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.