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Important. The Systems, Drawings And Pictures Depicted In This Presentation Are Used For Discussion Purposes Only. PV Systems And Their Components Vary In Design, And Appearance. It Is Imperative That Your Department Become Familiar With The Systems Installed In Your Community. . !.

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Important

The Systems, Drawings And Pictures Depicted In This Presentation Are Used For Discussion Purposes Only. PV Systems And Their Components Vary In Design, And Appearance. It Is Imperative That Your Department Become Familiar With The Systems Installed In Your Community.

!


Coordination Between Your Fire Department And Your Municipalities' Building And Fire Code Officials Is Essential To Understanding &Identifying PV Systems Installed In Your Community!

!


Solar Power & Its

Impact on the Fire Service


Program Goals:

  • To Provide Firefighters with an Awareness of Photovoltaic Systems so Informed Fire Ground Decisions can be Applied for Safe Fireground Operations


Program Topics:

  • What is Solar Power?

  • Why are People Using it?

  • What is it Used For?

  • Types of Systems

  • Impact on The Fire Service

  • Target Hazards in Your Jurisdiction


Currently…

  • New Jersey Is Second Largest Solar Energy Market In The United States

Note:California with 4 times the population is ranked #1


2001= 6

2006= 12+

NJ Installations

2009= 4000+

2011=>9000


Why Does it Concern Us

2011 - Over 9,000…

  • Equates to About 15 Per Municipality


They’re in Your Town!!!!

Why Does it Concern Us


They’re in Your Town!!!!

Why Does it Concern Us


Renewable Energy Sources

WHY

  • State Purchase Incentives (up to 25% of cost)

  • State Sales Tax Exemption

  • Federal Tax Credits

  • Lower or Non-Existent Energy Bills

  • Note: Utilities Required To Buy Back Excess Solar Energy


Importance to New Jersey

In 2006

  • 4,709,000 Megawatt Hours Used In One Month

  • Only 36 Megawatt Hours Were Generated By Solar Energy


Importance to New Jersey

  • New Jersey also Houses the Nation’s Highest-Capacity & Oldest Running Nuclear Power Plants

  • (Salem & Oyster Creek)


Solar Energy

  • Light & Radiant Heat From the Sun that Influences Climate & Weather

  • Naturally Replenished - Renewable Energy Source

  • Also Referred to as Solar Power Or Photovoltaic (PV) Solar: Electricity Generated From Solar Radiation


Types of Solar PV Systems

Grid Interconnected

  • Power from the Solar System is Added to the Normal Home Power Supply Supplied by the Utility Company


Types of Solar PV Systems

System Components


Types of Solar PV Systems

System Components

  • Roof Mounted Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

  • DC Energy ►AC Energy Inverter

  • Solar Junction Box

  • Electric Meter


Grid Inter-Tied with Battery Backup

  • System - Similar to Previous System with the Addition of a “Battery Bank” to Store Power Generated from Solar Panels

Types of Solar PV Systems


Grid Inter-Tied with Battery Backup

Types of Solar PV Systems


Off Grid Systems

  • Not Tied to Any Utility Service or Power Lines

  • Main Source of Power for Building

  • Can Have Wind-Power, Water-Power & Back-Up Generators Factored in to Provide Energy at Night

Types of Solar PV Systems


Off Grid System Components

  • Roof Mounted Solar Panels

  • Array DC Disconnect

  • Charge Controller: Prevents Overcharging

Types of Solar PV Systems


Off Grid System Components

  • Battery Bank

  • System Meter: Bank Level, Panel Production, House Usage

  • Main DC Disconnect

Types of Solar PV Systems


Off Grid System Components

  • DC Energy ►AC Energy Inverter

  • Rectifier- Changes AC Energy ► DC Energy To Be Stored In Battery Bank

  • Solar Junction Box

Types of Solar PV Systems


Off Grid System Components

  • Generator Junction Box

  • Power Meter

Types of Solar PV Systems


How Solar PV Systems Work

  • Panels Contain PV Cells Made of Semi-conductive Materials Such as Silicon

  • The Cells Form Layers/ “Wafers” & Contain a Positive Side & Negative Side


How Solar PV Systems Work

  • Photovoltaic Panels

    • Photo Means Light

    • Voltaic Means Electricity

  • Also Commonly Referred to as PV Panels


How Solar PV Systems Work

  • Electric Conductors Attached to Panel Sides Form Electric Circuit

  • Sunlight Energy Excites Electrons & Knock Them Loose

  • Conductors Capture Energy Creating an Electrical Current


How Solar PV Systems Works

  • Direct Current Electrical Energy is Produced

  • Power Is Combined in a “Combiner Box” Or “Combination Box” & Sent to Inverter


How Solar PV Systems Works

  • Inverter: Changes DC to AC

  • Information such as Power Level, Energy Production, & Fault Messages can Usually be Observed Here


Combiner Box

How Solar PV Systems Works

How Solar PV Systems Works


  • Combiner Box

  • Conduit to Inverter

Note: Always Consider This HOT

How Solar PV Systems Works


  • Alternating Current (AC) is Distributed to House Service Panel for Use. Excess Power is Transported Back Through the Utility Meter

How Solar PV Systems Works


Solar Panel Mounting Systems

  • MountingBolts


Solar Panel Mounting Systems

  • Grid Tracks


Flat Roof Mounting Systems

  • Weighted or Ballasted System


Flat Roof Mounting Systems

  • Bolted Through or Anchored System


Integrated Roof Systems

Virtually impossible to tell from the ground. This is why preplanning is so important.


