Solar PV Label Types

It seems everyone is going green these days. Solar energy continues to be a popular choice for many homeowners who want to start benefiting from the energy they collect from the sun. Indeed, the growth in popularity of solar systems is only expected to rise in the coming years. But an array of solar panels is not without its dangers, which is why photovoltaic solar systems or arrays are required by British Standard 7671 to carry a set of warning labels. These security labels ensure the safe handling, installation and use of the system.

Most solar PV labels are printed on self-adhesive vinyl because they will be exposed to many different temperatures and humidity levels, and so need to remain legible and in place, regardless of the season.

Label Types Usually Found On Solar PV Systems

There are several warning labels contained on the components of a solar PV system.

The inverter label warns that the AC and DC need to be isolated before any work can be carried out. This label is usually accompanied by another label which warns not to block any points of ventilation.

The do not disconnect label is responsible for informing ordinary persons not to tamper with the locking connectors. This label warns the reader not to disconnect DC plugs or sockets while they carry a load.

Dual supply labels can usually be found at all isolation points located between the supplier terminals and the PV system. Their job is to indicate that on-site generation is present, as well as to communicate the position of the main AC switch disconnector.

The DC cable label is used where long cable runs are required. These labels are usually fitted at certain intervals along a cable, usually every 5 to 10 metres on a straight run. This label warns the reader that the cable is connected to a solar PV system and therefore carries a high voltage, posing a risk if it is damaged.

The isolator label’s job is to label the DC isolator on the PV array. As well, on and off positions should be marked clearly. This label is usually placed near switch enclosures with a warning that parts are live during daylight hours.

But homeowners and solar installation workers aren’t the only ones who benefit from these warning labels.

Fire and Rescue

In addition to the label types above, it’s vital to have labels to warn fire and rescue crews that there is a solar PV system installed on the roof of the home. Notifying emergency personnel of this fact can actually save lives and property. Having a warning can allow rescue crews to alter their approach accordingly for the safety of both their personnel and the inhabitants of a home. This type of label needs to be placed next to the building’s supplier cut-out. As well, it has to be at least 100mm x 100mm in size so that it is clearly visible from a distance.

Whilst most of the labels mentioned above are already included with solar PV systems, there is no harm in confirming that all necessary labels are present before installation is complete. Because although the installers are professionals, mistakes can still occur. And whilst they will leave your property once the system has been installed, you will be at risk should someone become injured on your property as the result of inadequate labelling for your solar PV system.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a solar PV expert to know what warning labels are needed for your system. You can simply print this article or a similar document, and then use it as a checklist to ensure all labeling is in place.

ESL Technology Set to Revolutionise Retail Sector

These days, digital labelling technology is everywhere. And it may soon be on every shelf label in the UK. Electronic shelf labels (ESL) are being tested in several retail environments, and are promising significant benefits to business owners. Currently available in three forms, ESL technology is currently being used for fast-moving lines of product and those products needing to be more competitively priced.

ESL labels are placed like regular labels are, under products on a store’s shelf where a paper label would be. The display is electrophoretic, meaning that it is made up of ink-containing capsules. The label’s colour or lack thereof will depend on the electric charge applied to it.

Benefits of ESL Technology

ESL technology offers a host of benefits to shop owners, staff and customers.

Dynamic Pricing

Electronic shelf labels allow for pricing information to be adjusted from a central server, which takes far less time and is far more efficient than traditional methods used with paper labels. This real-time pricing is becoming more of the norm in retail environments due to the increased price transparency being demanded by shoppers who use online retailers and do their shopping on mobile devices.

Shops can change their prices according to the time of day, customer traffic and popularity of items. Products like fresh produce, which needs to be sold while still edible, can be discounted as the day goes on.

Multiple Label Management

Up to 65,000 labels can be controlled in a 50,000 sq. ft. space using the central server. Because there is no need to manually change price labels or devote the time to do this, staff can be redirected to other tasks which require attention, such as customer service. As well, the instant updating capability that’s possible with ESL means that the high probability of pricing mistakes is eliminated. For the customer, this means the security of knowing the price will be the same at checkout as it is on the label.

Built-In Security

ESL technology also means that these items can be used as security labels. Unlike paper labels which can be removed and placed onto different products, ESL labels are stationary, and can only be changed from the server, meaning that there can be no mistake about the price of a product.

Instant Communication with Customer and Server

The labels communicate with the central server whenever display issues or updates are necessary. In addition, each label is equipped with Bluetooth capability, allowing it to communicate coupons and discounts to customers with mobile devices who pass by. These ‘beacons’ can be turned off or on when needed, and are also capable of supporting all device operating systems including Android and IOS.

No Brick-and-Mortar Barriers

The traditional advantage of online retailers over their brick-and-mortar counterparts as far as dynamic pricing is concerned is eliminated with the advent of ESL technology.

ESL technology continues to evolve. Some labels will offer more information about a product when a customer touches a certain area of the display. Others will allow customers to ‘like’ a product with their mobile device, and the label displays the number of likes for other customers. Some labels can be integrated with mobile apps that allow customers to get recipes, create a shopping list and even acquire help to find the product they want once they’ve entered the store.

These labels are not new by any means, but have yet to take over the country, most likely due to implementation costs. However, a shift has occurred from the necessary investment into specialised hardware at store level to the increased reliance on Bluetooth and communicating information directly to customers’ personal devices. These new technological developments and the resulting lower prices could see ESL reaching even more shelves in the near future.