Safety is paramount when it comes to installing, servicing and maintaining a PV system, for system/asset owners, firefighters, and installers alike. In the rooftop sector, PV safety requirements have been developing steadily, with ground fault detection being required by the US National Electrical Code (NEC) in the 1990s, followed by arc fault detection and PV rapid shutdown in the 2010s. Safety measures for ground-mounted systems in the community solar/utility scale sector, as well as for carports, however, have lagged behind, according to the experts at SolarEdge. Fires in these large-size installations risk greater financial and property loss and endanger vegetation and wildlife.
Power optimizers, which have proved popular in the US rooftop segment to maximize energy production and safety, prevent and minimize worst-case scenarios upon ground and arc faults caused by improper connections and faulty wiring, according to Solaredge. With these conditions often found in ground-mounted and carports applications too, module-level power electronics (MLPE) like power optimizers present an opportunity to maximize safety of personnel and property. In this pv magazine Spotlight, SolarEdge will introduce its new S-Series optimizers and discuss how their features contribute also to the safety of ground-mounted and carport installations.
The S-Series optimizers come with built-in thermal sensors and SAFE DC which detect abnormally high temperatures in the PV system, immediately identifies which modules are at fault, and shuts down the inverter in case of a potential arc risk. The voltage of each module is then reduced to touch-safe DC levels, minimizing the risk of fires, and making the system safer for field workers or firefighters’ intervention in the case of fire. The thermal sensors further help identify improper connections and possible malfunctions in the installation, for early detection and mitigation of arc risks.
Joining this Spotlight from Solaredge are Jason Bobruk, Director Code Compliance, and Kleber Facchini, Director of Technical Marketing, Commercial & Utility. Bill Brooks, NEC Expert and Principal at Brooks Engineering, will add his expertise on NEC to the discussion.
pv magazine Spotlight content:
- SolarEdge track record in safety
- What firefighters are saying
- Why ground mount & carport safety are lagging
- Safety trends and what insurance companies are paying attention to
- S-series power optimizers introduction
We encourage you to ask questions, which can be submitted beforehand or during the Spotlight through a chat window. Beatriz Santos, manager webinar program and strategy at pv magazine, will be the host of this Spotlight. pv magazine is hosting this Spotlight on behalf of our partner, SolarEdge, which is responsible for the content. For more information on our pv magazine Spotlights, please visit https://www.pv-magazine.com/spotlights