Netherlands begins inquiry into fire accidents involving rooftop PV


Netherlands enterprise agency, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), has tasked the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to conduct an investigation into fire accidents involving rooftop PV systems recently reported by Dutch media.

According to local solar energy association Holland Solar, the inquiry began at its request, as it hopes to clarify whether solar panels were responsible for recent fires involving roofs with solar systems.

“It is important for consumers, and for us as a branch, to determine what caused these fires,” the association said.

The TNO was also urged to conduct the inquiry by Uneto-VNI, the business association for the electrical installation industry and the electrotechnical retail business. In a statement, Uneto-VNI said it will take concrete measures quickly on the basis of the results of the investigation, and it also urged members to follow the rules for the correct and safe installation of solar panels.

“It is still unknown if members of Uneto-VNI were involved in the reported fire accidents,” the statement added.

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Uneto-VNI added, a series of periodic tests for all installations in homes in Amsterdam and Utrecht showed more than half the systems were not safe. “Uneto-VNI has asked for years for a mandatory delivery inspection and compulsory inspection for all installations in homes, including solar panels”, the association stated.

In August, media reported one of the possible causes of the fires was the summer heatwave, although not everyone concurs.

“I have never experienced any fire due to overheating in solar panels. Not even at the solar park in Spain where I was director and where the temperature was continuously 40 degrees. Actually, such fire accidents always depend on electronics,” Holland Solar’s Jaap Baarsma reportedly told Dutch newspaper AD.

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