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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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