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Photovoltaics on roofs – Standards and testing

pubblicazioni - Poster

Photovoltaics on roofs – Standards and testing

Sintesi dei alcuni nuovi protocolli di prova sviluppati per la classificazione del comportamento all’incendio dei tetti FV

Photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the most used renewable electrical energy generation technologies, but PV systems could be both a proper ignition source and a suitable fire spread way. According to a recent survey of the Italian National Fire Rescue and Service, around 2.500 fire-related accidents have occurred, by the end of 2015, in the nearly 650.000 PV systems currently installed in Italy. Also in other countries, some severe fires involving buildings with PV systems have occurred, for example in the USA or Germany (390 PV related fires, during 2012).

Those phenomena have set in motion processes on national and international levels that, with the participation of different actors (Authorities having jurisdiction, standardization bodies, manufacturers of photovoltaic modules, etc.), are mainly aimed to develop product and installation regulations focused on the fire risk minimization in case of a photovoltaic system coupled with building roofs or facades.About that, the research program carried out in previous years was essentially focused on the development of test protocols in order to improve the fire rating criteria of PV roofs as possible.The collaboration with standardization bodies such as CEI (Italian Electrotechnical Committee) and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) was part of the activities during such program.

In particular, about that, the CENELEC TR 50670: 2016 “External fire exposure to roofs in combination with photovoltaic (PV) arrays – Test method (s)”) was published and it contains some test protocols about fire behavior of PV modules, without any rating criteria and with some observations to be made as indicated.The activities subject of our program were aimed to develop other test protocols, based on those contained in the CLC TR 50670 and with some fire rating criteria.

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