Solar panels are being used extensively in recent times. While it helps reduce the electricity bills, they also support hand in reducing the carbon footprint. While it has many more benefits to offer, maintenance is always a challenging task. You need to clean the panels regularly to keep them clean and free from dirt and debris.
Can You Walk in Solar panels? If you ask the experts this question, they would undoubtedly tell you that walking on the solar panels is not recommended to keep the discussions functioning well. But, in reality, it is acceptable and safe to work on solar panels. The solar panels can handle about 165 pounds per square foot, which is evident that I can take an average human’s weight.
This article shall discuss whether you can walk in the solar panels and other tips for better maintenance.
Is it safe to walk on Solar Panels?
Won’t I be electrocuted if I walk on the solar panels? This is the most common question of fear amongst all the owners. Cheers, you will not be electrocuted if you step on the panels. Yes. It is completely safe to walk on solar panels. But why is it not encouraged by the experts?
There are two main reasons it is discouraged to walk on the panels.
Firstly, Solar panels require hefty upfront investments. If you walk on them, they can lead to scratches and sometimes break. Once the scratches and cracks form, the panels’ efficiency will decrease.
Secondly, the solar panels constantly give thermal expansion and contraction, and this causes the surroundings to expand quickly. With the varying weather conditions, if you walk and cause any damage to the panel, a small aperture can become a significant issue.
It costs more time and money to install and maintain solar panels. If walking may cause problems, it is not worth taking the risk.
Can Solar Panels Break?
Yes. Solar panels can break. Solar panels are sturdy and big enough to handle adverse climatic conditions. But, walking on them can sometimes damage the panel and make them unfit for operation.
Depending on the panels’ quality and weight, walking can break your solar panels and make them inefficient. Especially when you wear your slippers, the dirt and debris can cause scratches and deactivate the panels’ cells.
The other major cause for the panels to break is natural calamities. Sometimes, hailstorms can lead to cracks in the panels. Though the cracks are not visible to the naked eye, they may cause damage to your panels in the long run.
Lightning and extreme temperature can also take a toll on the efficiency of solar panels. While the solar panels can naturally deteriorate over time, would you want to walk over them and induce more risk? Should not you think about it?
Will the solar panels work if they are broken?
Yes. Just because they are broken, the solar panels do not stop working. However, the efficiency may come down by 10% to 20%. To cross-check, you can try measuring the voltage across the cell tabs. If you can get 80% to 100% of the voltage, they are not heavily damaged.
If a micro crack or the broken piece does not cover a wide area, your warranty may come as a savior. The worst-case scenario is when the whole panel needs to be replaced, and only then would they stop working.
How to fix the broken solar panel?
Usually, people panic when they break the panels. Have I just damaged the actual money invested in the panels? Probably not, probably yes. It depends on the extent of damage made to the panels. Every installer offers insurance. So, the damage will mostly be covered by your insurance.
If you have broken only one cell, you may replace the single cell, and it will not cost you much. If you are an expert at solar panels, you may also try to repair them on your own. But, make sure you don’t make the situation worse in the name of the repair.
Safety tips for walking on solar panels
When walking on the solar panels can be avoided, certain situations may need walking on them. During such cases, make sure you follow the below steps.
- Move slowly upon the panels. You tend to push hard when you walk faster.
- Make sure you spread the weight across all the areas of the panel. Keeping them only in one place might damage the panels.
- Make sure you keep all the contacts near the panels. This ensures that you keep the pressure on the panel support and not on the panels.
What are the solar panels that you can walk on?
Do you know there are some solar panels that you can walk on? Yes. The solar roadways can be waled and driven on.
Solar roadways are roads that are constructed with solid panels covered with glass. They can handle a load of cars at 55 mph and 250 tons of weight, enabling people to walk over them.
They have designated drainage channels to remove water logging during the rains, and cleaning them becomes more manageable.
Just imagine that the roads in your town or city are made of solar panels. You can never run out of electricity then.
Can You Walk On Flexible Solar Panels?
The flexible solar panels come with a thin sheet rather than glass. The flexible sheet enables it to be rolled over the roof, tents, and canopies.
Due to their weak outlook, they are not suitable for foot traffic, and they get easily damaged if you try walking on them.
Tips to safely walk on the solar panels
Though it is highly warranted not to walk on the solar panels, there might be situations where you can avoid them. At those tough times, make sure you seek the help of experienced professionals. Make sure you follow the below tips.
- Make sure you have control over the step. Solar panels are made of silicon and glass, and the surface becomes slippery when it is wet.
- Do not drag your heels and place your leg flat.
- It is better to wear shoes with rubber soles. They are suitable for the surface of the panels, and plastics or metal soles can damage the surface of the panel easily.
- If any part is already damaged, do not walk on them.
- If you feel like you are going to slip, do not panic. It will only worsen the situation.
- Try using your hands and legs together to walk on the panels. If anyone slips, the other one helps you to have a grip.
- Walk only in one direction. Do not go back and forth.
Can You Walk on Tesla Solar Panel Roofs?
Tesla solar panels are stronger and durable than regular ones. But, that does not warranty walking on them. They can also become slippery, and you might damage them when you walk upon them when it is wet.
If you have any work to be done on your tesla solar panels, we recommend you approach the professionals to do the job for you.
If your panels are capable of bearing minimum weight, it is completely safe to walk on your panels. Well, if you choose to walk, you should also be ready to accept the risks associated with them.
Though it is safe, walking on the solar panels can damage the panels, create scratches or sometimes break the panels. If you cannot avoid walking on the panels, make sure you follow the safety tips discussed in this article.
The best way to approach this is to contact the installer or the professional expert to do the job for you. Most of the installers include the panel damages in the warranty. If at all you walk on them get it damaged, your warranty would most probably come as a savior. If not, the other procedures mentioned in the article can help you.
Make sure you follow them.