Safety through module electronics? SMA advises less is more

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Discussion participants

Angelika Löning , Product Manager Inverter Systems, SMA Solar Technology
Christopher Merz, System Development Engineer, SMA


Michael Fuhs, Head of Editorial, pv magazine

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Presentation of Angelika Löning and Christopher Merz

Webinar Details

Do residents and firefighters gain heightened security from additional solar module shutdown facilities, like Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE), or would they fare better without them? And if MLPE are used, how can they be made safer?

Despite TÜV Rheinland finding that fire safety is sufficient and Fraunhofer ISE stating that current PV systems are already very safe, module-level rapid shutdown systems are a hot discussion point among many in the industry. However, SMA asks could it be that they not only fail to contribute to a further increase in security, but actually make systems less safe?

The most common causes of fire are product defects and installation errors. With MLPE, adding more electronic components to the roof and increasing the number of connectors also increases the likelihood of failure, and could lead to fires in the worst case scenario. In addition, electronic components on modules are exposed to much higher stress from temperature than string-based electronics in inverters.

In this upcoming pv magazine webinar, we will discuss MLPE and rapid shutdown with Angelika Löning, SMA Solar Technology’s Product Manager Inverter Systems, specifically looking at the indicators of security risks and where there is still a need for action.

“Before module level electronics are used, standard tests should ensure that the electronics itself does not become a problem. Until these test standards are introduced, care should be taken to consider whether it is necessary to use MLPE on a case-by-case basis,“ says Löning.

Is less really more in this case? Join us on December 12 to find out.


  • Fire safety findings for PV systems from TÜV Rheinland and Fraunhofer ISE
  • Root causes of fire in PV plants
  • Firefighters perspective: Can they trust  shutdown systems? Where do the dangers lie?
  • Recent approaches to increase PV plant safety
  • Testing standards and  criteria for MLPE

Questions can be submitted beforehand or during the webinar through a chat window.