Solar panels are becoming more popular as a way of generating renewable energy. But, if like me, you’re concerned about EMF radiation, you might be concerned about whether these are the best thing to be installing in your home.
So, do solar panels emit EMF radiation? Solar panels do emit EMF radiation to some degree except at night or when not in use. However, while the EMF radiation levels given off by solar panels has been marked as safe, those who are sensitive to EMF radiation may still be affected by it.
I have to say I’m not surprised to learn that solar panels give off EMF radiation, it’s still helpful to have all the facts to hand. In this article, I give more information about EMF radiation emitted by solar panels, and ways that you can protect yourself from it.
EMF Radiation From Solar Panels
All electrical devices give off EMF radiation to some degree, and this can be in the form of heat, light, or any other wavelength of the EMF spectrum. However, some devices emit more EMF radiation than others, and some wavelengths are more harmful than others.
Therefore, simply knowing that solar panels emit EMF radiation isn’t enough, as this can be said about any device, and it’s fair to assume that standing near a microwave on full blast is probably going to be more harmful than having solar panels on your roof.
Generally, the solar panels themselves will emit mostly harmless EMF radiation, in the form of things like heat. However, where you might find the system gives off more is from the wiring, the inverter, or the smart meter. These will often emit microwaves or radio waves, which might be the bits you’re concerned about.
All the solar panels do is convert light into electricity, and while this is a very basic way of summarizing a reasonably complex process, it doesn’t result in significant amounts of harmful EMF radiation. As I mentioned though, the problems likely come from the other technology in the system.
If you’re having solar panels installed, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have an inverter fitted too. This is the device that allows you to sell generated electricity back to the grid, which ultimately is meant to save you money on your electricity bills.
Along with this, you’ll also need a smart meter to track how much you’ve sold back to the grid. Anyone who’s interested in the world of EMF radiation will know that smart meters are one of the biggest causes of concern in modern households.
This is mainly because the device adds yet more radio frequencies to your home space, as most smart meters communicate via WiFi and there’s no way to turn them off. So indirectly, solar panels could be adding quite a bit of EMF radiation to your home.
While these increased levels of EMF radiation might not be noticeable, people with electromagnetic hypersensitivity will notice, and may even get ill from these increases. Similarly, we still don’t know enough about the long-term effects of EMF radiation on the body. And if you ask me, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to limit EMF exposure from solar panels in your home
Aside from potential risks to your health from EMF radiation, solar panels can make a good addition to your home if you live in a sunny area. Also, you could be moving into a house with them already installed and are considering your options for how to block this excess radiation.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can significantly reduce, or even completely block, EMF radiation from solar panels. The options I list below are useful for blocking almost all kinds of EMF radiation, but I’ve modified them slightly to be relevant for solar panels.
Also, I’d recommend trying multiple options if you can. That said, some of them won’t really work on their own, but are useful steps of preparation for other solutions. Decide which would be best based on your budget and time, and come up with a plan that’s relevant to your needs.
1. Buy an EMF radiation meter
If you don’t own one already, this should be a no-brainer. Having an EMF radiation meter will allow you to measure the extent of EMF radiation in your home, while also identifying the major sources.
There are plenty of other models available, and some are more effective than others. While none are particularly cheap, consider this an investment. If nothing else, you’ll indirectly save money by being able to apply more specific solutions rather than blanket blocking methods.
Also, bear in mind that you’re never going to get a reading of zero, as there’s always going to be ambient EMF radiation. Find somewhere outside, away from electrical devices, to take your base reading. This’ll be different wherever you are, but try to find the lowest consistent reading possible.
Once you have that, inspect the different areas of your solar panel system with your meter. Any sharp spikes will show you the main sources of EMF radiation, but expect these to me the smart meter and inverter. However, it’s worth going over the solar panels too.
I’d recommend doing this before anything else so that you’ve got a good idea of what needs to be done. For example, if the EMF radiation levels emitted by the solar panels are much lower, then focus on the other areas of the system first. This will allow you to take a much more streamlined approach to solving the problem.
2. Build a Faraday cage in your attic
A Faraday cage is essentially a metal mesh cage that blocks EMF radiation from passing through it. They’re very useful pieces of equipment, and do an amazing job at blocking potentially harmful frequencies from entering your home.
Generally, you need to build the cage around the object emitting radiation, but this can be quite hard when the panels are on your roof. Therefore, an alternative solution is to build one inside your attic, as this should prevent the majority of waves from entering your home.
