Eliminating Solar Panel Fires from Wire Faults

What
could have stopped the solar panel fire on the

Webster
Grooves School in StLouis MO
?

 Solar
Panels that utilize the M215 MicroInverters made by Enphase Energy
could have stopped the Solar Panel fire
before
the fire started
.

I realize
that is a rather boastful statement made by someone who promotes,
sells, and installs
Solar
PV systems for the StLouis Region

and
chooses to utilize
Green
Building in all their Construction Activities.

But
the Great Minds behind [
The
Next Generation of Microinverter] the
Enphase
M215 MicroInverters

that
provide
96%
CEC efficiency

equals
more energy production also built the M215 MicroInverter with a
GFI
[Ground
Fault {Detection} Interrupt
]
shut off.  Similar to
GFI
Electrical Outlets

pictured in the photo below.

GFI-Ground Fault Interrupter Wall Outlet Electrical Plug
Must Have For Safety 

GFI
Electrical Plugs are required by all USA building codes
 and are
located in your Kitchen, Bath, and Laundry Rooms and other areas
close to water sources-
Scotty,
Scotts Contracting

All
M215 MicroInverters will shut off if there is a fault detected.
inside of every microinverter is a
GFI (Ground fault {detection} interrupt) switch and if there is a fault, it will stop exporting
power within
30 milliseconds
per
UL1741standards
.

  • {Scotty Adds

      • 20 milliseconds — cycle time for European 50 Hz AC electricity or mains grid
      • 24 milliseconds — minimum ignition time for a U.S. Rockets company solid rocket motor
      • 31.25 milliseconds – a hundred twenty-eighth note at MM = 60
      • 33.3 milliseconds — the amount of time one frame lasts in 30fps video
      • 41.708 milliseconds — the amount of time one frame lasts in 24fps video or film (actually 23.976fps for most films)
      • 50 milliseconds — cycle time for the lowest audible tone, 20 Hz}

      M215 MicroInverter from Enphase Energy
      Enphase Energy M215 MicroInverter
      Overview

      The Enphase M215 is the world’s most efficient
      microinverter.

      Based on Enphase’s third generation
      technology, the M215 incorporates the latest innovations in power
      electronics and custom microchips to deliver
      96% CEC efficiency and a
      range of patented performance features that maximize the performance
      of 60-cell solar modules.

      In addition, the M215 is light weight and
      offers a “single-bolt” mounting bracket that makes installation
      easier than any other inverter on the market. 

      {Scotty-Faster, Safer, and Requires Less Labor on the Installation-Translates into saving for the Client on the  Installation and produces more Clean Energy ! }

      General
      Features other than the
      25
      year limited warranty
      (PDF)

      • Integrates with Enphase Engage Cable

      • CSA listed per UL 1741/IEE1547

      • Works with 60-cell modules ONLY

      • M215 Metrics

      • 96% CEC efficiency

      • Output power: 215W

      • Recommended max input power: 270W

      • MPPT Range: 22-36V

      • Low-voltage operation capability

        Learn more about the Great Product at the following Links

      Here’s my conversation with the Good People of
      Enphase Energy and links to the Articles about the Solar Fire




      Scotty:

      Recently
      in St Louis, MO a solar panel supposedly caught on fire on the roof
      of a local school…it hasn’t made much news other than deemed solar
      fire on school. Could one of your Innovative MicroInverters215
      sensed the ground fault and stopped the production of electricity
      and thus eliminated the fire since it would have stopped creating
      electricity? There is a few local builders who have been considering
      adding solar but have raised questions in re. Thank you for your
      time and assistance. Scotty”

      Enphase Energy 1st response:

      Hello
      Scotty,

      Thank
      you for contacting Enphase Energy!

      That’s
      a scary situation! Sorry to hear that it happened!

      Safety
      is one of the aspects of our system that we are very proud of. The
      old style of solar array uses solar panels in series, which ends up
      with High Voltage DC wiring. Our Microinverters converter the DC to
      AC right at each panel, which is inherently safer. Here is a link to
      our informational page that speaks to our safety, which also has a
      link to
      PDF:

      http://enphase.com/explore/enphase-technology/safe/
      Here
      also is a link to a video demonstration on our YouTube channel,
      which shows the difference between a DC and AC arc
      fault
      :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKtmPMjrbVA
      Please
      let me know if you have any other questions.

      Rob
      Tierney

      Inside
      Sales

      Enphase
      Energy

      Scotty:

      Thank
      you for responding to my question.  I’m already a fan of the
      M215.  
      Can
      the M215 sense a ground fault and stop producing electricity?

       “Could
      one of your Innovative MicroInverters215 sensed the ground fault and
      stopped the production of electricity and thus eliminated the fire
      since it would have stopped creating electricity?”

      Thank
      you for your time and assistance.
      Scotty 

      Enphase Energy (2nd Answer):

      Yes!
      Our Microinverters do detect ground faults and halt production. 
      Please
      let me know if you have any other questions, or if there is anything
      else I can do to assist. 
      Thanks,
      Rob
      Tierney

      Enphase Energy (3rd Answer from Contact Form on their
      website):

      Hi
      Scotty, 
      The
      inverter will shut off if there is a fault detected. inside of every
      microinverter is a GFI (Ground fault detection interrupt) switch
      and if there is a fault, it will stop exporting power within
      30milliseconds per UL1741 standards. 
      If
      you’d like to watch the recorded session of the webinar feel free to
      use the link below. That link will take you to all of the recorded
      sessions that we have. 

      https://enphasetraining.webex.com/ec0606l/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?siteurl=enphasetraining&theAction=archive

      Jarett

      Enphase Energy (4th Answer via a Twitter
      Post)

      Enphase
      Energy
       ‏@Enphase
      If
      a phase line drops, units stop producing immediately

      @stlhandyman
      @chjch
      I was just on their site and;
      @Enphase  and asked the same question.



      Solar Panel Fire Articles

      Solar
      panels on the roof of Webster Groves High School caught fire
      today. The fire, which was contained, caused no interior damage.
      Some water used to put out the fire seeped into a
      classroom.

      The cause of the fire has not been
      determined.

      The High School will have classes on Monday.

      Like I wrote earlier the Great Minds at Enphase have
      already factored this safety feature into the Design and Construction
      of their Innovative MicroInverter the M215. Couple that with the
      great and timely feedback from their Websites, Twitter Accounts, and
      Email Correspondence-

      Whats not to Love about the Dynamic and
      Innovative Products at
       
      Enphase Energy!

      Scotty writes on June 5th 2013-2 Typos were corrected-GDFI-to GFI.

      Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotts Contracting- St Louis Home Improvement Projects and Energy Reducing Needs Get Your Green Building Tips and Resources at St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog

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