The Truth about Photovoltaic Panels and Glare

Could your photovoltaic panels create a glaring problem for your neighbors?

Concerns about potential glare are common among homeowners throughout Idaho and Utah. After all, no one wants their rooftop panel array to be the neighborhood nuisance.

Solar panel glare

Fortunately, you can put this worry to rest. Your rooftop solar panel installation is not likely to blind your neighbors anytime soon.

Photovoltaic Panels Produce Less Glare than Standard Window Glass

Glare occurs when sunlight is reflected off of a flat, shiny surface. Solar panels are flat and somewhat shiny, but they are designed to capture light — not reflect it.

Photovoltaic panels actually cause less glare than standard home window glass. And research has shown that they reflect less light than snow, white concrete and energy-efficient white rooftops.

Solar modules are coated with anti-reflective materials that maximize light absorption. Plus, the panel glass is often stippled, or textured with tiny indentations, to lessen the amount of sunlight that is reflected. Some solar panels are also designed with additional light-trapping properties that help boost energy production while reducing glare.

Glare from Photovoltaic Panels Probably Isn’t Visible by Neighbors

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that your rooftop PV array did reflect some light. In order for that to be an issue with your neighbors, the glare would have to be visible to them.

For your neighbors to see any light reflecting from your rooftop PV array, they must be looking down on the tops of your solar panels. So their homes would need to be at least one story above your rooftop.

But that’s not all. Glare will only appear when the sun is at the right height and your neighbor is within the angle of reflection from the solar panels. With a rooftop PV array, glare is most likely going to be above the sightline of any neighboring homes, even those that are taller than yours.

Preventing Glare Problems with Photovoltaic Panels

Glare is not a neighborhood problem, as the only neighbors you could possibly affect would be those whose properties are adjacent to yours. However, since light reflection could be an annoyance, some homeowners associations require proof that rooftop PV arrays will not cause glare.

Professional photovoltaic contractors have tools to evaluate potential problems. Consequently, technicians can mount solar panels so as to not reflect light into the windows of neighboring homes. Proper siting, angling and orientation can prevent glare from rooftop PV arrays.

Do you have questions regarding PV solar power? The experienced professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar, serving homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho and Utah, can answer all of your questions and demonstrate the significant advantages of photovoltaic panels. Contact us today to schedule a free professional consultation.