According to the BRE National Solar Centre, there are now well over 50,000 commercial solar PV systems across the UK, equating to over 1.2 GW of capacity. As a result, the safety and quality standards have been continuously updated to ensure that today’s systems are as safe and as reliable as possible.
There is no evidence that the fire risks associated with solar energy are any greater than those for any other electrical equipment. However, it is very important to ensure that PV systems are correctly designed, competently installed, and regularly maintained by companies certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
Wessex Energy install every system according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s code of practice for the installation of grid-connected solar PV systems (IET solar PV CoP).
As the presence of a PV system on a roof is not always obvious, a sign should be sited next to the inverters, and emergency and safe isolation procedures should also be displayed. In the event of a fire, access to site-specific schematics will enable technicians and firefighters to quickly identify key elements of the system.