The two most popular methods of powering a domestic home with renewable energy are solar panels and wind turbines. Both of these methods produce pollution, can lessen the owners reliance on the national grid and can save on energy bills.

However, they both deal with electrical currents and as a result must be installed correctly and safely to ensure they do not become a safety hazard.

In this post I am going to outline some of the typical hazards associated with domestic energy production and what you can do to prevent them.

Solar panels:

To start with, the weight of solar panels means that they are not suitable for every building. Before you even start installing them you should have your roof surveyed to make sure that it can hold the weight of the panels and the people who will be installing them.

Attaching the solar panels to the buildings electrical systems should only be done by a qualified electrician, and should include fuse set ups and grounding.

Solar panels can become extremely hot during use. This can pose a fire risk if they are installed incorrectly. There is also a risk of burns to people performing maintenance work on them, so ensure they are properly insulated.

When installing or maintaining the panel, a full risk assessment should be carried out and all standard safety procedures for working at height should be followed.

Wind turbines

Micro wind turbines are subject to all of the safety concerns associated with their larger counterparts. The stresses placed on the system during high winds can cause a lot of problems. It is important that an isolator switch be fitted to the turbine setup and that the owner know exactly where this is located.

The size of the wind turbine means that there is a risk posed by it falling over. Installations should be fitted by a trained professional and maintained regularly to lessen the risk of this happening.  

Renewable energy for domestic use is still in its infancy, but systems are improving all the time. With expert fitting and regular maintenance a method of generating clean energy in your own home can help save the environment and save you money.

This peice was written by Mark Enright a writer for http://www.enviko.com/Enviko, the renewable energy experts.

Note: As you can see, those involved in these types of work need to wear the proper protective gear, such as safety glasses, hardhats, gloves, and fall protection. pb