Adapting to technological change: solar power and fire

Here’s an important tradeoff I never really considered until reading this article: rooftop solar panels can be hazardous for firefighters. It’s an interesting example of how wide and varied the adaptations are to innovation. In this case the potential lethal electrocution from the traditional means of venting a roof on a burning building (creating holes in the roof with an axe) has meant that both firefighters and the solar industry have had to think about fire risk and how solar installations change firefighting and the expected cost of a fire. I wonder how many benefit-cost analyses of solar take into account the higher expected cost of a fire, and the logical associated higher fire insurance premium.

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2 thoughts on “Adapting to technological change: solar power and fire

  1. 600v (but, DC and not just a few loss-stop bits) solar installations can be hazardous, if you never take the fire company out to dim sum and/or lots of hand waving is done over accurate records and compliant installs. And it’s a cold storage place in NJ. And the Cap’n just got the BD of Mosquito Coast or whatever that Harrison Ford thing was with the ammonia.

  2. Also, the fire may get put out before the panels are totaled by the panel insurer who are often not fire insurance. Arson could sure bodge a plan; what a rich and varied loss prevention campaign to consider before asking neighbors if the color plan (usually not white storage phosphors, or just a plain full-on HTML5 client) is cool with them. (…and I can’t get pix of solar installs powering the Summer Palace, and the new, South-Beijing park lighting is yarden-and-works-only solar, so:) Blood-slick portal to G’ael Thoth first, beg forgiveness at first casual opportunity.

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