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Be careful: solar roof could block 5G signal



Unfortunately, trying to generate renewable energy with solar cells is likely to pose unexpected problems if the latest mobile communication systems are to be exploited. As Corrierecommunication reports, a study signed by the Italian research organization Enea and presented at the 2nd International Conference on Energy Environment and Digital Transition highlights how photovoltaic modules can block the 5G signal, making the inside of a home unreachable.

“We found that photovoltaic modules made with two different types of cells, but still conventional, can shield these waves with a consequent potential negative effect on the antennas themselves due to the disturbing action on the transmission,” explains Girolamo Di Francia, head of the Enea Laboratory of Development of Photovoltaic and Sensor Digital Applications at the Research Center in Portici (Naples).

According to Enea’s evidence, the interaction exists even when the frequencies of the electromagnetic waves exceed a hundred GHz, “confirming a potentially relevant problem even for 6G, which is in development today.” According to Di Francia, “the shielding property could also be advantageously used to help homogenize the propagation of 5G electromagnetic waves, which, by their nature, are greatly affected by the disturbance of physical objects interposed along the propagation direction.” But careful planning is needed to facilitate the deployment of 5G while encouraging the spread of small rooftop solar installations, which today cover less than 10 percent of the available areas in our country.

There is a need of specific guidelines

“In anticipation of an increase in the number of photovoltaic installations on buildings, it is important to deepen studies to identify how PV and mobile transmission can interact and define how the two environments can work in support of each other. What is needed,” Di Francia concludes, “is a systematic and programmatic study that promotes the adoption of standards and guidelines to protect citizens from the prospect of increasingly powerful antennas installed by telephone operators to improve transmission and meet consumer demands


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