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Author Topic: Solar panels on home roof: Will they produce interference - RFI?????  (Read 375 times)
K3SFK
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Posts: 12




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« on: Yesterday at 09:36:47 AM »

3/27/2017

The Eham Misc Forum heading is being used because I was not certain which Forum Topic title may best apply.

The Tesla Company has evidently designed a quality and affordable home-solar-panel option that is paid monthly at the same level as my current electric bill.  While visiting a local Home Depot, their sales person explained the details which were new to me.  They offer to visit your home with test solar panels to confirm if your home will produce enough electricity to make the program affordable and worthwhile when compared to the current annual electric bill with 'Met-Ed'. 
I asked them about RFI to ham radio stations because we have several factories in town with solar panel 'farms' which produce huge interference when you drive within 1/2 mile on your car AM stations. 
Tesla engineers 'claim' that they are not aware of any RFI from residential solar panels in the frequencies of 160 meters to 10 meters or 2 meters.  But, they also stated that they did yet have a lot of experience with this potential problem. 

Does anyone know more about home solar panels and the possible problem of RFI when using typical HF and VHF dipoles, long wires, vertical antennas all located within a few feet of the home rooftop?Huh?

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. 

Bill Bartholomew, K3SFK, Hanover, PA

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AF7JA
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Posts: 237




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« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 10:40:27 AM »

I have solar panels on my bicycle (a different thread) and I didn't notice any interference. However, I put a noise filter in the power line, which may have helped. That being said, i have never actually contacted anyone so I don't really know if it is working well. When I talked to myself over the repeater the output sounded fine.

You will probably get more interference from the charge controller than the panels; either way, a filter will probably help.
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W2BLC
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Posts: 170




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« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 11:30:27 AM »

Panels are quiet - regulators/chargers are not. They can be mitigated. If you contract - be sure to add an addendum requiring RF silence. If you do it yourself - prepare for a load of work.

There are a lot of articles and other information available on the Internet. Also, check with the ARRL - they have some good info on the subject.

My QTH has S-zero noise level and I do not wish to upset the apple cart - hence, no solar here.
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On the air for over 55 years - retired commercial op.
G3RZP
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Posts: 7742




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« Reply #3 on: Today at 09:54:37 AM »

A recent QST had an article on this, including how to route the wiring to minimise interference.
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G8HQP
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Posts: 413




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« Reply #4 on: Today at 12:13:05 PM »

At my previous house my next door neighbour had solar panels on his roof. They (or their invertors etc.) produced noise from high HF through to VHF broadcast, and possibly beyond. On sunny days I could hear the background noise increase on broadcast FM stations (fed from a loft Yagi). I could even hear an increase in noise in my car radio as I pulled onto my drive. A portable FM receiver in my bedroom became unusable. Given what it did to broadcast, you can imagine what it did to amateur bands?

I understand that RF quiet solar PV is possible, but it probably has to be specifically engineered in. A standard installation may not do this.
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K5TED
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« Reply #5 on: Today at 02:31:51 PM »

Absolutely, Yes.
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K5TED
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« Reply #6 on: Today at 04:05:32 PM »

http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/fcc-issues-a-notice-of-violation-to-solar-city-for-rfi-inteferance.559331/
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