This publish is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.
Photo voltaic installations have elevated by 33% yearly during the last decade. This may be attributed to federal insurance policies such because the Photo voltaic Funding Tax Credit score. The Photo voltaic Funding Credit score Tax affords a tax incentive for photo voltaic models coupled with the rising demand for clear vitality. Within the industrial sector, environmental, social and governance initiatives have additionally been motivating elements for his or her progress.
Many constructing house owners and operators fail to comprehend that photo voltaic panels aren’t “set it and neglect it” gear. They require routine upkeep and particular care if a catastrophe strikes. If your corporation is in a hurricane-prone area, it’s essential to have a plan to de-energize your photo voltaic panels forward of an oncoming storm to stop loss and injury.
Safeguarding your photo voltaic installations throughout a storm
Hurricanes include excessive winds and flooding, amongst different dangers. Your photo voltaic panels could be broken earlier than, throughout and even after a hurricane.
Your upkeep workers needs to be skilled by the producer or third occasion in storing and de-energizing photo voltaic panels within the occasion of a hurricane. Create a written plan, together with assigning accountability for particular duties.
Comply with these steps to mitigate injury to your photo voltaic set up previous to a hurricane.
- Correct Storage. To mitigate injury to gear and scale back wind drag, retailer and safe all monitoring techniques in a impartial place forward of a storm. Adhere to the producers’ suggestions to retailer and safe the modules.
- Energy Down. To mitigate electrical losses attributable to grid disruptions throughout the hurricane, de-energize the power earlier than the storm hits. Take it fully off the grid on the level of interconnect or within the switchyard. Then separate elements by shutting off breakers at combiner containers, trackers and inverters. This can assist mitigate the consequences of a single electrical loss, so it gained’t negatively impression the whole facility.
- Safe Connections. Earlier than the storm arrives, verify that fasteners and clamps are safe. Verify, restore and safe unfastened wiring as effectively. Pay particular consideration to any doubtlessly compromised areas of the power, together with sections present process upkeep or restore.
- Guarantee Parts are Sealed. With hurricane winds commonly reaching over 100 mph, rain can simply enter even the smallest cracks and openings. All photo voltaic panel elements have to be commonly inspected for a water-proof seal, particularly cupboards containing electrical gear. Cupboards needs to be locked to stop water injury.
- Take away Unsecured Objects. Unsecured objects could be propelled by the air throughout a hurricane and trigger injury. Take away or safe any instruments and gear earlier than the storm hits. Additionally pay particular consideration to objects adjoining to the constructing corresponding to pallets. If this isn’t doable, transfer the objects downwind to cut back injury.
- Examine Drainage Ditches. Blocked drainage ditches retain water on web site, leaving you open to further water injury. Examine the drainage system to make sure it’s freed from particles and vegetative progress. Construct flood obstacles in case you have time to assist forestall undermining and erosion of racking system footings.
Recovering your gear publish storm
If the gear was uncovered to flood waters, they could possibly be compromised and contaminated. Because of this, flooded electrical gear have to be completely inspected, cleaned, dried out and examined earlier than use. If not, your set up runs the next threat of significant injury or whole loss.
Additionally, photo voltaic modules can produce energy from daylight even when they’re disconnected, and modules sitting in water can pose an electrocution threat.
At all times comply with producer necessities when recovering your gear.
- Windings and dry kind transformers needs to be dried at a temperature that doesn’t surpass the insulation score of the system earlier than trying utilization. Once more, examine the producer’s label for particular details about your gear.
- Oil-filled transformers needs to be inspected. Draw oil samples from the tank’s prime and backside for evaluation. Search for moisture droplets or a cloudy look. A lab ought to carry out a take a look at for dissolved water content material. Relying on the outcomes, a specialist might must dehydrate the oil cost.
- Circuit boards could be very delicate. In the event that they weren’t energized whereas immersed in water and don’t comprise water-sensitive components, they could be recovered. Clear in accordance with producers tips.
- Different elements might must be rinsed with contemporary, clear water after coming into contact with flood water. Planning and getting ready can mitigate injury to your photo voltaic set up and expediate restoration within the occasion of a hurricane. Working with an knowledgeable can assist determine weak factors and different dangers in your set up – and might finally save your funding from wreck.
Contact IAT for extra info on getting ready your photo voltaic set up for a hurricane.
By Katie Bloomquist
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