are essential pieces of equipment that turn AC power into DC power. A solar panel inverter is crucial to power your home.
It manages the power from the solar panel to channel seamlessly to and from the grid. Inverters have fans that keep the entire system cool, especially larger inverters for bigger houses.
When installing your solar panels, ask about solar panel inverters and whether you need to worry about them creating too much noise.
You don’t have to worry about inverters making noises at night, either. Since solar panels do most of their heavy lifting in the daytime when there’s sunlight, inverters won’t bother you in the evening.
What If I Hear Noises From My Solar Panels?
Suppose you hear some kind of noise coming from your solar panels. Listen closely to see if you can tell exactly what the noise is.
Is it a creaking noise? Is it vibrating? Is it just the wind hitting up against your roof?
Does your solar panel dip in production when you hear this noise? If so, the panels might take on too big of a workload. In that case, contact your installer about how to proceed.
You can get the installer to check the screws and bolts to see if everything is nice and tight. There may also be loose strings and other connections causing an abundance of noise.
Sometimes wind going through the space between your panels and the roof it rests on is too much. You can fit rubber panels or something similar to block the wind’s passage.
It’s good to know whether you should expect this problem before installing. It’s going to be a lot easier to take care of it at the start rather than retrofitting your panels when you hear some noise at night.
Repositioning the Inverter
Sometimes your inverter is just in an inopportune location relative to your home. The best inverters are virtually silent, but some might still make a little bit of noise.
Garages and basements are common areas where you might place your inverter. The further it is from your living spaces, the quieter your solar panels can work.
Understanding Solar Panel Noise
Asking “are solar panels loud?” is completely valid considering the investment you take on when you install them for your home. Use this guide to help you understand solar panels and how they can make noise.
Are you looking for a reliable solar panel company? Contact us today and we’ll get you started on a solution right away!