Solar PV Safety for Firefighters

Can you spray water on solar panels? Is a roof top solar array hazardous on a cloudy day? Boost your confidence when operating around solar electric (photovoltaic) systems by learning from an experienced fire chief. There are fourteen brief videos that describe components and provide case studies from which to learn. Watch how departments respond to incidents on solar-equipped structures, both residential and commercial. Check your understanding throughout with four knowledge checks.

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Part 1. Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) Basics
Introduction
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Hear why learning about operating safely around solar-equipped structures is essential for all first responders.
Grid-tied PV Systems Overview
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learn how solar electric (PV) systems produce electricity and how they are like other electricity-producing systems, like gas-powered generators.
Electrical Theory
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learn how electricity flow is like hydraulic flow - spray from a hose. Understanding how electricity flows can help you identify electrical hazards when operating around a solar array.
Review #1
5 Questions
5 Questions Check your knowledge of solar electricity basics with this 5 question review.
Part 2. Solar Electric System Components
Components: Modules
Open to view video.
Open to view video. There are a variety of types of solar modules (what you might call solar "panels." Learn how to identify the different types upon sight.
Components: Conduit & Disconnects
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Conduit and disconnects are highly visible components of the PV system that first responders should be able to identify.
Components: Inverters
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Inverters change the DC electricity from the solar modules to AC electricity that can be used in the building. Learn the basics of how the inverter works and how you will deal with it during an incident.
Review #2
5 Questions
5 Questions What have you learned about the main components of a PV system? Take this 5-question review and learn more.
Part 3. What to look for during your size up
360 Walk Around
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learn what to look for to quickly identify a PV system upon arrival on scene.
Labeling and Shutdown
Open to view video.
Open to view video. PV system components are required to have labeling. Learn how to interpret what you see on site and how to shutdown the system to the extent possible.
Review #3
5 Questions
5 Questions Check your knowledge of the recent topics with this 5-question review.
Part 4. First Responder Access and Energy Storage Systems
Access and Pathways
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learn about changes in the fire codes that require newly installed PV systems to have access pathways and ridge setbacks for ventilation.
Battery-based Energy Storage Systems
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Open to view video. Energy storage systems are becoming more prevalent. Learn what how to operate more safely around them.
Review #4
4 Questions
4 Questions Take this 4-question review to check your knowledge about access pathways and energy storage systems.
Part 5. Case Studies & Scenarios
Case Studies
Open to view video.
Open to view video. Learn how firefighters respond to a variety of incidents at PV-equipped structures.
UL Study: PV and Electrical Shock Hazards
Open to view video.
Open to view video. What happens when the hose spray hits an energized solar array? Experts at UL tried a number of experiments so you don't have to. Watch to learn more.
Emergency Response Scenarios
Open to view video.
Open to view video. See how firefighters respond to two incidents: one residential and one commercial.
Conclusion
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Open to view video. Congratulations! You've made it through the main content of the course. View this final module before printing your certificate of completion.
End of course evaluation - Online Firefighter Course
5 Questions
5 Questions Your feedback helps us to develop content that better serves you in the field. Please take three minutes and tell us what you thought of the course.
Certificate of Completion - Solar PV Safety for Firefighters
2.00 credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 credits  |  Certificate available Print this certificate to show successful completion of the 2 hour online course.