Solar panel farm installations are designed to run with minimal human resources and are highly reliable. The common belief among the proponents of this technology is that solar power is not only cleaner but also safer. However, there are some potential dangers to solar panel farms.
We still do not have enough research studies about what happens to the soil, wildlife and plants in areas where solar panel farms are built. Solar panels are likely to alter temperature, may cause shading, change the wind flow over the land and rainfall distribution. Once the effect of solar panels on the environment is better known it will be possible to design the next generation of solar panel farms that pose fewer dangers and are more efficient.
Here are several potential dangers of solar panel farms:
- Fire Hazard – The concentrated sunlight used by solar panels may pose an increased risk of fire.
- Sun Radiation – Another of the potential dangers is the radiation from the sun. Studies show that too much exposure pose a risk to develop skin cancer. We are already exposed to direct sunlight. But solar collectors present in solar panel farms concentrate that sunlight and that may also increase our risks of sunlight radiation exposure in the proximity of the solar panel farms.
- Transformer Leakage – A transformer leak can pose safety hazards, causing land contamination. It is necessary to carry out preventive maintenance in transformers and to be more alert if a leak is present. The transformer level, pressure, and temperature should be carefully monitored. To minimize dangers of land contamination, in a case of a transformer leak the defective device should be repaired or replaced promptly.
- Various Inverter Damage – Changes to frequency and voltage in an inverter may affect the safety of those in proximity. Inverter damage requires a quick response to minimize any dangers.
- Broken Conduit – As charges are uncontained, a broken conduit poses the danger of shock, fire, and other personal hazards.
- Combiner Box Damage – If damaged, a combiner box may cause a major decrease in the productivity of the solar panel farm and also pose a safety risk.
- Toxic Waste – The production of solar panels for solar panel farms creates many toxic byproducts, including greenhouses gases like sulfur hexafluoride, silicon tetrachloride, dust, and silicon tetrachloride. These byproducts are a hazard for the environment and can make the contaminated land unsuitable for growing crops. The production of electric batteries is creating even more toxic byproducts than the production of solar panels. Water, air and plants can get ruined by the “graphite rain”.