When working in the solar industry, you may have heard of the requirement for Fast Shutdown. But what are they, do they apply to you, and do you know how to comply?
With the increasing popularity of solar PV, the National Fire Protection Association hopes to find a way to ensure that firefighters are safer when dealing with fires on solar PV buildings. To meet these module-level regulations, smart modules, micro-inverters or other module-level power electronic devices are necessary.
In a typical string inverter system, even after the inverter is turned off, as long as the sun is shining, the DC conductor remains live. In order to protect our firefighters from the intrusion of live wires on the roof during ventilation during a fire, a Quick Shutdown Function is introduced to kill any power in the system conductors. The fast shutdown device is designed to reduce the voltage in the DC system conductors to 30 volts within 10 seconds after the inverter is disconnected
For standard string inverter systems, NEC requirements also require a quick shut-off device for each section of the pipeline that is more than one foot away from the array.
The need for rapid closures has increased because climate change is more likely to cause wildfires, especially in California and Australia.
If there is no requirement for rapid shutdown, firefighting work in the era of wildfires and climate change will become more complicated, which is dangerous for firefighters who are already dealing with larger and more frequent fire challenges.
There are many reports in the news that firefighters need to change their tactics at the last minute, and when they arrive at the scene they find that there is solar energy on the building
Due to the need to close quickly, firefighters are safer. They are also getting safer because they are taking preventive measures, such as maintaining a database of buildings with solar energy. Fire officials are providing special training to prevent fires in buildings with solar energy.
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