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PV Training

PV Drill Topic

Cody Goodnough

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of PV Training

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
What we need to know
Photovoltaic Systems (PV)
How do we turn them off?
Can we?
After the completion of this training you should have a basic understanding of:
~ What a Photovoltaic (PV) system is & why growth is a concern
~ Generally how the system works
~ What safety issues you may face
~ How to work safely around these systems
What Safety issues might we face when responding to a fire with a PV system present?
of a PV System
Solar Panels or Modules
Water Application
If at all possible avoid spraying the panels.
Safe Distances = Several Factors

a. Voltage
b. Diameter of the Nozzle
c. Pattern of the water spray
d. Distance between nozzle and energized components
e. Conductivity of the water
f. Water Pressure
Should we?
Solar Cells
Disconnects and Breakers
Think Safety 1st
Make Sure
Everyone Goes Home!

A partial bed (1.5kW) 50' away - 340v 1.5mA (safe current)
Total global energy capacity averaged 40% annual growth between 2000 & 2010.

Grid connected solar PV capacity grew nearly 50%per year ofr much of that time
Why do we care?
(A or I) = current
Milliamps (mA) ~ 1000 mA = 1A

= A unit of measure of power or rate of work equal to 1 joule per sec (J/s)

= A measurement of energy (energy required to raise 1g of water 1 degree Celsius)
Electrical joule– a unit of energy equal to the work done when a current of one ampere is passed through a resistance of one ohm for one second.
(energy required for 1A - 1 ohm for 1 sec)
Volts (v)
= defined as the difference in electric potential when an electric current of one amp dissipates one watt of power.
– Pressure (discussed later)

Ohms (Ω)
= Resistance
Ohms Law = states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points
Definitions Cont.
PV Expert
Disclaimer – This is my definition.

Someone who is familiar with PV
how they work and are installed.

is NOT
any licensed electrician or the on-call Power Company representative that usually shows up on the fire to disconnect the house from the grid.
Last Definition: (for now)
What is a PV System?
Types of systems
Direct - Feeds what is being powered

Wholesale - Feeds only back to the grid (Solar Farms)

Hybrid - Fees both direct and back to the grid
Rack System
How does it work?
A VERY simplistic overview
Safety -
1. Contact
a. Voltage
b. Current
Ohms Law for Firefighters
Electrical Volts Amps Ohms

Hydraulics PSI GPM Friction Loss
Most people begin to feel current at around 2 mA DC
UL Tests
1. Water Application
2. Light - Vehicles & Fire
3. PPE
Several tests conducted
What about the Smoke?
More Safety stuff
Tactics - How do we operate safely around a PV System?
We have to "attack" if from both directions.
If feasible shut off the main breaker
Modules, Strings, or Arrays
Block all natural or artificial light
Greatest Danger

Fire Damaged
What is a PV System?
What are a few of the hazards associated with a PV system?
Who can determine if a PV system is shut down & "dead"?
Are you going to approach a fire under a PV system the same way you would an "ordinary" structure fire?
V = I x R
Full transcript