Solar advice: Never without lightning protection! PV Europe, 4 January 2018

A rooftop solar generator mostly consists of a metal frame that the solar panels are screwed onto and cables and plugs underneath them. Do you really want to risk a flash from the sky? Sometimes it hits through the cellar.


This generator was hit by a flash. The lightning protection kept intact.

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That is why every rooftop solar generator needs lightning protection – even if there are high trees right next to it. External lightning protection (against direct lightning strikes from above) is not mandatory in private residences, but it should always be part of a professionally designed and installed solar installation.

That should be worth it!

Most insurance companies also demand such protection using poles, surge protectors and ground rods. For a private residence, setting up lightning protection will cost you around 250 to 400 euros in addition to the actual solar generator. That should be worth it.

Upgrade the building!

For public and commercial buildings, lightning protection on the roof is mandatory in any case. If you are installing a PV installation there, make sure it is adequately protected by your lightning protection. If not, you should upgrade it. You can do it also after the installation of the PV generator – during maintenance or repair.

A flash comes in through the cellar!

Even electricians (!) often underestimate the need for so-called internal lightning protection. It concerns the protection of the house from power surges coming in through the cellar. That can happen if there is a lightning strike in the vicinity of the house.

This can cause a power surge to hit the main power line of the house and spread throughout the house’s wiring. This can affect all appliances in the house, including the inverter of the solar generator. So internal lightning protection should always be part of a private residence – even if there is no solar generator on the roof. (HS)

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Source: Solar advice: Never without lightning protection!

Disclaimer: The authorship and the opinion expressed pertain to their authors. While all the effort are made by Esc Adriatic to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations may differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For any specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, contact us through “”.

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