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National Electric Code (NFPA # 70) for Photovoltaic Systems Mechanical Code of New York State for Thermal Systems Plumbing Code of New York State for Thermal Systems Residential Code of New York State More restrictive local standards UL Standard 1703, Flat-plate Photovoltaic Modules and Panels UL Standard 1741, Standard for Static Inverters, Converters and Controllers for use in
Independent Power Systems
IEEE 929-2000, Recommended Practice for Utility Interface of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
(approved in January 2000)
pool heating). photovoltaic systems (PV). heating. 3 SOLAR ARRAYS . and recreational use (i. hot water. There are two common types of solar energy systems. other systems feed unused electric back to the grid. thermal systems. Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sun’s rays into electricity.e. Thermal systems heat water for domestic use. typically have smaller solar panels than PV systems. some PV systems have batteries to store electricity.
Primary Concerns Mounting of the system structurally sound. Roof properly weather proofed. 4 . Electrical equipment correctly specified and installed according to code.
Mounting of System Two main types of loads to consider. Most modern truss roofs are capable of handling the extra dead load provided that the roof is not masonry. • Dead Load • Wind Load Structure must be capable of supporting dead load and attachment method must be capable of keeping the PV array on the roof or relevant structure. 5 .
6 . Attachment method must be capable of keeping the PV array on the roof or relevant structure.Mounting continued Masonry roofs often require a structural analysis or removing the existing product and replace it with composite in the area of the PV array.
. 7 . . .much cheaper.much bigger.similar to computer chips. What are Solar Cells? Thin wafers of silicon.
. . 8 .SOLAR ARRAYS continued Silicon is abundant (sand). safe Light carries energy into cell. they do not store energy. Sunlight is the “fuel”.non-toxic.cells convert sunlight energy into electric current.
9 .SOLAR ARRAYS continued Thermal system.
SOLAR ARRAYS continued Photovoltaic 10 .
11 . • Modules • Inverters • and Conduit Roughly 30x50 inches in area and weighs around 30 lbs.Photovoltaic Systems Photovoltaic systems have three primary components.
When attached in a series. the voltage increases. 12 . Generate electricity from sunlight. Generally rated at between 125 and 200 watts each and produce between 24 and 48 volts of DC power.Modules A group of modules is called an array. have no moving parts.
000 to 5. 13 . Current ranges between five and nine amps. at between 120 and 600 volts DC.Modules Most residences have from 15 to 40 panels. Will generate anywhere from 2.000 watts (two to five kilowatts) in optimal sunlight conditions.
Disconnects are often mounted on one or both sides of the inverter to shut off DC entering and AC leaving it. which converts the DC voltage to AC and then feed the electricity back into the main power distribution panel. These disconnects are primarily used by techs to service the inverter. 14 . shutting off the main breakers also shuts down the inverter. The inverter requires AC from the power company.Inverters and Disconnects Modules wired to an inverter.
There is no rooftop disconnect to kill the DC power in the conduit. 15 . it just keeps it from entering the inverter.Inverters and Disconnects DC disconnect does not shut off power in the DC conduit. DC conduit is still live between the array and the inverter DC disconnect.
16 . it may be labeled “Solar Disconnect” or some variation. Labeling may be outside or inside of the main panel. This breaker may be in a sub-panel.Labels Labels on the main service panel will indicate the PV system presence. Look for the dedicated breaker for the inverter. but there will always be a label on the main electrical panel stating presence of a second generating source on site.
as the array may not be visible and the inverter may be in the fire.Labels Labels may be the only identifiers you might see. LOOK FOR LABELS!!!!!! 17 .
Photovoltaic Array 18 .
Hot water scalds with the Thermal system. Inhalation exposure. Electric shock. 19 . Earlier roof collapse due to extra weight.Potential Hazards from Solar Systems Tripping and/or falling hazards while operating on the roof. Access for ventilation. Battery hazards.
Size-up. identify and validate hazard. Inform the IC that a system is present. “Lock-out”.“Tag-Out” 20 . • locate rooftop panels • obtain system information • type of system (Thermal or Photovoltaic) • clarify electrical disconnects Stress tactical approach. STAY CLEAR • shut down as much as possible.
21 . Lightning is bright enough to create a temporary surge. when exposed to sunlight begins to generate electric. At night. Light from a full moon will not energize the PV cells.e.Fireground Tactics Leave the scene in a safe condition. apparatus scene lighting does not produce enough light to generate an electrical hazard. i.. system damaged during night fire.
they only detect AC voltage. 22 . not DC voltage.Fireground Tactics Covering the PV modules with normal FD tarps WILL NOT block light generation. Foam cannot effectively block all sunlight. If your department carries “noncontact voltage detectors”. Only 100% opaque materials will work.
Securing the MAIN electrical does not shut down the PV modules. Do not break. Nighttime = No Hazard Components are always HOT! (Daytime = sunlight.Summation Daytime = Danger. Nighttime = batteries. Treat as electrically energized. 23 .) Operate normally. components and conduit. but don’t touch. or walk on PV modules and stay away from modules. remove.