On a recent weeknight in Waldoboro, area firefighters attended a training session to learn the basics of solar technology.

“Solar installations in the United States have grown rapidly over the last five years,” said ReVision Energy project manager Hans Albee in a news release. Albee led the evening’s discussion. “Here in Maine, more and more homes and businesses are utilizing solar energy, so it’s important for firefighters to be familiar with the increasingly common technology.”

Albee, assistant 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 solar energy systems are all battery-based,” said Albee. “The reality is that 99 percent 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 increasingly found on Maine homes, homes of all ages and sizes, in almost every town,” says Albee. “Solar is no longer a fringe technology.”

To learn more about solar energy systems or to talk with Albee about his presentations, please contact hans@revisionenergy.com or call 589-4171.