Solar panels can be installed on rooftops regardless of whether the roof is a flat surface or inclined. But did you know that they can be installed on the ground level? Since they are also installed that way, one question remains: can you walk on solar panels? Or better yet, is it safe to do so? We’ll talk about that in a moment. We’ll also discuss some of the myths that you might have heard about touching solar panels or even walking on them by complete accident.
The short answer: yes. There are some concerns about whether or not you could get electrocuted just by walking on solar panels. Fortunately, you will not risk getting shocked when walking on solar panels, especially when they are angled so close to the ground. But why is the question even being asked? Well, as mentioned before, solar panels can be on the ground level to a point where people can stand or walk on them and not even know about it.
However, you will risk getting them damaged when standing or walking on them frequently. Any kind of damage done to the solar panels can and will affect the overall output of solar energy and your home may not be able to use the amount of power that you will normally need. If you need to power your home property, then it would be wise to keep your feet off the solar panels.
The damage that can be caused can range from scratches to cracks. You might have a rock stuck between the outer sole of your shoe and be unaware of the fact that it might be scratching a panel, and might sustain damage after handling a certain amount of weight.
Speaking of weight, here’s something you need to know. You might be putting at least 1.5 times your weight on the panel when stepping on it. Let’s say for instance you weight 160 pounds. Every time you are pushing your foot down, you are generating nearly 240 pounds of force. That can be a bit too much force on a solar panel. While it can sustain strong winds and some snow piles, that pales in comparison to human weight.
What About Dirt?
What if you have shoes that have plenty of dust, dirt, and debris on them? That can leave your shoes and end up on the solar panels. Leaving it there will cause some issues to occur with your solar panel. Despite the fact that solar panels can handle a certain amount of weight, dust and debris on the other hand are a completely different thing. But they can still cause problems for solar panels and thus affect any kind of solar power output.
What if You Can’t Avoid Walking on Your Solar Panels?
If you are unable to avoid walking on solar panels, it’s important to take a few things into consideration:
Move slowly: The slower you move, the less likely you’ll be placing more than your body-weight on the solar panels. If you are moving fast, that means you’ll be applying more weight and pressure on the panels and thus making it susceptible to more damage.
Move on all fours: This may sound a bit silly, but it works! It allows you to spread out your weight more reducing the amount of force in any single spot on the panel.
Can You Spot Damage On Your Solar Panels?
Cracks on a solar panel will be hard to spot at first. By the time they become more visible, then there’s a good chance that the damage to the panels will already be significant. At that point, the damage can greatly affect the way your solar panel will work. If needed, you can try and monitor the solar output of your panels if you are able to and inspect them anytime you notice a significant drop in performance.
Are Your Solar Panels Covered Under Your Homeowner’s Insurance?
It will depend on the policy itself. Some insurance companies will cover your solar panels and others will not. Regardless, solar panel companies may even have a warranty that will cover for certain damages. But they typically only cover common causes of damage like weather, contact with animals, accidents, and vandalism.
Keep in mind that some warranties may not cover damage that can be associated with intentional damage or neglect. And that can mean outright replacing them and thus costing you money in the process. In the event that your solar panels are potentially damaged, you should contact the solar company that installed your panels and your insurance company immediately. This gives you options on how to proceed so you face as little financial implications as possible.
Are Solar Panels Durable?
Yes and no – it will depend on the manufacturer. That’s why it will be important to do some shopping around before you are able to get solar panels installed in your home. Keep in mind that a wide range of things can happen to wear down and damage your solar panels. So, when deciding which panels are right for you, make sure to look at durability ratings and reviews from other buyers.
Moral Of The Story: Keep Your Feet Off
While you absolutely can walk on solar panels and not get electrocuted, it may hurt them if you are constantly walking on them. Keeping your feet off of your panels ensures they can continue to provide you with the best solar output possible. If you want to prevent them from getting stepped on, try to get them as far off the ground as possible. Alternatively, you can try and install them on your roof (if there is enough space).