Preplanning is Essential

  • Some Systems Unidentifiable from Street


Preplanning is Essential

  • Systems Differ


Preplanning is Essential

  • Disconnect Locations Vary


PV Hazards

  • Shock Hazards

  • Batteries

  • Roof Collapse

  • Trip hazards

  • Roof Ventilation


Shock

  • Primary Firefighter Danger

  • Maximum Voltage Of A Solar Panel System: 600 Volts (Low Voltage)

  • Note: Nearly 300 workers die yearly from low voltage electrical incidents

PV Hazards


Shock

  • Momentary Contact With Low DC Voltages May Produce:

    • Continuous Shock

    • Thermal Injury

    • Ventricular Fibrillation

  • Note: Unlike fire, which produces burns in a relatively predictable manner, electricity can strike unsuspecting victims — sometimes fatally!

PV Hazards


Inhalation

  • Protect Yourselves – Use Your SCBA

PV Hazards


Batteries

  • As a Rule, Batteries Burn with Great Difficulty

  • Batteries Exposed to Fire Generate Extremely Corrosive Fumes & Gases

  • Note: NEVER USE WATERto Extinguish lead-acid battery fires - Use CO2 or Dry Chemical

PV Hazards


Roof Collapse

Approx. Weights

Normal Dwelling - 40 Panels

35# Each

  • PV Panel – 35 lbs

  • Modules & Racking Hardware –4 lbs/ft2

1,400 Pounds

Total Added Dead Load to Roof System

PV Hazards


Other Hazards

  • Trip Hazards

PV Hazards


Electrical Hazards

  • PV “Wiring Harness” is CONSIDERED ALWAYS HOT

PV Hazards


Roof Operations Hazards

  • During Daytime Firefighting Operations PV Panels Are Still Generating Electricity

  • Do Not Cut Into Or Walk Across Panels

  • Do Not Break Protective Glass

    • All Energy In Entire System Could Be Released At Break Point

PV Hazards


Roof Ventilation

  • Ventilate The Highest Point Over The Fire Without Cutting Through The PV Array (other side of the roof)

  • Flat Roofs With Complete PV Coverage

    • Horizontal With Supplemental Hydraulic & Positive Pressure Ventilation

PV Hazards


Firefighting Operations

  • The IC Must Notify Firefighters of the Presence of Solar Arrays


Firefighting Operations

  • Lock & Tag Out Array at

    • Inverter

    • DC Disconnect

    • Main Electrical Panel


Firefighting Operations

PV Array Fire

  • Use Class “C” Extinguishing Agents- CO2 Or Dry Chemical

  • CAUTION:SYSTEM IS ENERGIZED


Firefighting Operations

Roof Fire

  • Use Water Fog Pattern on the PV Array

  • CAUTION:SYSTEM IS ENERGIZED


Remember

!

Treat

All Systems

as Energized Regardless of Time

of Day


You Cannot Effectively Block All The Sunlight With Salvage Covers, Foam, or Tarps During Day Time Operations and Declare The PV System “Safe”

Remember

!


Use of spotlights during an evening operation may be bright enough to generate electricity from the PV system

Remember

!


PV Technology Advancements

PV Integrated Shingles


Summary

  • Know Where Buildings With PV Systems Are Located In You District.

  • “Preplan” “Preplan” “Preplan”

  • Treat PV System Components As Always Energized

  • Adjust Your Firefighting Tactics Accordingly

  • Additional Information:

  • www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/Research/FFTacticsSolarPower.pdf


Remember

The Systems, Drawings and Pictures depicted in this Presentation are used for discussion purposes only. PV Systems and their Components vary in design, and appearance. It is imperative that Your Department become familiar with the systems installed in your community.

!


Coordination between your Fire Department and your municipalities' Building and Fire Code Officials is Essential to identifying and understanding the PV Systems installed in your Community!

!


Acknowledgements

Corey J. Hullings……………………Delran Fire Department

Suzanne Borek…………………Division of Codes and Standards

Richard Farletta ………………..Division of Fire Safety

Ken Kandrac ……………………Slackwood Fire Company

Jerry Lax ………………………..Advanced Solar Products

NJ Board of Public Utilities……Clean Energy Program

James McFadden………………Division of Fire Safety


Stay Safe


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