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fire accidents

How to protect rooftop PV systems from fire risk

Dutch research institute TNO has released a series of guidelines to reduce fire hazards in rooftop PV installations. The study follows a series of fire accidents that occurred between 2018 and 2020 in the Netherlands, for which the main causes were identified.

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Significant decline in potentially unsafe PV systems in Australia

A very small number of PV systems installed on Australian rooftops are considered to be potentially unsafe, the nation’s Clean Energy Regulator says in a new report. It identifies water entering DC isolators as the greatest risk and the most common cause of PV system failures.

Solar system fires are on the rise in the U.S.

Historically underreported by the U.S. Fire Administration, fires at solar installations rose 36% from 2017 to 2018. With residential installations representing the majority of fires, infrared imaging could be the key to bringing the number down.

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Mind the gap

Fire safety engineering researchers have demonstrated increasing the gap between the modules of commercial PV arrays and flat roof surfaces is a decisive factor in reducing fire risks. Experiments have identified a critical gap height below which flame spread rate increases significantly.

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Scientists analyze toxic gases released from burning thin-film, PET-laminated modules

Scientists from China’s State Key Laboratory of Fire Science have analyzed the combustion behavior of flexible PET-laminated PV panels. They found toxic gases including sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide and a small amount of volatile organic compounds are released when such a PV system burns.

There are –data missing– solar power fires per year

International data suggests that fires caused by rooftop solar power systems are rare; however, the United States doesn’t centrally track this information – with the National Fire Data Center classifying them in the “other” category.

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Netherlands begins inquiry into fire accidents involving rooftop PV

The investigation will be carried out by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research on behalf of the national enterprise agency and at the request of PV association Holland Solar and Uneto-VNI, the country’s installers’ association.

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