PV Fire Risks Review

Over the last few years a number of media reports have made a link between specific fire incidents and photovoltaic (PV) power systems. With all electrical systems there is a small risk of fire. Given the prevalence of PV systems now in the UK, it is appropriate to investigate the potential for fire incidents

Despite the significant number of PV systems installed in the UL and elsewhere, PV is still a relatively young technology and is subject to frequent changes in product design and deployment techniques. Consequently, the equipment and installation standards that control the industry are still in a process of refinement.

Understanding the cause of PV fires and how PV systems may influence firefighting operations is therefore vitally important for the ongoing development of standards. Similarly understanding the statistical likelihood of particular faults or problems is essential for ensuring that any changes to standards are appropriate and properly justified.

This project was therefore established in order to collate accurate information on fire incidents involving PV systems and on relevant previous research. With involvement from the BRE National Solar Centre, Work packages 1 and 2 of this 3 year project have been completed and the report linked here provides the outputs of this.