Thanks everyone for tuning into our latest Solar Tech Talk episode! If you haven’t watched or listened to the new recording, you can find our conversation on rapid shutdown devices (RSD) and hazard control equipment (HCE) here.

Whether you’re new to solar or a seasoned pro, give the show a listen. Our guests Jason Fisher (Vice Chair of SEIA’s Codes & Standards Working Group) and Blair Reynolds (Utility Scale Energy Storage Product Manager at SMA America) gave a detailed walkthrough of why solar rapid shutdown requirements exist, and how those requirements translate to manufacturing; equipment design and installer best practice guidance.

Here are three quick takeaways for the U.S. solar contractor community:

1. Rapid shutdown devices are for the safety of firefighters who are working near PV arrays.

While PV systems are safe by themselves without a rapid shutdown system, remember that like everything else in solar safety codes and compliance, these measures are to anticipate the unexpected. In the event of fires or other hazards, first responders need to understand the electrical safety risks of the structure they’re working on — including those posed by solar arrays. (For more information about the safety and testing of home storage systems, watch this Solar Tech Talk episode.)

2. NEC 690.12 and UL 3741 allow the industry to install solar on rooftops without MLPEs (Module-Level Power Electronics).

This is a big change for the PV industry — and since the focus is preventing emergency responders from coming into contact with a live conductor, solar installers can achieve compliance through protecting wires and reducing exposed grounded metal.

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3. The number one point of failure inside the PV array boundary is connectors, so only use connectors that are listed to fit together!

For a quick rundown of the reasons connector type matching matters, check out our article “Round Peg, Round Hole.” Pay attention to 690.12(B)(2) compliance in any PV system design. Always remember: DO NOT mate PV module connectors from different brands unless both are UL listed for the application. Even if two connectors appear to mate well, there’s more to a proper mating than just hearing a “click”!

Watch our full episode to learn more from Blair and Jason on these important topics. As always, contact your BayWa r.e. Solar account manager for more advice as you plan out your upcoming equipment procurement needs!

Stay safe and keep installing, solar nerds!

— Kate

Kate Collardson has worked in the solar industry since 2006 as an installer, designer, project manager, trainer, and program manager; she is currently a Product Manager for BayWa r.e. Solar Systems.
BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC supplies residential and commercial solar installers in the United States with quality components, supply chain forecasting, business planning advice, and a community of experts. Learn more at www.solar-distribution.com, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, subscribe to our podcasts and YouTube, and ask us about our industry-leading Webstore. Part of the BayWa r.e. global family of renewable energy companies.