Jeffrey Seagle, President – Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures
We must be concerned with the safety of the solar system. Electrical fires consistently rank among the top five causes of commercial building fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). One of the most effective ways to address life safety concerns and better protect property against any solar energy field electrical fires is through education. The 2011 U.S. National Electric Code (NEC) includes a requirement for arc-fault protection in certain new rooftop PV systems. Make sure everyone involved in the solar project are aware of the latest codes /safety rules and you include them in your employee safety program.
Due to the fact solar projects are cost intensive on the front end, the industry needs to focus on return on investment (ROI). One essential way we believe we can achieve ROI is for everyone in the industry to consider the sun's natural destructive forces on components. The industry must provide the installers with products that will survive in these difficult environmental conditions and exceed expectations for ROI.
It is imperative that solar systems produce flawlessly from the time the installation first goes online. If it does not, investors will lose faith and move their money to other areas where they know the renewable energy system will perform. Each company should ask: Do we have a long history of our product performing in extreme environmental conditions? If not, conduct testing so that underperforming product does not tarnish the reputation of the entire industry.
Jeffrey Seagle, President of Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures, has more than 20 years of experience in the electrical enclosures industry. He has led the company to significant growth through innovative product initiatives, such as the patented, SolarGuard®, and helped Stahlin move into a leadership position in their market. Mr. Seagle earned his BSME from Purdue University and his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
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