Solar Panel Safety Basics

This article was written by Dennis Ebenezer and first published on LinkedIn

Widely acclaimed for having gained substantial popularity in the 1980s, solar panels live with us now both in our neighbourhood and even in our workplaces. mounted on rooftops, carports, low ground elevation, water bodies and most fascinating on our windows. Solar panels’ aesthetics and electricity generation capabilities are very much appealing and widely acceptable by a good number of people all over the world. This article will help you have a basic knowledge of its safety consideration from a practical point of view.

Let’s roll!

Ever pondered on how safe solar panels are, most especially the ones on our roofs? Reading below will give answers to this and also throw light on what can jeopardize its safety alongside handy safety procedures for installers. First and foremost, solar panels are extremely safe and their electricity generation is clean, renewable and void of toxic fumes. Electrical components are most of the time prone to fire outbreaks but satisfactorily solar panels stand out as an exception. On a factual basis, a recent industry report acknowledges that fewer than 1 incident in 10000 installations caused a solar panel fire outbreak. A quite moderate statistics if you ask me.

Solar panels are void of moving parts and provide a configuration that is not susceptible to overheating as a result of friction. This is why solar panels are characterized by low maintenance and high durability having an average lifespan of about 25-30 years. Before we proceed on what can jeopardize its safety, let’s have a simple description of a solar panel and how it works. The primary function of a solar panel is to convert sunlight to electricity, the cells that carry out this conversion are made from silicon which is derived from sand. It is good to note that when optimum safety is required especially in residential buildings, the connectors in the solar panels need to be firmly connected and cables neatly routed along a relatively not easily accessible path. This is important so as to avoid current leakages from loose connectors which can be harmful.

During installation, extreme caution needs to be placed on the polarity of the stringed cables so the positive output wire do not contact with the negative output wire. If that happens, a spark can occur that can result in a fire or even damage to the panel. It is most appropriate to read through the nameplate as different panels have different voltage and current ranges regardless of the similarity in wattage. 


In summary, solar panels can be categorized as safe to work or engage with when the safety considerations are well implemented.

On the flip side, let me share an amazing fun fact about Solar Panels:

  1. It can last for up to 25 years. Very durable right?
  2. The hotter the sun, the less conversion is achieved. The ideal operating temperature for most brands of solar panels is 25 degrees Celsius. 
  3. China is the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world owing to its large deposit of silica(sand) among other factors.
  4. There are three types of solar panels namely: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels.
  5. Its maintenance is as simple as A-Z. Yeah, it’s just a wipe away of the dust with water and the original conversion is relatively achieved.

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