The use of solar panels is arguably the most popular green energy trend in recent years. Do you have one on the roof? If you do, you already know the benefits that come with it: energy efficiency, lower electricity bills, and the list goes on. While going solar has its benefits, it also has its dangers.
Faulty wiring and damages in its parts may cause fires and other electrical hazards. Using trusty circuit testing equipment may keep this from happening. During these incidents, the wires are already a problem. But, they are not solely to blame.
Incidents of Solar Panel Fires
Early this year, Australia has reported a statewide increase in solar panel fires. The incidents were linked to faulty wiring in a number of isolators. While authorities are still investigating the cause, many believe that the cheap isolators are the culprit. In 2014, former state attorney Jarrod Bleijie issued a directive to recall thousands of them.
Just a few weeks ago, the solar panel of a Mississauga home caught fire because of rodent damage to the wires. No one was injured, but the incident raises more concerns regarding the equipment.
Faulty Wiring, Faulty Work
In theory, any electrical device can catch fire due to wiring problems, and solar panels are not an exemption. Green as they are, faulty components that don’t meet safety standards may cause them to flare up. Improper installation also increases the risk of electrical hazards.
Faulty wiring is an effect of several factors: cheap and easy-to-break components, poor installation jobs, and lack of monitoring. The owner, the manufacturer and the installer are all responsible for ensuring the safety of the equipment. While a component is potentially dangerous in itself, individuals are still partly to blame for these incidents.
In gauging the safety of the solar panel, the question of component and wiring quality is a valid one. And, people should not end there. Faulty wiring does cause fires. But, individual faults cause the problem as well.