There are a lot of situations when you need to disconnect your solar panels. Changing their location, shifting to a new home, or simple maintenance. But it is not as simple as you can unplugging the wires or turning off the breaker switch.
Well solar panels, continuously generate energy and store them. Even when they are not connected to the battery or any parts. And you might not only harm the panels themselves, you can also put yourself at risk. And that’s not a simple shock, but life-threatening.
So what is the best way of disconnecting solar panels under load? There isn’t any. You should never disconnect solar panels under load.
But we are going to guide you through the safest possible way to disconnect solar panels. Let’s do it.
How To Disconnect Solar Panels Under Load
The first thing you need to do to disconnect your solar panels is to take off the load. It is not an easy process. But takes a few steps. Here is how you do it. Keep in mind, always wear protective gear while doing this.
Step 1: Take The Loads Off
Start by taking off the loads. This means disconnecting all the devices that are connected to the solar charger. Then proceed on disconnecting the battery, inverter, and everything else. Do not touch any of the wires as there is still power running from the solar panels.
Step 2: Isolate The Solar Panels
When all the loads are taken off, start isolating the solar panels one by one. Don’t just yank all of them at the same time. Start with the negative and then the positive. Some suggest taking out the fuse, which is always a bad idea. NEVER TAKE OUT THE FUSE!
Step 3: Cover Solar Panels With A Blanket Or Something Thick
After you have isolated the solar panels and taken off all the wires, the panels are still working and the arrays will keep on generating energy. So make sure to cover the panels with something thick like a blanket. It is essential as you cannot turn off the sun. Funny.
Step 4: Start Doing Your Maintenance
When all of these are done, you can proceed with doing the maintenance or upgrade. Still, practice caution at every step as the panels might shock you from the stored power. You can never truly drain the panels.
Why Disconnecting Solar Panels Under Load Is Risky
There are a number of reasons why solar panels are risky to work with or disconnecting them under load. Here is what you might be risking yourself with.
1. Possible Shock Hazard
Anything electric is a possible shock hazard. But with solar panels, the number goes up twice the risk. As the solar panels keep on generating energy, there will always be power inside. So you can get socked and have a cardiac arrest.
2. Arching And Fire Starter
When you disconnect the solar panels under load, you risk the possibility of arching and creating a fire risk. As its DC current, and unstoppable, sparking and arching is inevitable. So make sure not to keep anything flammable around while working with them.
3. Surge In Voltage
Remember the time lightning hit the electrical pole and your toaster or refrigerator got burnt? Well, the same thing will happen if you don’t remove the load and try to disconnect the solar panels. The surge in voltage not only can damage the solar charger equipment but also any appliances.
- Always wear protective gear while operating with solar panels and its components.
- Disconnect the battery first, then the inverter. Then move on to the solar panels. Do not pull out the fuse.
- Always disconnect the negative first, then the positive connectors.
- Do not let the connectors get together, it will fry the whole system.
- If you don’t have any idea about solar panels and its components, ask for professional help.
(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What happens if you disconnect solar under load?
If you disconnect the solar under load, you risk component damage, surge in voltage, and even risk yourself getting socked. A cardiac arrest is common if you disconnect solar panels under load. So make sure to wear protective equipment and never disconnect the solar under load.
Can you disconnect your solar panels from the grid?
No. You cannot disconnect your solar panels from the grid. As it is constantly generating power, your risk the chance of overload when you connect them again.
What does do not disconnect under load mean?
Do not disconnect under load means when a device is connected to other appliances and components while generating energy.
The simplest thing to keep in mind, you do not disconnect your solar panels under load. Period. If you do so, you risk yourself of harm. Not to mention the whole system and other appliances in your home. Take precautions before taking off the load, and call a professional for better measures.