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Solar panels hampering firefighting efforts

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by gvillager, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. gvillager

    gvillager Member

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    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Solar-Panels-Growing-Hazard-for-Firefighters-222085811.html

    This is something I never considered. Any thoughts on how we can prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future?
     
  2. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    AFAIK, the panels are set up with a way to sever/disconnect strings of panels to de-energize them. I assume that emergency responders have training on this. I know that my system has special red labels on key conduits and disconnects.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    A fire detection system that shuts down the solar panels. Also, it's possible that the firefighters didn't have the training required.
     
  4. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    My house has a huge shut off switch on the outside, just for this kind of thing.

    Surprised that there wasn't one or maybe the fire fighters didn't see it.
     
  5. woof

    woof Model X 75D Blue, 6 seats

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  6. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    Even if you cut the power from the ground if you are not using micro inverters at the panels there is still a lot of power up there. Most of these big installs have string inverters and I assume that is what this building had. If that was the case then the roof would have been live.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    This is a huge issue not only for firefighters but for utility personnel as well. The "anti-islanding" systems can fail, and as has been previously mentioned, a disconnect at ground level does nothing for the power being generated "upstream" of that switch (i.e. on the roof).

    There are blankets and black sprays that can be applied to the solar panels to block the sun's rays.
     

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