Energy Industries offer tips for hurricane preparation (Solar PV systems)

Energy Industries offers tips on Hurricane Preparation for Solar PV Systems Honolulu – August 7, 2014

With Hurricanes Iselle and Julio fast approaching the Hawaiian Islands, Energy Industries Corporation (EIC) one of Hawaii’s oldest and most trusted energy and solar installers has issued the following hurricane preparedness informational guide for homeowners and businesses with photovoltaic (PV) solar systems. disconnect

Structural Considerations:

  • Your PV system is typically designed withstand winds of a minimum of 105 MPH.
  • Hurricane gusts may exceed 105 MPH.
  • Different installation technologies and methods used by different companies may affect the PV system’s ability to withstand high winds.
  • Flying debris may damage the PV modules or electrical wiring
  • Water damage could be caused by the sheering winds and the penetrations to your roof.

Tip: It is advisable to shut off your system until after the high winds/rains pass and the system can be inspected.  To shut off your system, find the disconnect switch as reflected in the picture here.  Most disconnects are near the utility meter.  Large systems may have multiple disconnects.  Simply move the switch from on to off position.  It is not as easy as flipping a light switch but has the same effect, just requires more strength.  

Electrical Considerations:

  • If your area loses utility power, the inverters in your system should stop creating electricity.  Even in this situation however, your PV modules can still collect and create DC electrical energy.
  • If you did not turn the disconnect to “off” once utility power is restored, your system should re-energize automatically.
  • If you did disconnect your system, you will need to flip the disconnect switch back on.
  • If any PV modules or wires are damaged, do not handle the materials.  A damaged PV system can still generate electricity.  Treat damaged PV modules like live utility wires.

Tip: You may want to have your local electrical contractor or the PV installation contractor conduct an inspection before re-engaging your system.

After the winds/rain:

  • Do not handle damaged solar panels or wires.
  • Modules may have shifted due to the high winds leaving electrical connections exposed and unattached.  Have the system inspected by expert before re-energizing it.
  • Have your roof inspected to ensure it is properly sealed to avoid future moisture issues.
  • If your PV system has a web-based monitoring system, after the system has been restored, check to see that the electricity output has not changed significantly from prior to the storm.
  • Remember, water is a conductor of electricity.  Be careful when on your roof or standing in pooling water.

If there is a life safety concern, contact the authorities at 911 immediately!  

To learn more about Energy Industries visit our website at, call 1-877-499-6868 or email About Energy Industries Corporation Energy Industries Corporation (EIC) is one of America’s largest energy efficiency integrators. Founded in 1994 and based in Hawaii, EIC operates in California, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii and Guam. The Company operates four divisions including Thermal, Lighting, Solar and Capital. EIC was previously named Hawaiian Electric’s Trade Ally of the Year and received seven awards from Pacific Gas and Electric for its energy efficiency work in California.

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