Why Firefighters Are Scared of Solar Power

A 300,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse in Delanco, New Jersey, burned down last week, and the local fire chief says solar panels are partly to blame. No, the 700 solar panels on top of the Dietz & Watson warehouse didn't cause the fire, but their presence did dissuade Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt from putting his team on the roof. "With all that power and energy up there, I can't jeopardize a guy’s life for that,” Holt told NBC Philadelphia. The only thing firefighters fear more than fire is solar. 

So long as a solar panel is getting sunlight, it's impossible to turn off. "During daylight, there can be enough voltage and current to injure or even kill a firefighter who comes in contact with the energized conductors," Matthew Paiss, a fire engineer with the San Jose Fire Department, wrote in a handy guide for firefighters. The Dietz & Watson warehouse fire started when the sun was out. By the time the sun went down, the fire was beyond control. The warehouse burned for 29 hours. 

As Paiss explained in his essay on solar panels and firefighting, roof access is crucial for firefighters: Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.

Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

Seaward PV210 Solar Installation Test Kit

The Seaward Solar PV210 PV installation tester provides a highly efficient and effective test and diagnostic solution for PV systems, carrying out all commissioning tests required by IEC 62446 and performing fast and accurate measurement of I-V curves in accordance with IEC 61829. With direct connection to individual PV modules or strings using the supplied lead sets, tests can be conducted easily and within a matter of seconds at the press of a single button.