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SOLAR PANELS- FACTS TOTAL NUMBER OF PV SYSTEMS INSTALLED * 750,000+ Queensland: 209,217 New South Wales: 194,980 Victoria: 128,013 South Australia: 107,544,

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Presentation on theme: "SOLAR PANELS- FACTS TOTAL NUMBER OF PV SYSTEMS INSTALLED * 750,000+ Queensland: 209,217 New South Wales: 194,980 Victoria: 128,013 South Australia: 107,544,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 SOLAR PANELS- FACTS TOTAL NUMBER OF PV SYSTEMS INSTALLED * 750,000+ Queensland: 209,217 New South Wales: 194,980 Victoria: 128,013 South Australia: 107,544, Western Australia: 104,653, Northern Territory: 1,551 Tasmania: 7,881 Please note Germany has 500,000+ installed systems Solar Safety through Innovation * Source: Energy Matters

3 SOLAR PANELS-INSTALLATION Solar panels are installed in strings to form arrays. Each panel generates power - the voltage accumulates to form a string, (i.e v DC = 320 v DC). Combined voltage is potentially lethal. Potential failure points: Series arc Pershing material: cable insulation, panel backing material Damage by animals and vermin Poor quality components and materials Flood or storm damage Any failure point can expose tradespeople, emergency services, home owners accessing roofs and maintenance personnel to potentially lethal voltages which currently cannot be switched off. Solar Safety through Innovation:

4 UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES INCORPORATED USA FIREFIGHTER SAFETY AND PHOTOVOLTAIC INSTALLATIONS RESEARCH PROJECT REPORT IDENTIFIED Solar Safety through Innovation: A damaged solar array may create unpredictable current paths which may include gutters, roofs, flashings and modules. A severely damaged array may still generate lethal voltages. Water on a damaged 600 volt solar array is potentially unsafe within a 15 foot radius for “pond water” and up to 750 feet if the water is contaminated by salt (consider cleaning beachside solar installations). As long as the solar array is illuminated parts of the array will always be energised, therefore generating lethal DC voltages. We are happy to provide electronic copies of this report.

5 CURRENT PROBLEM Unable to isolate and make safe rooftop solar generators. Arrays continue to generate dangerous voltage when ever the sun is shining. Dangerous voltages exist between all solar panels and associated wiring through to the isolator as indicated in red. Solar Safety through Innovation:

6 PROBLEMS WITH SOLAR PANEL INSTALLS Fire Cable Damage - Animal Solar Safety through Innovation:

7 PROBLEMS WITH SOLAR PANEL INSTALLS Perish – 7 years exposure Poor quality installation Solar Safety through Innovation:

8 PROBLEMS WITH SOLAR PANEL INSTALLS Incorrect cabling Panels and cabling not supported Solar Safety through Innovation:

9 PROBLEMS WITH SOLAR PANEL INSTALLS Solar Panel Termination Fire Series Arcing Solar Safety through Innovation:

10 PROBLEMS WITH SOLAR PANEL INSTALLS Cable Damage – perish Cable Damage - vermin Solar Safety through Innovation:

11 WARNINGS ISSUED Safety Bulletin-Floods and Household Solar Panels -Clean Energy Council 2011 Electrocution warnings: NECA 2010/2011 Field Safety Alerts: ET5A Utilities including shock and fire.

12 CURRENT SOLUTION ATTEMPTS Installation of a conventional DC rooftop isolator (Required in latest AS 5033) Location encourages access which could cause electrocution to operator if array is damaged. Does not stop combined voltage. Isolators/disconnects are unable to switch under full load and are subject to failure. Dangerous voltage still exists up to and including the isolator. Solar Safety through Innovation:

13 Garbage Bags – must totally wrap the panel to stop voltage generation, prone to blowing off, require access to roof to fit. Foam – when applied will slide off the panels of varying angles, failing to block the sun. Blankets – cumbersome and if any holes exist the panels will still generate electricity. CURRENT SOLUTION ATTEMPTS Solar Safety through Innovation:

14 ULTIMATLEY OVER TIME ALL SOLAR PANELS AND ASSOCIATED COMPONENTS WILL FAIL Solar Safety through Innovation:

15 ACCESSING ONE SUCH DAMAGED ARRAY PROVIDES A REAL RISK OF ELECTROCUTION. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO VISUALLY ASSESS A SOLAR INSTALLATION FOR DAMAGE! Solar Safety through Innovation:

16 ISOLATION – PANEL VOLTAGES NO LONGER COMBINE Solar Safety through Innovation:

17 REMOTE SOLAR ISOLATOR Remote Solar Isolator - isolates each individual solar panel. Panels are isolated: Remotely by disconnecting grid supply to an area. (obvious advantage during flood, fire or natural disaster). This may be achieved at the local substation or power lines in the street. By following the installed solar standard isolating procedure located at the customers switchboard per AS Confirmation of isolation:  RSIA1 provides an additional flashing green strobe. (These strobes may be placed in a high visibility area if roof panels are not clearly visible).  RSIA2 uses the standard indication which is available on all inverters, indicating grid failure and zero DC generation. Solar Safety through Innovation:

18 CONFIRMATION OF ISOLATION RSIA1 Flashing Green Strobe & b lank inverter RSIA2 Blank inverter Solar Safety through Innovation:

19 LINE DIAGRAM OF STANDARD RSI INSTALLATION Solar Safety through Innovation:

20 HOW DOES THE RSI WORK? A 24 volt dc power supply is energised from the grid AC supply This in turn supplies the required power to the RSI which in turn will close the desired contacts. This will then allow all connected solar panels to combine their voltage and supply DC volts to the inverter. The contacts continuously remain in the closed/combining position until their supply is interrupted. This supply may be interrupted on either the AC or DC side of the control, for example switching off the AC mains or having a relay coil fail, also included is an 85 degree thermal fuse for heat protection. Once either supply is interrupted the solar panels cease to combine, full indication is provided and the maximum voltage left on the roof is one panel VOC normally 40-50Vdc. Solar Safety through Innovation:

21 RSI – OTHER ATTRIBUTES Coils are in series so when one coil opens or fails the whole series will fail. Will isolate entire system if excessive heat is detected. Can be used in conjunction with inverter arc detection to provide the ability to stop all DC arcing. Naturally defaults to open circuit which makes solar panel more intrinsically safe. Don’t need to place operator in any danger to isolate. In case of emergency, access to the switchboard is not required making it safer for Emergency Service personnel. Solar Safety through Innovation:

22 THE PRODUCT The Remote Solar Isolator is very simple to install and uses simple plug and play wiring Easily retro-fitted to any solar installation Simply added to any new installation Accepts panel voltages up to 100 V DC per panel Maximum string voltage of 900 V DC Easily adapts to varying panel numbers in a string Uses standard panel mounting system Solar Safety through Innovation:

23 PROBLEMS OVER TIME WITH OVER 750,000 INSTALLED SOLAR SYSTEMS IN AUSTRALIA A FAILURE RATE OF ONLY 2% OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS WOULD MEAN THE POTENTIAL FOR: INCIDENTS Solar Safety through Innovation:

24 INNOVATIVE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2012 Solar Safety through Innovation:


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