Most people believe that the transition from traditional electricity to solar panel-based energy is free of risks after the initial investment in installing solar panels. Most of the time, this is insufficient to set up a durable energy system.
Several risk factors cause solar panels to suffer damage. This damage could be significant because a new solar panel would be needed to replace the damage.
In those cases, families suffer from critical economic losses.
Nevertheless, installing fuses in solar panels helps to mitigate these risks. This article will argue the necessity of fusing solar panels for sustainable and eco-friendly urban use of clean energy.
What Is a fuse?
A fuse is a combiner artifact embedded in multiple solar panels that distribute and stabilizes the energy between them.
Solar panels in households are connected in parallel to increase their capacity to meet their energy demand.
A typical modern home has several devices constantly plugged into the power supply.
Notwithstanding, any electronic device likely suffers from a malfunction, causing them to overload the solar panel.
If there is no fuse in the solar panel, it might become hot or even catch fire in the worst scenarios.
The fuse protects solar panels from overloads and electronic devices from the possible failure of solar panels.
When solar panels are being used in parallel, the fuse becomes essential to prevent overloads, guarantee panels’ durability, and protect the rest of electronic devices.
Costs and benefits of fusing solar panels
Installing a fuse for solar panels implies an additional investment, but this investment has significant returns.
The principal benefit is confidence in the durability of solar panels, as overloads might harm them.
Any factor that affects the circuits represents a risk for solar panels and reduces their durability.
The fuse protects solar panels from misuse, which is likely to happen as this energy source is non-traditional and requires the user to take special considerations when plugging multiple high-consumption devices.
Even though solar panels are known to be resilient to climate conditions, there is evidence that clime and natural hazards harm their durability:
- Soiling causes power loss, as Reza et al. (2022) suggested. The power output delivered from a photovoltaic module depends on the amount of irradiance which reaches the solar cells. Dust accumulation decreases solar irradiance, which brings energy to solar panels.
- Continuous exposure to hail causes solar panels to suffer progressive damage that reduces their durability. Over time this can cause malfunction.
- Debris from extreme winds may damage solar panels. This exposure to debris during extreme winds represents a significant risk factor in cities with recurrent extreme winds.
- Extreme winds cause trees to fall on solar panels. This event is atypical but may result in irreparable damage to the solar panels.
- Lighting strikes can destroy solar panels. For this case and the above, a solar panel replacement would be needed.
Implementing a fuse for multiple panels may mitigate the risk from the abovementioned factors. The fuse protects not only solar panels but also electronic devices that may suffer from damage from overloads or underloads that are likely to happen with unprotected solar panels exposed to clime-related hazards.
Importance of sustainability and reliable, eco-friendly technology
Last but not least, there is a virtuous, vicious cycle between solar panels’ durability and climate change.
In the first place, using solar panels slows down climate change by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
Natural hazards that harm this type of clean technology are frequently increasing over the years due to climate change.
If solar panels are used along with fuses, their clean energy generation would be sustainable and resilient to natural hazards.
Solar panels would become key to combatting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions if this practice were systematic among households and small businesses.
The systematic implementation of solar panels is an ideal case and relies on the necessary condition of minimum risk of using solar energy.
Conclusions and recommendations
Solar panels are an essential investment that significatively cuts electricity bills for families, but they are not free of risks.
Even though they are known to be durable, installing fuses in parallel panels in cases of high energy usage that are common in average modern households is essential.
Families would like to keep solar panels intact for as long as possible. Several policies can be adopted to reach this objective.
Other protective artifacts, such as surge protectors and circuit breakers, are not as essential as fuses.
The essential component that reduces the majority of risks is the fuse connected to multiple solar panels, protecting both panels and devices plugged into the energy system.
Increasing global warming and climate change represent a particular challenge for solar panels, as the correct functioning of panels might be affected by natural hazards.
Solar panels are supposed to be resilient to natural hazards. However, there is evidence that some types of natural hazards can affect them.
This represents risks for the installed solar energy system and the devices that use such energy.
The future of sustainability will necessarily handle challenges produced by climate change and natural hazards.
The message is clear: transition to clean energy usage is essential for a sustainable future.
The domestic use of clean energies represents only the first step of a journey of unknown length to transition from traditional energy to clean solar energy.
Developed countries have available resources to foster this transition in households that pretends to use solar energy to reduce their electricity bills.
- Maghami, M. R., Hizam, H., Gomes, C., Radzi, M. A., Rezadad, M. I., & Hajighorbani, S. (2016). Power loss due to soiling on the solar panel: A review. In Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (Vol. 59, pp. 1307–1316). Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.01.044
- Hu, A., Levis, S., Meehl, G. A., Han, W., Washington, W. M., Oleson, K. W., van Ruijven, B. J., He, M., & Strand, W. G. (2015). Impact of solar panels on global climate. In Nature Climate Change (Vol. 6, Issue 3, pp. 290–294). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2843