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PV Systems - a Fire Hazard? - Myths and Facts from German Experiences
H. Laukamp, G. Bopp, R. Grab, H. Häberlin, B. v. Heeckeren, S. Phillip, F. Reil, H. Schmidt, A. Sepanski, H. Thiem, W. Vaassen
Qualification and Testing, Electrical Safety, Fire Prevention, Fire Hazard, Installation Standard
PV Systems
Subtopic: PV and Architecture
Event: 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5DO.7.6
3862 - 3867
ISBN: 3-936338-28-0
Paper DOI: 10.4229/27thEUPVSEC2012-5DO.7.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


After a few fire incidents in 2009 and 2010, where buildings with PV systems were involved, were extensively covered by media, a project had been initiated to address all issues of “PV on fire”. Investigations range from analysis of material used in PV modules over production processes over fault analysis and installation guidelines to system documentation for fire fighters and fire fighting procedures. This paper addresses an investigation of some reported fire incidents with PV systems as well as an online-query hazardous incidents and heat damages and fires of PV systems. It was found that media reports on incidents sometimes drastically misrepresented what actually happened. Heat damages were mainly reported from within modules and from module connections. Surprisingly often DC-switches and AC installations of PV systems were identified as cause of fires.