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Section 512 Rooftop Solar Panel Installations
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The design, installation, operation and maintenance of solar panel systems, including photovoltaic and thermal systems, on the rooftops of buildings and structures, shall be in accordance with this section, the Electrical Code and the construction codes, including the Building Code, Mechanical Code and Plumbing Code.
Solar panel installations shall not obstruct any rooftop area access to which is required pursuant to FC504.4, except that solar panel installations may obstruct the clear path required by FC504.4.4 as follows:
- if the installation is provided with a hinged mechanism or other device for which a certificate of approval has been issued that enables the installation to be safely swung, slid, lifted, collapsed or otherwise moved out of the clear path, and that is designed to allow for operation by one person, without the use of a tool; or
- on any building with a rooftop width or depth of 25 feet (7620 mm) or less, where the design of a solar panel installation necessitates coverage of all or substantially all of the rooftop across the full width or length thereof, the commissioner may authorize permanent obstructions that encroach upon and thereby reduce the clear path width within such area when necessary to accommodate the presence of hatches; scuttles and skylights; bulkheads; attic ventilators; chimneys and plumbing vents; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment or other rooftop building service equipment.
Solar panel installations shall be designed, installed, operated and maintained in accordance with this section on rooftops of buildings and structures 100 feet (30 480 mm) or less in height with a slope exceeding 20 degrees, except detached Group U buildings and structures.
Solar panel installations shall provide a 3 foot (914 mm) wide clear access area along the ridge on each roof slope upon which solar panels are installed.
Solar panels shall not be installed closer than 3 feet (914 mm) to the ridge line.
Photovoltaic solar panel installations shall be designed, installed, operated and maintained in compliance with the requirements of this section.
Direct current conduit, wiring systems, and raceways for photovoltaic circuits installed on pitched roofs subject to the requirements of FC512.3 shall be located along hips and valleys, away from the ridge, and on outside walls, to maximize ventilation opportunities. Conduit runs between sub-arrays and to direct current combiner boxes shall be installed in a manner that minimizes the total amount of conduit on the roof by taking the shortest path from the array to the direct current combiner box, except as necessary to minimize the tripping hazard. The direct current combiner boxes shall be located such that conduit runs are minimized in the pathways between arrays.
Indoor and outdoor direct current conduit, enclosures, raceways, cable assemblies, junction boxes, combiner boxes, and main service and other disconnects shall have durable, retroreflective and, if outdoors, weatherproof, markings, in white capital letters with a height of not less than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) on a red background, reading "WARNING: PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SOURCE." Continuous installations, including conduit, raceways, enclosures and cable assemblies, shall be marked every 10 feet (3048 mm), within 1 foot (305 mm) of all turns or bends, and within 1 foot (305 mm) above and below all penetrations of roof or ceiling assemblies and all walls.