Preventing Fires in Solar Installations with Cable Care

Cables and connectors are vital parts of a PV array. The selection of cables is an important procedure, but how the cables are managed thereafter also influences how the entire PV system will function. Poor cable management can ultimately lead to problems.

Cables were the culprits in two fires that happened in PV arrays, one in Bakersfield, California in 2008 and one in Mount Holly, North Carolina in 2011. Bill Brooks from Brooks Solar prepared a paper for the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards explaining the causes of the fires. In both cases, cable insulation damage was identified as the root cause. A significant amount of work goes into the complex process of designing and planning a PV power plant, whether on the rooftop of a building or ground-mounted on the field. This then translates into an efficient, working PV power plant in situ. With the rapid uptake of PV, it is also common to see homeowners who design and implement their own small PV rooftop projects. With so much already invested, it would be vexing if careless cable management after installation lead to losses. And dangling, untidy cables are simply unaesthetic.

Read the full story at PV Magazine


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Kyle Domer