Showing what Solar Power Inverter Interference Looks Like

Over on YouTube user ALI6359 has uploaded a video showing what severe interference from a neighbors poor quality solar power inverter looks like on his RTL-SDR dongle. An inverter converts the DC power produced by solar panels into AC power which is used by common household equipment. Inverters typically use switching techniques to convert the power, and this can cause RF noise if the inverter is poorly designed and not shielded.

In the video ALI6359 shows strong interference all across the VHF spectrum. He also writes in the video description that the interference also occurs all over the entire HF band. He writes:

This is what happens if you or your neighbours install a dodgy quality solar power system. i am using a uhf phased array antenna facing away from the source of interferance but i am picking up very strong interferance. just touching the antenna connector of the rtlsdr is enough for the interferance to show up. i once had a HF upconverter (stopped working now) it used to show very strong interferance through the enitre HF band. the solar inverter certainly fails the part 15 FCC requirements.

In a previous post we also showed how interference from Ethernet over powerline adapters can destroy the entire HF band as well.

Solar power inverter interfernace RTL-SDR sdrsharp 30mhz to 120mhz

7 comments

  1. craig

    There’s nothing you can do. If you’re in California for example, there are absolutely no unintended consequences of solar power, and you must all be mistaken.

  2. Alyx

    i have designed switching supplies and inverters for years and these things are tested for even in our lowest cost and most noise prone variable frequency drives
    this is simply an unacceptable practice and some ferrites really must be placed on those outputs or they should not be allowed to be used
    i’m curious about its line noise

  3. Mario

    As a former Public Health Inspector, we were called out a few times by neighbors of these solar farms complaining about the noise they generate, mostly during daytime hours. What we found out is that the inverters, during the duty cycle,heat up and require fans to cool them. The fans were the source of noise but the noise level was below the maximum level (65 dBA) for daytime.

    Would be interested in knowing if this interference stops at night, when the panels are not generating energy.

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