Sol Inc, is a company that provides commercial-grade solar outdoor LED lighting solutions. Sol Inc. installed 35 stand alone GreenWay Solar Poles in the city of Tamarac's Sportsplex. The Chief Electrical Inspector for the City of Tamarac Building Department requested a third party evaluation of the finished product to satisfy concerns about the safety of this installation. GezelmanPE.com was hired to resolve the issue, of which you can find llinked testing and other documentation below >
|Sol Inc Test Stand @ Erwin Hi Tec||Harold Wilson Electrical Lab||Erwin Tech Student|
|The "PV Bible" by James P Dunlop||Spare in-line fuse left of CPU||Typ. Solar Drive Parking Light|
|Sol Inc. Greenway Manual||Erwin Hi Tech||follow us on facebook|
Allen Gezelman, P.E. FL 59180
LEED AP, CSI-CDT
16502 Hanna Rd
Lutz, FL 33549
Office 813 909 1956
Cell 813 650 7246
Fax 866 397 9050
Patrick Richardson, Chief Electrical Inspector
City of Tamarac Building Department
6011 Nob Hill Rd., 1st Floor
Tamarac, FL 33321-6200
Subject: 3rd Party Engineering Report - Safety Evaluation of Solar Outdoor Lighting (SOL) Path Lights Installed in Tamarac City Recreational Area
Dear Mr. Richardson: 10 March 2011
• An evaluation of SOL path lights was made in order to answer your questions regarding the safety of this particular product.
• This letter is an executive summary of an extensive evaluation and is provided in both paper (hard copy) and E.V (electronic ) versions.
• A great deal of supplementary material regarding the SOL path lights is available online on our TEAM website: http://www.gezelmanpe.com/Sol_Inc.html . We have done this for a couple of reasons:
1. Efficiency – there is too much material and the files are too large. Further, you have asked for a simple evaluation, e.g. “SAFE” or “NOT SAFE”. Our TEAM has concluded that the SOL path light is INHERENTLY SAFE - about the only way someone could hurt themselves with an SOL path light would be to use its’ sturdy steel structure as a scaffold for their own hanging suicide.
2. Use by others – the City of Tamarac is an early adopter of solar outdoor lighting. There will be many other Building Departments with the same logical questions you have asked – perhaps other questions also. Our TEAM wanted to cover everybody’s questions and place all of the information in a single, easy to access, online, location.
Our TEAM - (Evaluator individual bio/CVs - available online http://www.gezelmanpe.com/TEAM.html ) :
Allen Gezelman, Professional Engineer (mechanical) program leader firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Tozier, Professional Engineer (electrical) email@example.com
Lew Chandler, Certified Building Official, Certified Electrical Plans Examiner & Inspector
Dr. Mouchir Chenouda, PhD, Professional Engineer (structural) http://creativestructuresllc.com
Siggi Brocks, CAD/IT (German Architectural Engineer) www.cadvice.us
Other Key Contributors to this evaluation project:
James Rich – Principal, Erwin HI-TEC http://erwin.edu allowed SOL path light evaluation to be conducted at his facility.
Harold Wilson – Erwin HI-TEC, Industrial Electricity Program Director. Mr. Wilson and his students assembled the SOL path light equipment which arrived by common carrier as “plug & play” modules. Erwin HI-TEC Industrial Electricity - greatly assisted in the SOL path light evaluation process.
Erwin HI-TEC Welding Shop – built cart-mounted test stand which allows easy, direct, access to SOL path light components. The cart mounting permitted easy, rapid movement of the SOL path light between lab test stations and out into sun.
The SOL path light is a “package unit” which consists of the “plug & play” modular components – we first evaluated each component individually and later evaluated the assembled SOL path light as a whole :
Steel tubing vertical & horizontal supports - with a 12-gauge wall thickness
4-inch diameter +/-, provides vertical support and earth foundation for entire unit
2-inch diameter +/- provides horizontal support for lamp and protects wiring
Conduit – all wiring is totally enclosed within the steel support tubing
Mechanical Connections - well-made, appropriate, welds and tube-to-tube socket connections with vandal-proof fasteners
Steel battery/wiring/controller enclosure –secure, strong , ventilated, rain-tight - houses the battery, wiring, and solid state controller.
The battery/wiring/controller enclosure has a key lock.
All exposed fasteners require special tools to remove.
The above listed features make the SOL path light components accessible only by authorized, trained, service personnel - which prevents vandalism and unauthorized access.
Controller - Proprietary, solid-state, controller regulates battery charging, battery discharge, light intensity and light timing.
100 AH (amp–hour) gel cell which is appropriately matched to the LED lamp electrical load as described in PHOTOVOLTIC SYSTEMS & OEM literature.
LED lamp is safe, appropriate, sealed, and accessible only by trained personnel .
PV module - 80.08 watt PV module appropriately matched to battery & lamp.
Wiring- high-temperature, appropriate, insulation with fool-proof OEM connections which will not allow themselves to be “made” incorrectly.
Answers to specific questions you asked, Pat:
Module open circuit voltage 22.915 Voc
Module short circuit amperage 5.01 Isc
Additional information of interest:
Voltage at maximum power 17.96 Vmp
Amperage at maximum power 4.46 Imp
IEEE 1262 & UL 1703 are not applicable in this case, because those are for PV modules intended to be “field wired” into strings, with their electric output inverted to AC and connected into the “grid”. Whereas, the SOL path light is never inverted, is always less than 24-volts DC, and is “factory wired” as a manufactured, unitary, product assemblage. All of the SOL path light “plug & play” modular components work together as an OEM-produced, self-regulated, specific-purpose, system as described on page 103 of the “PV Bible”, James Dunlop’s PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS. Scan of page 103 of this important, universally-recognized, reference is available in our file for this project on our webpage http://www.gezelmanpe.com/pv/0105P_Lighting_Taramac_FL .
Another major factor ensuring the safety of SOL path lights is the fact that everything is encased in steel over 10 feet above finished grade. If there were a short, it would be within that that SOL path light steel enclosure. The same is true of a battery malfunction – any adverse consequence will be contained within the steel enclosure. It is my considered, professional, opinion that the SOL path light is an inherently safe product.
I am requesting that the SOL path light Manufacturer donate the equipment evaluated in this project to Erwin HI-TEC. I expect SOL path light Manufacturer to do so. Which means that if you or others have questions later, you may contact the Erwin HI-TEC Industrial Electricity Lab directly (813 231 1800 extension 104) for real-time, “hands-on”, answers. These answers will be coming from Erwin HI-TEC, 3rd parties who have the equipment readily available and work with it often. Which actions will happen as Erwin-HI-TEC adds “green” & renewable energy systems and up-grades its’ Industrial electricity program to incorporate cutting-edge, solar technology. Erwin HI-TEC also intends to explore adding solar lighting to replace its’ existing, obsolete, failing, parking lot lighting.
I am available per the letterhead.