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Shut down solar systems for cyclone safety

Published: 27 Mar 2017 11:41am

Ergon Energy customers with Solar PV are being reminded to shut down their systems ahead of Tropical Cyclone Debbie hitting the north Queensland Coast.

Ergon Energy Customer Delivery Manager Mark Biffanti said cyclones can potentially impact solar PV systems and it is crucial that customers take steps to ensure their own safety and consider the safety of emergency crews.

“If you are unsure of the shutdown procedure, contact the manufacturer or installer,” Mr Biffanti said.

“Even though grid-connected solar PV systems cannot supply the home when the network is not operational, they can continue to generate direct current (DC) power.”

“It is critical to remember that solar panels and their cables should always be treated as if they are live.”

“Customers should not attempt to reconnect solar PV systems after severe storms or roof damage, as their roof may be electrified.”

“Safety should always be your number one priority,” Mr Biffanti said. “Please do not access the roof without having the system checked first.”

During network repairs or maintenance, customers with solar PV systems may be required to shut them down at the inverter if Ergon Energy uses generators to supply temporary power while crews work on the poles and wires.

For more information visit https://www.ergon.com.au/network/safety/home-safety/solar-power-safety or watch the Solar PV Safety video on Ergon Energy’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ErgonEnergy/videos/1514083218612004/

After a storm or cyclone

  • Remember that flying debris may have damaged the roof or solar PV system. If concerned about the integrity of your system, follow the manufacturer’s or installer’s shutdown procedures located at the inverter or main switchboard.
  • Do not attempt to reconnect solar PV systems after severe storms if your property has suffered roof damage. Your roof may be live or residual moisture may have caused the system to become live.
  • Visually inspect the system in a safe way, and if concerned, call the installer or a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Contact a Clean Energy Council accredited installer to test or recommission the system, or a licensed electrical contractor to test that it is safe.
  • If safe to switch the system back on, monitor the inverter to ensure the system is operating correctly.

Media Contact: Brett Judge
Phone: 0439971765

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