To do this, you don’t need to buy an actual Faraday cage, as any conductive wire mesh will do. However, you must ensure that it’s properly connected, as any gaps will cause a short in the cage, meaning it won’t block the radiation.
Similarly, Faraday cages need a grounding wire, and this is something you’ll have to install yourself. Simply run a strip of conductive metal from the cage along the outside of your house to the ground. This should complete the circuit, meaning your home is protected.
Creating a Faraday cage for the solar panels isn’t going to be the easiest job in the world, which is why it might be more effective to focus on the more problem areas of the circuit. As these parts are smaller, they can be more easily contained.
3. Build a Faraday cage around the inverter and smart meter
The smart meter and inverter are likely going to be the bigger emitters of EMF radiation, so these are probably worth tackling first. Of course, check this with your EMF meter, but smart meters are recognized as a major foe of people sensitive to EMF radiation.
In fact, there are already plenty of Faraday cages available for just this purpose, and most will also be suitable to use on the inverter. If you do look to buy a cage for either of these devices, it’ll have to be one that still allows WiFi signals to pass through, otherwise the devices will be rendered useless.
Similarly, you’ll need to ensure that the cage has good ventilation, as these devices can give off quite a bit of heat. That’s why I think it’s best to use a specifically designed product in this case, as it’ll cover all of these requirements.
While some of these specific Faraday cages can be a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth it if you’re sensitive to EMF radiation. As I mentioned, smart meters are a major source of this problem radiation, and the same is true for inverters. This is where much of the workings of solar panels are done, so it’s best to combat the problem if you can.
4. Use EMF blocking paint
Another effective solution is to use EMF blocking paint, such as Yshield (Amazon link). Essentially, these paints do the same job as a Faraday cage, but often don’t use metal. Instead, they use materials like carbon, but give the same results.
Also, EMF blocking paint is a much more versatile option because you can paint it on almost any surface. You’ll need at least 2 coats, but this will depend on coverage and the extent of the problem. Each manufacturer will offer different guidelines, so do some research before you make a purchase.
If you’re using EMF blocking paint to combat solar panels, I think the easiest place to put it is on the ceiling of any rooms that join to the attic. Unless you’ve got an attic conversion, it’ll be difficult to find a flat surface up there that you can apply the paint to.
Painting the product on your ceilings will block EMF radiation from entering the rest of the home. This will at the very least block radiation coming directly from the solar panels, and should cover the inverter too because this is usually installed in the attic.
However, if this isn’t the case, paint the product on any walls surrounding the inverter. For example, if it’s installed on an adjoining wall in your home, paint it on both sides just to be sure you’re blocking the radiation.
Also, this generally won’t cover the smart meter, as that’s usually located elsewhere. I’d still go ahead and use a Faraday cage on the smart meter, and probably on the inverter too. Then I’d add some EMF blocking paint wherever possible just to be on the safe side.
5. Install a dirty electricity filter
Dirty electricity is another form of EMF radiation, and is caused by spikes or surges in your electricity supply. This is a common problem with normal mains electricity, but is made worse by the introduction of solar panels.
This is for a number of reasons, but mainly because solar panels switch on and off at different times, and combining this with the need to convert their generated electricity into a usable form results in plenty of “leakage”.
What’s more, dirty electricity is a common problem for those sensitive to EMF radiation. It’s caused by a number of devices you’ll already have in your home, but solar panels are also a big cause of it.
One of the biggest names in dirty electricity filters are Greenwave, but there are other models on the market. Basically, their product is plugged into a mains socket in your home, and it then filters out dirty electricity, returning it to the system as clean electricity.
The amount of filters you’ll need will depend on the size of your home and then number of electronics in it, but most average rooms need 2. However, if you’re combating a solar panel problem, I’d increase this to 4 per room in problem areas.
Read my review of Greenwave filters which includes a buying guide on the number of filters required in a home.
If you want to test this properly, you’ll need to buy a dirty electricity meter first and measure your levels. The worst affected rooms will need more filters, but most manufacturers have guides on how to get the right number. While installing these filters won’t completely remove the problem, it should make a difference for those sensitive to EMF radiation.
Some final thoughts
Although solar panels do emit EMF radiation, the bigger problems are the other bits of tech that come in the system. Things like your smart meter are a known problem in EMF circles, and methods existing for combating these problems.
However, as I found, it’s worth tackling several areas to get the best results. I’d recommend testing your system to find the worst parts and then designing a plan that’s right for your needs.