Photovoltaic solar technology provides a wealth of perks for consumers as well as businesses, but many people don’t think about a valuable side benefit: peace and quiet. Throughout Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and the rest of the Intermountain West, solar energy users are enjoying true energy independence and its significant financial advantages, as well as the drop in noise pollution that results from shunning traditional methods of generating electricity. PV panel technology is quiet, especially when compared to traditional diesel or gas-powered versions. In fact, it’s being used in other countries today to dampen traffic noise from the freeways!
Industrial operations of all types typically generate a lot of noise, but electric plants are some of the worst offenders. You can perhaps see the biggest difference when comparing a traditional gas generator to a virtually silent solar generator. Noise limits for residential areas are set at 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night. A portable diesel or gas generator is between 88 and 95 decibels. Solar technology, especially at the consumer level, is virtually silent.
Wherever a large array of PV panels is installed, inverters are required to translate the harnessed solar power to usable electricity. Large central inverters are used for these immense industrial power farms. Scientists in Japan, where massive solar farms serve many cities and towns, recently tested the noise levels emitted from central inverters and found that today’s solar technology produces a minimal level of ambient and disruptive noise. As solar technology continues to proliferate around the world, this is good news for industrial centers and urban hubs.
PV panel systems generate quiet and affordable energy as a matter of course, but this technology is also being put to work to actively reduce noise pollution. In the Netherlands, home of the solar road, PV panels are being built along the sides of the highway. Where normally an otherwise-useless concrete barrier would stand, these panels are protecting the nearby communities from traffic noise while also generating power. Holland has engaged the service of local artists to decorate the panels, which feature colorful scenes reminiscent of stained glass. Called luminescent solar concentrators, these systems are low maintenance and resistant to vandalism.
Solar technology offers many amazing benefits to the consumer, the most influential of which is an incredible cost savings. Combine this with energy independence and quiet, and it’s a winning situation for any consumer. If you live in Salt Lake City or anywhere in the Intermountain West region, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar to learn more about how photovoltaic solar technology can benefit you.
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