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Thread: How are you all addressing Rapid Shutdown?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarPro View Post
    My gut says that arc-fault protection and advanced ground-fault detection provide the most meaningful benefits in terms of safety. Arc-fault detection is really a must have safety measure; rapid shutdown is nice to have.

    ...
    But wouldn't you say that the first two are for preventing fires whereas the the latter is for keeping firefighters safe if a fire has already started (quite likely from an unrelated cause)?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    But wouldn't you say that the first two are for preventing fires whereas the the latter is for keeping firefighters safe if a fire has already started (quite likely from an unrelated cause)?
    Yes, absolutely. I just don't think anyone wants to fight a fire within or in close proximity to the array, regardless of whether or not it has rapid shutdown functionality. And in many cases firefighters can see where conduits with dc circuits leave the array and route across or down a building. While rapid shutdown provides an additional layer of safety, it's probably not one that firefighters can count on being 100% effective. (Are things still deenergized after fire burns through the array?) So engagement strategies probably aren't THAT different with and without rapid shutdown when things really go sideways.

    I'm glad I have rapid shutdown functionality at home, but mostly because the solution gives me module-level optimization and performance data. In terms of safety, it's really arc-fault and enhanced ground-fault protection that puts my mind most at ease. Since this is a new build, we also have arc-fault protection on roughly 70% of the branch circuits. That's a high level of protection. I worry a little bit about nuisance tripping (on the branch circuits), but the benefits probably outweigh the potential inconvenience.
    Last edited by SolarPro; 05-01-17 at 10:41 AM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarPro View Post
    While rapid shutdown provides an additional layer of safety, it's probably not one that firefighters can count on being 100% effective. (Are things still deenergized after fire burns through the array?) So engagement strategies probably aren't THAT different with and without rapid shutdown when things really go sideways.
    I chuckle every time someone mentions "Fire fighter safety" as the reason for driving the rapid shutdown conversation. No one ever seems to mention the safety of the installer or the O&M technician who is forced to crawl back onto a roof, partially disassemble and array, and replace a failed device, or the overall reliability of the system now that you've doubled the amount of devices and quadrupled the number of connections. Why is their safety a lesser priority than the fire fighters?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BandGap1.1eV View Post
    I chuckle every time someone mentions "Fire fighter safety" as the reason for driving the rapid shutdown conversation. No one ever seems to mention the safety of the installer or the O&M technician who is forced to crawl back onto a roof, partially disassemble and array, and replace a failed device, or the overall reliability of the system now that you've doubled the amount of devices and quadrupled the number of connections. Why is their safety a lesser priority than the fire fighters?
    Because installers & O&M workers aren't in a critical emergency situation when they do their work, like the firefighters are.

  5. #15
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    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carultch View Post
    Because installers & O&M workers aren't in a critical emergency situation when they do their work, like the firefighters are.
    And they can be expected to be familiar with the layout of the system and do any necessary fact finding before going into the array, while firefighters have at absolute most very general training on solar PV and its hazards.

  6. #16
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    Jan 2012
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    CA
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    Answering original question:

    (All residential installs, no commercial)

    Almost all Enphase now. Reluctantly.

    Solaredge if system is over at least 4 kW...... AND I can mount inverter right next to Main Service Panel.
    (because it has the rapid shutdown switch on inverter)

    Sucks for SMA in resi. I just don't bother any more.

    I've got a nice big pile of labels from PV LABELS, they seem to have the nicest ones.
    Nice = big, explanatory and colorful.

    I label the main service panel to notify people of the fact that there IS in fact RS,
    whether it is just conduit or conduit + array (2014 vs 2017 NEC)
    then a label on the main disco or other switch to indicate that is the rapid shutdown switch.

    I don't know what this may foreshadow.... but I constantly mistype rapid shutdown as sh##down.
    Last edited by ActionDave; 05-20-17 at 02:34 AM. Reason: language

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