By Liz Nelson.
When it comes to a house fire, the men in yellow arrive to battle the blaze as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Able to attack the fire from any angle, these individuals put themselves on the line to win this fight. What if the home had rooftop solar panels installed? The firefighter has no choice but to alter his mindset on how to approach the disaster. The same tactics cannot be used because of fear of electrocution.
When a fire begins to consume solar panels, wires become exposed. These wires could have hundreds of volts and thousands of watts travelling through them even while the fire is in the process of destroying the array. This creates a bad situation for firefighters for the panels cannot be shut off in order to combat the blaze. As water is a superconductor of electricity, one wrong spray with the hose could be fatal. What are these heroes supposed to do in this kind of a situation?
The Solution to Rooftop Solar Panel Fires
Due to the dangers that solar panels promote to firefighters, Remote Solar Isolators have been designed in Australia to help secure the safety of those involved. These RSI devices reduce energy levels produced by solar arrays to safe and manageable levels removing the fear of physical injury from electrocution.
How They Work - The RSI connects to the solar power in order to adjust the flow of power. When the unit is plugged into the power grid, the solar panels are live at full capacity. Unplugging the unit causes it to switch the panels to a protective state reducing or even eliminating the amount of power they are producing. This could be done from a breaker or remotely from a power station. Once the RSI has disabled the maximum power the panels can produce, firefighters will have a safer and easier time combating the blaze.
The Need for Global Marketing - Awarded the most Innovative Product of the Year for 2012 by the Master Electricians of Australia, the Remote Solar Isolator can help save lives as well as property damage. As these units have been proven to be effective, why haven't they been distributed globally? All too often solar panel fires make headlines but not much is mentioned about such a device preventing the damage in the first place. Could this simply be because sceptics of photovoltaic technology are more concerned with tragedy than prevention?
Other Benefits of the RSI
Cleaning the Array
The RSI unit doesn't merely have to be isolated to allowing firefighters to do their job. They can be utilized to allow virtually anyone the capability of safely cleaning their panels without fear of being injured. Once the power is deactivated, the homeowner can feel safe knowing that there is no chance of being electrocuted while cleaning the panels.
Repairing Solar Panels
Replacing faulty panels could be a hazardous task to do without the benefit of a Remote Solar Isolator. Although a single panel could be faulty, the other panels surrounding it are producing thousands of watts worth of power. Deactivating the panels simultaneously with the RSI unit can allow repairs to be completed without worry.
Power Line Repairs
Local repairs to grid lines could also be hazardous to workers should a live solar array be functional and feeding power back into the system. For instance, downed power lines can be shut off at the power station directly. However, a solar array could still be feeding a great deal of power into that system creating a live line. With the RSI device, the panels are deactivated once power is no longer detected on the grid. This will save power company employees a great deal of trouble from having to locate and shut down the solar system in the neighborhood that is still providing power.
Solar panels are being utilized globally for homes and businesses alike. If anything should happen to these facilities, a lot of trouble can be eliminated. The Remote Solar Isolator can help prevent many accidents from happening during an emergency, and should be considered when anyone is installing a photovoltaic system regardless of their place in the world. Protect your solar assets and prevent them from becoming a liability.
This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.