3. Electric Shock and Arc Flash Hazards

There is a real danger of electric shock to anyone entering any of the electrical cabinets such as combiner boxes, disconnect switches, inverters, or transformers; or otherwise coming in contact with voltages over 50 Volts. 77 Another electrical hazard is an arc flash, which is an explosion of energy that can occur in a short circuit situation. This explosive release of energy causes a flash of heat and a shockwave, both of which can cause serious injury or death. Properly trained and equipped technicians and electricians know how to safely install, test, and repair PV systems, but there is always some risk of injury when hazardous voltages and/or currents are present. Untrained individuals should not attempt to inspect, test, or repair any aspect of a PV system due to the potential for injury or death due to electric shock and arc flash, The National Electric Code (NEC) requires appropriate levels of warning signs on all electrical components based on the level of danger determined by the voltages and current potentials. The national electric code also requires the site to be secured from unauthorized visitors with either a six-foot chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire or an eight-foot fence, both with adequate hazard warning signs.

  1. ^ Damon McCluer. Electrical Construction & Maintenance: NFPA 70E’s Approach to Considering DC Hazards . September 2013. Accessed October 2016. http://ecmweb.com/safety/nfpa-70e-s-approach-considering-dc-hazards,
NC State Credit