Eliminating Solar Panel Fires from Wire Faults

WHAT COULD HAVE STOPPED THE SOLAR PANEL FIRE ON THEWEBSTER GROOVES SCHOOL IN STLOUIS MO?

(previously published on Sister Site: http:stlouisrenewableenergy.blogspot.com)

 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 utilizeGreen Building in all their Construction Activities.

But the Great Minds behind [The Next Generation of Microinverter] the Enphase M215 MicroInverters that provide 96% CEC efficiencyequals more energy production also built the M215 MicroInverter with a GFI [Ground Fault Detection Interrupt] shut off.  Similar toGFI 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 aGFI (Ground fault detection interrupt) switch and if there is a fault, it will stop exporting power within 30 milliseconds per UL1741 standards. {Scotty Adds- Just Like the GFI electrical plug in your Bathroom and Kitchen works!}

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.

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 GDFI (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=archiveJarett

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>@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 theirInnovative 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 provides Free Estimates for Solar Products for the StLouis Area.  Use the following form to schedule your Green Site Evaluation.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply-Scotty will respond asap

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s