1. #1
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    Exclamation Venting Roofs with Solar Panels

    Does anyone have any information on Venting roofs with solar panels or where I could find out this information?
    We are seeing more and more homes using alternative sources for energy, and these energized solar panels pose a serious hazard when venting. Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    I was about to say that if you need to cut a hole in or near them, do it. Just cut the power to the house……and then I saw your problem. The solar panels PROVIDE power to the house.

    I would get with a local installer or manufacturer. There must be a way to disconnect them or neutralize them for maintenance. Do solar panels store energy in any type of battery? If so, where are those kept?
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    I have just sent a query to Solar4Power via email. When/if I get an answer from them, I will post it.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    This question intrigued me enough to persue it for over a week. Mostly because we have a tourist info centre that is solar powered. This information came from Steve Greewood from Shell Solar Industries of California. I actually talked to him on the phone for about 1/2 hour today (6 June). This is what I got from the conversation:

    PRIMARY CONCERN: all power from the solar cells is diverted to a storage box containing approx 4 standard sized 12 volt deep cycle acid batteries connected in series. This could vary from just a box of 4 batteries to many more depending on how much storage is required. The obvious safety concern is from the batteries getting wet, and from fire exposure and the acid contained in them.

    I asked about power distribution and the main grid. There were a couple of things here:

    1) disconnecting main hydro will pretty much deactivate all power to the structure, with one exception: the power being collected by the solar cells is still going to the storage box - this is still "hot".

    2) to deactivate the main power cells, simply break the connection between the solar cells and the storage box. This can be easily found in that it is a large conduit between one of the solar cells and the box. Cut this - no power flow.

    3) inside the structure, located very near the main hydro power distribution pannel there will be a very large switch. Shut this off, power from the cells is deactivated.

    Some general information that is good to know:

    1) the solar cells themselves are constructed of laminated glass with a kevlar backing. This makes them very strong, but hit them with a hammer and they will react in a very similar fashion to the glass in most cars. Break the glass, no power flow. There is very little fragmentation if the glass is smashed. It will also withstand a great amount of heat.

    2) the solar pannels are normally connected in either 12 or 24 volt series which then connects to a 48 volt power inverter from series to a parallel 80 volt direct current, delivering approximately 4-5 amps from each pannel.

    As I pointed out earlier, the main concern is when dealing with the power storage units - the battery box. The associated hazmat related to any battery is paramount when dealing with these boxes, as there may be more than just one battery box on site.

    Otherwise than that, these units are very simple to operate, and even easier to disable. Cut the power from the hydro source and from the solar cell itself, and that will deactivate the entire system. The glass in the pannels is a very low risk item.

    If anyone has any further questions, Steve is very willing to talk about his product, and was very easy to deal with. His email address is: steve.d.greenwood@shell.com
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 06-07-2002 at 03:54 AM.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Thanks for the info Two-7. Very useful and I've never seen this type of information before. And malba49, thanks for a very good question.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

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    No problem. The question was fun to search out, AND I made us all a new contact.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Great discussion and research. This is on the training list for sure

    Be safe, R2

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    Question Ok............

    How come you want to vent a House with a Solar Panel?? Those things have Blunt Edges, an Axe or Saw would be Quicker.........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Be extremely careful when operating on a roof of a private dwelling (ESPECIALLY IF BUILT WITH PREFABRICATED WOODEN TRUSSES OR RAFTERS LESS THAN 2x6 IN SIZE!!!!!) equipped with solar panels. The average residential panel weighs approx. 40-50 pounds each, and there can be as many as 20 of them.

    As a Code Enforcement Official, anytime someone applies for a building permit to install these on a PD, I won't even accept the permit without an evaluation from a Structural Engineer.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    How come you want to vent a House with a Solar Panel?? Those things have Blunt Edges, an Axe or Saw would be Quicker.........
    Ok... I'm slow but when I finally did get it, I blew Diet Coke all over my keyboard LMAO

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    How come you want to vent a House with a Solar Panel?? Those things have Blunt Edges, an Axe or Saw would be Quicker.........
    Some people make good fire chiefs, and some people make good comedians.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    In Harves case..............BOTH! Hehe T.C.

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    OP- There are a couple more threads on this subject. Please do a search and atleast two should come up.

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