Do Solar Power Systems Interfere With WiFi, TV, Or Cell Phone Reception?


You might have noticed that WIFI signals start dropping when more and more obstacles occur between them and your cellphone. Similarly, your TV reception & mobile signals are also affected with more obstacles. In fact, in some places, the signals nearly disappear.

If you or someone in your neighbor has recently installed solar panels and you are experiencing signal issues, you are not the first one to experience it. In some ways, solar power systems can affect signals but not always.
Solar panels themselves are not a significant physical barrier unless the signals are already too weak. Other than being a physical barrier, solar panels do not have any technical impact on signals. However, the other equipment used with solar panels can be a significant source of signal interruption. But still the chances are low. Anyways, let’s talk about all the possibilities that can cause a solar power system to cause signal interruption.

Solar Inverters Can Cause Signal Disturbance
If you are experiencing EMI (electromagnetic interference), you might be interested in why your solar inverter is affecting signal reception? For that, let’s first understand how EMI is produced.

Solar inverters are build with numerous electronic components for functionality. The primary function of solar inverters is to convert the DC power (produced by solar panels) into AC power as most appliances work on AC power. But the conversion from DC to AC involves frequent switching and that’s where the EMI emerges.

This EMI can be stopped and most high-quality solar inverters do not produce any significant EMI. However, the traditional solar inverter designs can produce EMI to an extent that your TV channels stop streaming at all. This happens because either the solar inverter is not equipped with necessary equipment to suppress EMI.

The case is different with modern solar inverters, brands like Bahoo Power care about your comfortability. We invest time and resources in our R&D to ensure that our solar inverter designs are up to date and do not cause any such problems. But how do we do it?

EMI can be minimized to some extent in the circuit design. It is not possible to stop it from emerging at all. However, with signal filters, shielding and proper grounding, it can be suppressed. Insignificant amount of EMI does not affect signal reception to any noticeable extent.

How are EMI Effects Reduced in Modern Solar Inverters?

As already mentioned, modern solar inverters have the capability to produce minimal EMI. The manufacturers use following four ways to control EMI.

Shielding: The metallic enclosure works as a shield. It traps electromagnetic radiations & grounds them. In some sensitive circuits a dedicated shield is often assembled on the top of the circuit but in case of solar inverters, their metallic body itself works as a shield.
Cancelling: It is a simple method of twisting the positive and negative DC wires (coming in to the solar inverter from the solar panels). At least one twist helps cancel the EMI. However, it does not always work. But since it does not cost or require any gear, it is worth trying and hence some professional solar power system installers practice it.
Filtering: It usually involves installing a filter capacitor inside the solar inverter. Some manufacturers also embed a complete filter circuit in the inverter’s design.
Suppression: It is achieved by installing ferrite chokes, cores and beads. They convert EMI into heat and dissipate it.

Beside, the above methods of reducing EMI, the way solar equipment is installed also impacts EMI.

Solar Power Systems Are Not The Only Possible Source of Interference
Even though there is a chance that your solar inverter may be producing EMI but there are other possible sources that have a higher chance of interference.

● Poor electrical wiring can also produce noise signals and impact signal reception of your cellphone, WIFI & TV. This also includes old worm out cables used for signal reception.
● Other appliances such as microwave oven can also sometimes cause such interferences if they are not properly grounded.
● Climate changes such as snow storm, lightning and rain also impact signals.
● Obstacles such as walls, and other electronic devices can also cause signal problems. If you have recently moved your TV or WIFI device to a different place, or placed an appliance between them (like a refrigerator) the new obstacle might be causing the problem.
● Faulty or uncharged device can also be a reason. Every device wears out with time and its performance starts falling. The same goes with TV, WIFI & cellphone. If you are experiencing interruption on only one of the devices, maybe they are not working well or in case they are rechargeable, they might not be properly charged. Cellphones tend to show signal problem when they are not properly charged.

How To Know If Your Solar Inverter Is Causing Interruption or Not?

Make sure you are not experiencing signal interruption because of any of the above reasons. If not, your solar inverter might be the source. Follow the below steps to be sure.

1. Check whether your TV reception is working fine or not. If it is malfunctioning, turn off your solar inverter for a few minutes.
2. Observe whether your TV reception gets better while the solar inverter is turned off or not.
3. If the TV reception improves, your solar inverter is definitely causing the problem. If not, the problem might be another source.
4. One by one, turn off other wireless devices like cellphones, Bluetooth speakers, and WIFI router. Now check whether the signal reception has improved or not. If the signal reception improves after a device is turned off, possibly that device is faulty and it is causing the problem.

If it turns out that your solar inverter is the source of interruption, you can try moving either the TV or solar inverter to another room. So that the distance between both increases and the EMI from the inverter has minimal impact on the TV reception.

In any case, I recommend consulting a professional for safety & detailed assessment. There are certain technical tests that are performed to troubleshoot this problem (especially if the solar inverter is causing it) and rule it out.

Final Thoughts
Whenever choosing a solar inverter, always choose a new design and never go for cheap inverters. Moreover, always acquire the services of trained professionals to install your solar power system. Even though modern solar inverters do not produce any significant EMI, the way they are installed also impacts. Poor connections, mishandling and improper positioning can also cause your solar inverter to produce EMI. For this reason,