Many people want solar panels. However, one of the biggest worries people face is whether or not solar panels are loud. No one wants loud humming or noise from their roof disrupting their neighborhood or their outside time.
Thankfully, solar systems are fairly quiet, and solar panels are the quietest of them all. Read more below to learn about solar panels and the sounds they may make.
In general, solar panels don’t make noise. They have no mechanical or moving parts to them that would make a noise like other electronics. (1) You don’t have to worry about your solar panels disrupting the peace or being very loud and causing you or your neighbors a disturbance.
For the most part, you should never hear anything specifically from your solar panels. However, there are unique instances where your solar panels may start to make noises. Or, you may believe your solar panels are making noise when it is a different part of your solar system.
Solar panels themselves shouldn’t ever make a noise. There is nothing that moves on solar panels that would lead to a sound. You won’t even likely have a humming noise that some people associate with electricity.
However, there are times when you will hear sounds like creaking, popping, or rattling from your solar panels. When you hear noises like this, it may be a sign that the mounts the solar panels are attached to are loose.
An example of when you might hear rattling or creaking is in high winds as the gusts shift your panels on their mounts. It’s best to get them checked when it is safe to do so. A thudding sound can occur if a bird lands on your panels. Bird droppings can also make quiet thudding noises.
If you check the brackets and mounts but they seem fine, it could also be from wiring that is too loose. In high winds, it may flap around and hit parts of your roof or your solar panels.
Double-check that everything is secured where it needs to be and that everything is stable. You may find that by tightening a wire or a screw the sound goes away.
In high winds as well, you may hear whistling. Since panels are angled up off of the roof, there is a gap where wind can get through. If enough wind at a fast enough speed goes through this gap, it isn’t uncommon to hear a sharp whistling noise. (2)
If you have microinverters on your system, you may also hear faint whirring or humming from them as they work hard to convert the energy from the sun into usable power for your home. Since they are right next to each other, it is possible you mistake the inverter sounds for sounds from your solar panels.
- Van Renterghem, T. (2018). Improving the noise reduction by green roofs due to solar panels and substrate shaping. Building Acoustics, 25(3), 219–232. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1351010X18776804
- Why Does the Wind Whistle? (2016, December 4). Wonderopolis. https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-does-the-wind-whistle