Hans-Albee-ReVision-Energy-600x800Bangor, Maine area firefighters are attending one of four training sessions, starting this week, to learn the basics of solar technology.

“Solar installations in Maine have grown rapidly over the last five years,” said ReVision Energy Engineer Hans Albee, who will lead the training. “Here in Maine, homes and businesses are utilizing solar energy to power their energy needs, so it’s important for firefighters to be familiar with the technology.”

Albee, Deputy Chief of the Brooks Fire Department and solar designer and installer since 2007, knows well the time and energy that coincides with being part of a volunteer fire department. His presentation focuses on how to recognize both solar thermal and solar electric arrays, how each system works, and the simple steps required to reduce the risk of being injured while responding to an incident.

“One common misconception is that most solar energy systems are battery-based,” said Albee. “The reality is that 99% of the systems we install are grid-tied, where the panels interact with the local utility.” Grid-tied arrays, unlike battery-based systems, automatically stop producing electricity when utility power is interrupted, adding a level of built-in safety.

“It’s important for me to know that my fellow firefighters have a basic understanding of the solar energy systems that are found on Maine homes and businesses in almost every town,” says Albee.