Solar Panel design and Firefighter Safety.
Firefighter safety has been addressed by several organizations, resulting in guidelines to safely address a fire involving solar products. Additionally, our building codes now include provisions intended to address firefighter safety, such as minimum setback areas to provide space on the roof for walking around solar products, clear safety labeling, quick disconnects, and more. Product standards address safety in general, and specifically fire safety, and also include provisions to address the needs the firefighters.
Solarponics is proud to have had an active part in helping educate and train local area firefighters.
- Fire Service Training, Underwriter's Laboratory
- Firefighter Safety and Response for Solar Power Systems, National Fire Protection Research Foundation
- Bridging the Gap: Fire Safety & Green Buildings, National Association of State Fire Marshalls
- Guidelines for Fire Safety Elements of Solar Photovoltaic Systems, Orange County Fire Chiefs Association
- Solar Photovoltaic Installation Guidelines, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, Office of the State Fire Marshall
- PV Safety & Firefighting, Matthew Paiss, Homepower Magazine
Solar panels and wildfire ash:
In wildfire areas that are experiencing ash fallout, the ash can settle on solar panels blocking sunlight, much like a heavy buildup of dust would do. The ash sediment can reduce power production by as much as 30% if not washed off.
A simple spray down with a garden hose will clean a solar array of ash, dust and other debris. If you have hard water and/or well water, you will need to squeegee the panels dry, or use an anti-spotting additive, such as what might be sued for washing your car.
- Rinse off panels.
- Sponge clean if they do not rise clean. Use a soft cloth mop, such as micro-fiber, and a non-metallic pole.
- If you have water spotting, mix an anti-water-spotting solution in a spray bottle. Spray rinse over entire panel surface.
Wash panels in the morning or early evening, when they are cool, and not in direct sunlight. It is advised to wait until air conditions clear, so that you won't have to wash you panels again the next week.
BE CAREFUL if climbing and walking on rooftops.
For those who really do not want to climb on their roof to clean their panels, we offer panel washing as part of your services and will donate 10% of the cost of OUR cleaning service to a "fire victims fund" for all service cleanings that we perform in SLO County and Santa Barbara County thru Dec. 31, 2016. Call Deana, service department at (805) 466-5595.