Solar panels putting emergency services communications at risk: Telecom Agency
The growing number of solar panels in the Netherlands poses a risk to the emergency services' communications systems, the Telecom Agency said in its annual report. Some solar panel components, like cables and inverters, act like antennae that can cause noise on the emergency services networks, or prevent connection. With more and more solar panels installed, the risk of disruptions is increasing, Eric Lucas of the Telecom Agency said to NOS.
This involves the C2000 system used by the police, fire brigade, and ambulance services to communicate with each other, but also systems used in shipping and air traffic. According to the Telecom Agency, problems have been reported with more than 100 of the 600 C2000 masts in the Netherlands. The problems are not yet insurmountable, Lucas said. "But we also want to prevent that, which is why we are on top of it."
It is up to installers and manufacturers to ensure that their solar panels don't interfere with the emergency services' communications, but there are suppliers who do not meet the legal requirements, the Telecom Agency said. When solar panels just hit the market, there were many cowboys who did not take the rules very seriously, according to Lucas. That is no longer the case, "but sometimes something slips through," he said. Companies are instructed to adapt their equipment if this happens.
The Telecom Agency has tips on its website on how to prevent your solar panels from causing problems.