Solar-Fabrik identifies PV module fault

On April 9, the troubled German PV manufacturer issued a product warning regarding faulty junction boxes in some of its modules, which had been found to present a fire risk.

In a statement issued today, it said the connector of the junction box could have a faulty weld connection, which may cause the formation of an electrical arc and, thus, an open fire. To date, Solar-Fabrik says it has only seen charred junction boxes, but that it cannot rule out the fire risk.

As such, it recommends an "immediate" disablement of the PV module cables from the inverter by a professional. Continued operation should only commence once a professional has concluded no risk of collateral damage is present. If this is not possible, the junction box will need to be replaced.

"It needs to be checked by a professional on the basis of the installation manner of the solar modules (e.g. roof integrated systems, roof mounted systems or ground mounted system) whether any risk exists for wellbeing and lives or damage to property," said Solar-Fabrik in the statement.

The affected products are the Premium L, M, XM and S modules with only one cable and an LC-4 connector that were manufactured by the Freiburg company between April 2011 and October 2012. Anyone with the modules in question should visit this web page to determine whether their module is affected by checking its serial number.

Insolvency proceedings have been underway for Solar-Fabrik since the start of February. Last week, the PV manufacturerÂ’s requests for self-administration were rejected by the Freiburg District Court, which appointed Thomas Kaiser as insolvency administrator.