Code compliance after reinstalling PV system originally built in 2007

lightboxaaronlightboxaaron Registered Users Posts: 1

I am consulting for a client who has a ~600 kW system installed on a commercial rooftop in California. The roof is near the end of its life and needs a repair which will necessitate a temporary full or partial removal of PV equipment from roof and reinstallation after the roof work is completed. I am wondering what, if any, code requirements would be triggered for when the system is reinstalled after the roof repair? It was originally built in 2007. Will the system have to be brought up to current codes or is it grandfathered in for 2007 codes? I'm assuming it must be brought up to code- does anyone know what specific work might need to be performed and what costs may be associated with this work? Thank you.


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,625 admin
    You probably will have to work with the building department... For example, in our city, if your cost of repairs/remodeling is over XX% of the value of the property, we have to install fire sprinklers (and other possible earthquake and other upgrades).

    If you are using a licensed electrician (likely for such a large system), they may be able to help guide you too.

    Other things to look at... New codes (which your city may or may not be using) also have setbacks and other requirements for solar panels (to allow firefighters to access the roof to vent for smoke, possible upgrade for emergency shutdown, etc.).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭✭
    Local, ask and explain that you are just taking it down for repairs to the roof and reinstalling, if that's what you are doing. explain the brunt of the cost is the roof repairs and not the solar and maybe you can live with NEC 2005, lots have changed since then! 

    Often the key words are 'change', 'upgrading', 'rewiring' in relation to the system. Let them know it's been running without issues for 10+ years and you don't want to change anything (if you don't).

    If you ask ahead of time and find out they will require then it might be time to run through the whole system, checking for issues and maybe even upgrading the whole thing...

    I suspect this may even fall under other guidelines, 600 Kw array is huge! You might need an engineers opinion, certainly on the roof repairs, though perhaps that's what you are doing?
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do
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