Can Solar Panels Kill or Electrocute Someone? What You Need to Know!

Solar panels are a great energy alternative to save money on your electricity bill and are considered an environmentally friendly energy source.

But, can solar panels kill or electrocute someone? So, the answer to this is yes! Some reports may have indicated that people were shocked by electric current upon touching metallic parts on the solar panels. However, this is not common as it mostly happens if your solar system has not been grounded properly.

So, can touching a solar panel kill you?

Yes, depending on the solar panel’s wattage and amount of sunlight available. The amount of electricity required to kill a human being varies depending on the body size, age, and health status of the person.

On a side note! If you’re in need of a reliable and high-performance portable solar panel, We strongly recommend the Jackery SolarSaga 100W  Portable Solar Panel  (Amazon Link).

With a high conversion efficiency and foldable design, this solar panel is easy to transport and set up, making it perfect for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and RV trips.

The US solar cell technology used in this panel ensures that you get the most efficient and reliable solar charging possible.

There is also a 60W option that is more affordable (Amazon Link)

100 mA of current can kill you instantly by going through your chest just for a few seconds, while 500-1000mA can kill in less than 0.005s. Solar panel systems connect to the ground to neutralize random electrons that can cause an electric shock.

In terms of safety, whether at home or on commercial premises, there is nothing to worry about your solar system.

(Source A)  

How Many Deaths Are Caused by Solar Panels?

If a calculation is done relating to the amount of power each industry produces, solar panel deaths are ten times more dangerous than nuclear power. Therefore it is believed to be 100 to 150 deaths globally per year due to solar panels.

A comparison of mortality rates from other energy sources like nuclear, fossil fuel, hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy show solar has the lowest number of deaths.

Solar energy makes up two percent of global energy production. It has the lowest capacity rate of 24.5 among all energy sectors. The number of deaths resulting from every 1000TWh of energy generated by rooftop solar panels is 440. It simply means that for every 1000TWh of energy produced from rooftop solar power, 440 people die. Other estimates indicate the number to be about 150.

These deaths result from electrocution and hazards occurring during rooftop solar panel installation, like falling. (Source A) (Source B)

Is It Dangerous to Touch Solar Panels?

Yes, it is very hazardous. Solar panels are never switched off; they have an open-circuit voltage on the terminals. When exposed to sunlight, touching them may cause serious burns. Hence, do not touch the solar panels with your hands.

To ensure your safety, below are some precautions:

·    Use professionals for your solar installation.

·    Ensure that the roof structure is fully inspected before installation to make sure that the structure supports your home solar panels.

·    Please do not attempt to fix or repair the solar panels; let professionals do it.

-Conduct regular inspections of your solar system and electric wiring in the house. (Source A)

Also, check out if Do Solar Panels Kill Birds? Is It That Bad!

Can you electrocute yourself with a solar panel?

So long as the solar panels are exposed to light, they continually produce potentially lethal amounts of direct current electricity. In industrial terms, it’s known as the ‘DC danger zone’. A solar panel has an open circuit voltage in its terminals; if it comes into contact with any media like wire, metal, or human hands, it closes circuit path terminals resulting in the flow of current.

Once the solar panels are installed, the solar system is grounded via copper wire to avoid any shock hazard resulting from touching solar panels. Generally, solar panel installers use electrically insulated gloves for making connections. (Source A)

Is It Safe to Touch Solar Panels?

Solar panels are safe to touch as the cells are covered with an aluminum frame and tempered glass. Cells beneath the glass generate current; you cannot touch them unless you break the glass. Like with all other electric power generation, solar systems risk shock and electrocution when the current takes a path through a human body. Direct currents of 75 milliamps (mA) at the lowest on the heart are dangerous. Take precautions when handling open solar panels or naked wires by always wearing your insulated gloves.

What Are the Dangers of Solar Panels?

Solar energy is safer, more efficient, and cleaner than power generated from traditional generators and power plants. The production and operation of energy collection in the solar panel are not entirely safe nor ecological, and there are some dangers. They pose potential health risks due to toxic products and by-products during the operation. Solar panels are prone to electrical failures and can cause fires resulting in loss of property, body injuries, or death.

Solar panels have components that can fail. They include switches, fuses, and wiring. Replacement should be done immediately with new parts that match the panel’s standards and requirements. Failure to replace may cause technical issues resulting in damages like electric shock and fire. Below are some dangers associated with solar panels.

·    Toxicity

Some of the chemical components that make the solar panels are toxic to the environment. Arsenic and cadmium used in panels generate toxic by-products like hexafluoride, Sulphur, and silicon tetrachloride, which are harmful and dangerous to human beings and the environment.

·    Production of excess electricity

The excess power generated by solar panels is stored in batteries inside the house. The normal voltage these batteries can hold is 600 volts of direct electrical power. It is a very high voltage; in case of mishandling the battery or its wires, it can result in electric damage, fires, or electrocution. (Source A)

Also, check out How Much Voltage Does Solar Panels Produce?

·    Lack of earthing

When installing the solar panel, earthing is very important. Earthing is a safety rule; if you do not and the solar panel has an electrical malfunction, it can cause a danger both to humans and the electric system.

·    Fires

Loosely connected wiring, a poor connection, and spare parts that are not up to standards can result in a fire. Combustion occurs either within the collector or the surrounding environment due to the high levels of heat produced on the solar panel.

Are Solar Panels Harmful to Humans?

One of the major factors for safety with home solar panels is taking precautions. Solar energy is electrical power, enough to power an entire home or a business entity. Treat it with caution like any other type of electricity. Solar panels are not harmful to human beings unless precautions are not followed, resulting in dangers.


I am a very well-experienced techie civil engineer who’s extensively interested in solar panel technology and even more captivated by the potential of solar panels in supporting individual residential units.

Recent Posts