When solar energy equipment has been installed properly by a professional, there is no reason not to consider it safe. However, to keep your installation working as it should, maintenance also plays a key role.
When maintaining an installation, the first thing to bear in mind is how to ensure that maintenance technicians can do their jobs safely. One key requirement is to install equipment to divide the installations into sections to which the power can be cut off, either individually or as a whole.
Outdoor installations have unique maintenance needs
Most solar energy equipment – whether it is a remotely-located solar farm or a rooftop equipped with solar panels – is not monitored or guarded. Therefore, it is particularly important to make sure that the electrical cabinets are kept in good condition, are well-ventilated at all times, are free from moisture inside, and are kept clean.
Extreme conditions call for specific measures
First of all, as mentioned earlier, the electrical cabinets are outdoors. Therefore, they are exposed to bad weather, heat, and other environmental factors. So, it is important to inspect them regularly to make sure they are in good condition.
Second, PV (Photovoltaic) installations operate at high voltages (up to 1,000 volts DC) close to the isolation voltages of the equipment used to build the installations. If there is abundant solar radiation and high temperatures, equipment designed to withstand up to 1,000 volts can actually be subjected to the full 1,000 volts, leaving little safety margin compared to identical or closely comparable products operating on a 400-volt-AC network. Therefore, the electrical cabinets and other equipment must be in perfect condition for the PV installation to operate safely – and deliver maximum yield.