are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

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are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby confused » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:00 am

don't know if this is in the right place but i have a question my panels 21K system has been shutdown not sure how that was done I was told that this is not safe long term because they may still be making electric and if it is not going anyplace could become dangerous and possibly start a fire.. is this true? if so how can i make them safe? or is that not possible.. thanks for any information
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:52 pm

Welcome to the Energy Matters Forums confused :)

Assuming the wiring and any connection boxes are in good condition with no chance of short circuits, if the isolator has been turned off then there will be no current flow and no danger of a fire starting. However, there will still be a high potential across the terminals in the isolator, so it isn't safe to touch them or short them out.

Are you planning to use the system again?

>>21K system...

Is that 21kW (very large for a house!) or 2.1kW?
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby davidg » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:04 pm

confused wrote:I was told that this is not safe long term because they may still be making electric and if it is not going anyplace could become dangerous and possibly start a fire.. is this true?


As Gordon said in terms of condition and potential.

I don't know who told you that, but they are talking out of some place other than their mouth.
If it was a sparky, I'm truly disappointed, that's just plain wrong.
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby Privatteer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:40 am

As above regarding safety.

I am assuming the system has previously been working.
There should be a label on or near the inverter with a shutdown and startup sequence. It may also be in the electrical switchboard of the house.
If you follow that you can attempt to turn it back on. Unless of course there is a danger label or physical lockout installed on one the circuit breakers. If one of the circuit breakers trips again after being turned on there is a fault of some sort.
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby confused » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:25 am

I dont actually know how they have been turned off. a couple days ago I was out for an hour and the company that installed them unhooked them probably permanently unless something changes.this has been a horrible experience from the beginning on top of paying for the panels (72) monthly we still had a huge bill each month. they never produced as much as the company said they would, then after complaining for a few months last may they sent a crew to change the conecctors what ever they did helped but while working on my roof they caused a couple leaks that they tried to fix twice and couldn't causing my closet to get soaked and become moldy,i asked for them to bring in a roofer then they decided it wasn't there fault :roll: and after having a roofer fix it once its still leaking.I have since stopped payments so they shut it down....I am worried about this long term as i don't need any other issues....
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:02 am

I don't know where you are located, but 72 panels (330W?) should be producing an average of over 100kWh per day in summer for much of Australia. That would be about 5X the average household usage.
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby confused » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:56 am

sorry didn't realize this is an Australian forum i am in the United States..odd this was one of the first to come up in a search..but for me i was producing about 60KWH on a sunny summer day.. until they changed connectors then that went up to 80KWH ....
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:04 am

"changed connectors" doesn't sound right, perhaps they adjusted string lengths to match the inverter after an incompetent first go at it? Even so, in summer it should have produced more than 80kWh/day. For much of Australia it would produce that much per day averaged across the entire year.

I wonder how much energy you are using if you still had a huge bill when producing 80kWh/day? Is this a house or a commercial premises?
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby confused » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:26 am

this is a home 2800 square ft ,no they changed out what they called connectors they had a pile of them on the lawn little boxes with a wire or two on it if i remember correctly..we had these installed in october 2014 they never actually worked we did a lease at $280 a month and we would get one or two moths we didn't have a bill but most of the time our electric bill would be $150 in summer as much as $400. we could use anywhere from 2000 - 4500KWH a month in summer.we have also been having issues with voltage getting to high since instalation that on two occasions the house filled with smoke from burning up the HVAC fan motor and an outlet just burned up with no explanation after having four electricians one being a electrical engineer nothing in the house wiring was found to have been the cause they say it was from outside since we are on the grid they suspected high voltage from street or solar panels...
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Re: are panels safe when just sitting on a roof turned off

Postby confused » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:38 am

the engineer from local electric company was the one who said that he worries that long term the panels could become dangerous with the sun and heat on them as well as the extreme cold in winter and no outlet...I dont need more issues it already cost me more than i can afford at this point, this was suppose to help us long term as its getting closer to retirement and the rising costs of energy in the area. I had asked the company to remove them but if they do they will have to repair or replace the roof so they just turned them off and seems they will just abandon them i guess....
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