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Solar panels interference

KB4OIF
KB4OIF Member ✭✭

Good morning all. My neighbor is ""going"" to have solar panels installed on their house. i have read pro's and con's as to interference to my station. I run a 6600M with a dipole at about 30 feet. the north end is about 25 -35 feet from the house and where the panels will be. What have any of you had expierence with solar panel causing interference.

KB4OIF

John

Comments

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Potentially disastrous. You should get ahead of the game and contact the installer.

    Make them follow the installation instructions when installing the equipment; both from the manufacturer and from guidelines and standards. This reduces the interference liklihood. In particular, the installer should pay particular attention to the grounding instructions.

    Have them lay the cables as close as possible next to each other (with some space due to electric arcs) and let them run parallel to each other for as long as possible.

    Ensure they avoid 'loops' in the cabling, where the cables run in a circle over the roof.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    I wish I could say something to them the installers. It's my neighbor that is getting them. I have a good relationship with this neighbor, so I can go to them if there is problems after the install. Thanks for the heads up Erik.

  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Yes because I have friends who are off the air now because of these things. When my neighbor told me they were having them installed, I was in contact with the installer that same week. I am very glad I did as several planned procedures were amended at no extra cost to the purchaser. Done properly this kind of installation can be lived with by the ham next door.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    Bob Bruninga , the father of APRS and an engineering professor at West Point, wrote an article about this in QST. The big culprit is the individual inverters at each panel. Consolidating the feed from all the panels to one centrally located inverter is much preferred. The RFI is much easier to deal with in one place than in many places. You could print the article and give it to your neighbor and the installer.

    During my many portable activations of the NPOTA event, many park sites were unusable due the park service installation of solar.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    Thanks Erik and john.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    They are starting the install today. will see what happens.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    Good luck.

  • Manfred HB9FLU
    Manfred HB9FLU Member ✭✭

    Iif possible, tell him not to install any optimizers. These things are responsible for many trouble, and their gain is only around 3%


    73 Manfred

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    Ask the neighbor when it will be turned on. She said first part of Sept. It has to go through a lot of checks from different agencies to get past the certifying stage. we will see.

  • Rob_K8YV
    Rob_K8YV Member
    I have solar panels and yes there is some interference on certain bands.
    Does not seem to bother me on the low hf bands but on 10 and 6 well it's interesting.
    I have every thing grounded per all the specs, still get it.
    I operate 80 and 40 all the time no problem. 20 and 15 the same all quite.
    Never went chasing the noise but they can be a problem.

    Rob K8YV
  • N8EMA_Jeff
    N8EMA_Jeff Member ✭✭
    edited June 30

    I have neighbors to the south, north and west of me that have Solar panels....The neighbor the the south, their solar panels are less then 30 foot from my long wire! I am experiencing no interference from any of the solar panels or related equipment in the area....

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    There is a video somewhere on YouTube where the Amateur installed Mix 31 or Mix 43 chokes on every power cable coming out of each panel and both in and the charge controller. He said he had to be present during the installation to make sure it was done correctly. Maybe the article was in QST.

    This article also describes something similar: https://ham.stackexchange.com/questions/12463/how-can-i-get-rid-of-rfi-coming-from-my-house-solar-panel-inverter

    Problem = horrid RFI across the entire HF spectrum. It's only there when the sun's out. The RFI sounds like a lawn mower. I normally like the sound of lawn mowers but not in this case. If i point my yagi towards the solar panels the RFI signal strength goes up. My solar panels are not the type with inverters on the back.

    The fix is to connect an RF choke between each solar panel array and the solar panel inverter right at the input to the inverter.

    1. Turn off solar panel inverter to see if that stops the noise.
    2. Noise goes away so inverter is probably the source.

    Then for each solar panel array (or for each postive/negative solar panel cable input pair on the inverter) :

    1. Obtain 2 x type 43 ferrite rings from Element 14 FAIR-RITE 5943003801 FERRITE CORE, TOROID, 43.
    2. Obtain about 2 meters of 4mm2 solar panel extension cable and cut it in half.
    3. Obtain 2 pairs of IP67 MC4 solar panel plugs/sockets.
    4. Make 2 series RF chokes. Each choke has about 7 turns of two solar panel extension cables wound in a bifilar fashion (two cables next to each other) on one ferrite ring. Make the two chokes using the same two single 1 m pieces of cable such that the two chokes are in series with no joins in the middle.
    5. Fit the MC4 connectors to the chokes. The set of two chokes in series will have two connectors at one end and two connectors at the other end. The connector **** must be such as to preserve the original polarity of the solar panel array connections to the inverter.
    6. Follow your solar panel system's proper procedure to power down.
    7. Connect the chokes at the inverter between the inverter and the solar panel array. Make sure the polarity is correct. If you get it wrong your inverter will have a heart attack and die. Be careful as solar panel arrays output approx 300 - 500 VDC. If you're afraid like me do it at night.
    8. Follow your solar panel system's proper procedure to power up.
    9. Jump up and down (well that's what i did) as you tune across the bands and see that the noise is mostly gone.

    Note that clip-on ferrite chokes won't do anything to cure solar panel inverter noise.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    Thanks for the info guys.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭

    Okay. getting interference on and off today. wipes out my receive. A few pics.


  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi John, how far away is the solar array? If it is a close neighbor, you may be able to use a noise canceller like the Timewave ANC-4 or the MFJ 1026. It would take some experimenting with noise antenna placement and control adjustment to get it to work optimally, but I think it would be reasonably effective.

    A better answer is to get rid of the noise at the source, as the other posts have indicated, but unless and until that happens, the noise canceller solution may get you going again.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭
    edited August 21

    two more. suggestions. Is this solar panel interferce. solar panels are about 50 to 75 away from the north end of my windom

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin