Hurricane Sandy: Understanding Your System

 ** Check back here for any updates from Advanced Solar Industries in regards to Hurricane Sandy **

11/2/12  9:43 am

Many of our customers are still without power, so we will leave this information up for a while longer in order for them to access this information on their smart phones.  I’ll also move the information below into a blog post for future reference.

10/31/12 8:30 am

We are open!  Many of our customers are still without power, but with the use of smart phones and generators, we will continue to leave this page active so that people can get the best information.

10/30/12 10:58 am

Our offices will be closed today.  We have set up call forwarding for those who call our office and need immediate assistance.  See below for information on understanding your system in extreme weather.

10/29/12 9:39 pm

Advanced Solar Industries is currently evaluating its ability to open our offices tomorrow.  We will keep you posted.

In case of an emergency, please call our service technician, Henry Stoltzfus @ 717-826-8503

 

10/29/12 11:42 am

Advanced Solar Industries will be closing its offices for storm prep at noon on Monday, October 29.

Much of the information can be found on this page to answer questions about how to deal with your solar energy system in extreme weather.

If you cannot find your answers or have an emergency, please call our service technician, Henry Stoltzfus @ 717-826-8503

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Understanding Your System in Extreme Weather

System Engineering: 

  1. Our racking (roof and ground) is designed to withstand wind loads up to 90 mph.  This is the engineering requirement for much of the mid-atlantic.
  2. Hail: generally solar panels can withstand a 1/2″ diameter hail stone at 50 mph in a direct hit
  3. Grid-tie systems will not operate in the event of a power loss.

System Operation:

  • 99% of our customers do not have a battery back-up system because their system is tied to the grid.  (aka Gird Tie).
  • In the event of power loss, your system will not function and will not provide you with power.
  • The reason your system shuts itself down is because in the event of power loss, utility workers working on the power lines do not want to have power back feeding from your house and energizing the lines.  Again, this function is a safety feature.
  • This information is true regardless of the type of inverter.
  • You can also turn off any disconnects either at the inverters themselves our outside the building for any added security (the disconnect outside the building would be labeled as the AC disconnect)

System Safeguards

  • A gird tie solar energy system is NOT designed to work with a generator.
  • You CANNOT use the generator to turn on the inverters.
  • Doing so will not only void any warranty on the inverters and use them in a way that they were not intended, but you also risk backfeeding the power lines and harming a utility worker attempting to fix the loss of power to your home.
  • Again, you cannot use your generator to “turn on” your solar energy system

Using a Generator the Right Way

  • If you have a generator set up to backfeed your building’s main electrical panel, you likely already have a way to disconnect your solar energy system and protect any backfeeding into the inverters. Use it.
  • Again, as a safeguard, you can also turn off any disconnects either at the inverters themselves our outside the building for added security (the disconnect outside the building would be labeled as the AC disconnect)
  • Turning these disconnects will not harm the inverters.
  • If you’re using a generator with an extension cord running out of it that is NOT connected to your electrical panel, then you have nothing to worry about with your solar energy system.

 

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