Hi Dan,

I'll try to stop short of playing armchair firefighter here, and stick to what 
legitimate data is available. I follow most of the prominent Firefighter trade 
rags, and while there is some good technical content, there are also a fair 
amount of opinion pieces.

The UL study linked earlier is typically the basis for any credible guidance on 
tactics or strategies, largely because there has been very little research done 
in the U.S.. In section 9 of that document you'll find the analysis of the 
de-energizing experiments conducted.  These quotes stand out to me:

1.       "It was the consensus of those witnessing this experiment that this 
Class A foam was generally ineffective in blocking what little illumination the 
sun was providing that day."

2.       "The application of ordinary Class A foam with a compressed air foam 
system did not prove to be effective or reliable in blocking sun to an array of 
PV modules." (Note:  VT is likely to have much steeper roofs than used in these 

3.       "...firefighting foam should not be relied upon to block light." - 
Section 14

You bring up a great point about the rank-and-file firefighter needing 
something quick and effective. Foam may be quick, but we would never say with 
confidence it is safe and effective. (How does an "average Fire Fighter" 
confirm that hypothetical 20Vdc?) I'd also ask that we start first by examining 
the need...Why would the firefighters need to de-energize the array during 
active fireground operations? Are those scenarios both plausible and likely?

As a practical matter, de-energizing the array itself is going to be most 
important post-incident. This is admittedly a gap in coverage in this country. 
"Board-up", or salvage companies may not be trained to make these systems 100% 
safe, so each Fire Department is left to seek out a local PV professional to 
offer guidance.

Another document that may serve as a blueprint for developing standard 
procedures is here: 
The bibliography is quite extensive.

Happy Reading!

Charles Picard
Sr. Compliance Engineer | SolarCity<http://www.solarcity.com>
t:    518.380.6628
m:  508.965.0144

RI A-004714 REPC-119, CA CSLB 888104, MA HIC 168572/EL-1136MR. Click 
here<http://www.solarcity.com/company/contractor-licenses> to view our complete 
list of license numbers by state.

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