As more and more people switch from grids to solar panels, worries about fire-related hazards are increasing. The rarity of solar panel system fires is noteworthy.
However, property and business owners should be aware of the potential dangers, including solar panel fires. So can solar panels cause fires?
Before they are licensed for installation, most companies get their solar panels tested for potential hazards by laboratories.
If professionals install them accurately, the chances of solar panels causing fires are nearly negligible.
According to German research, the risk of solar panels causing fires is around 0.006%.
Can Solar Panels Cause Fires?
Very little research and not enough data to draw a concrete answer.
However, there have been a few reported cases of solar panels catching fires, mainly due to malfunctions and unprofessional installation.
The risk is pretty much negligible if proper installation instructions are followed by an experienced professional. However, accidents and mistakes still happen.
Completely ignoring the possibility that a fire might break out due to your solar panels would be foolish.
Sometimes, companies ship out defective parts that can go unnoticed until the damage is done.
Sudden change in power voltages is frequent in some parts of the world, which can prove very dangerous if your solar panels are left unchecked for long periods.
Which Factors Can Cause Solar Panels To Catch Fire?
So can solar panels cause fires?
Yes, but it is extremely rare. Solar rooftop fires usually result from poor design, defective components, and shoddy installation.
Since it is an electrical system, these issues can result in hot spots igniting surrounding flammable substances because of electrical arcs between two conductors.
Live electric wires are an integral component of solar panel systems. As a result, when connecting devices, proper configurations must be followed.
The types of wires used must also be appropriate. It is important to note that all wires require proper insulation to avoid problems.
Failure to do so can result in problems such as electrical faults, short circuits, and reverse currents, all of which can cause a fire.
These issues are also faced when installing grid-connected electricity in your home.
Some rare faults, such as abrupt power surges and overvoltage, can also cause a fire.
In a few cases, lightning striking your solar panel system could ignite flammable parts.
Preventing Fire Hazards:
Compromising your installation by opting for cheap local installers is never a good idea.
Installation is perhaps the most crucial element of a successful and hazard-free solar panel system for your house.
Your best option is to opt for installation via the company you have ordered your panels from.
If the company does not have an installation policy, your alternative should be a certified and licensed installer with considerable experience.
It can be tempting to pick out cheaper parts for your system, especially parts that you think are insignificant in preventing hazards.
Be sure to purchase panels with long warranties, ideally around 20-25 years. Cheaper panels can go through multiple malfunctions, proving to be the origin of a fire hazard in the long term.
Every solar panel system requires routine maintenance. Damage to your panels over time can accumulate, making them more vulnerable to fire hazards.
Most sellers have scheduled maintenance schedules, so look out for them. If you are unsure, contact your dealer and ask to set up a regular maintenance schedule.,
A DC isolator is a switch located beside the solar panels. Their main purpose is to turn off the DC to the solar inverter.
The DC isolator is on the roof, which means it is exposed to inclement weather, which can cause the system to malfunction.
Short circuits and an increase in the risk of fire can result from water seeping inside the DC isolator.
What To Do In Case Of A Fire?
If a fire breaks out in a property equipped with solar panels, the fire departments will take several safety measures.
The first thing you should do is disconnect the panels. This will minimize the risk of an electrocution accident.
Firefighters may be at risk because the system involves live wiring. It’s crucial to let the fire department know that solar panels are set up on your property.
They can arrive prepared if you phone them or designate your building for solar panels installed.
Turning off the system will be one of their priorities before figuring out what started the fire.
House Fires And Solar Panels:
Solar panel systems can be an indirect hazard to house fires, especially if firefighters are not informed of the system before they attempt to put out the fire.
It is important to know that even after you have disconnected the main panel, the conduit connecting solar panels to the inverter may still carry a direct current.
If a firefighter accidentally cuts live lines, they risk electric shocks.
Toxins and other hazardous materials are found in batteries. If they are discharged during a fire, firefighters inhaling them could suffer severe health problems.
Additionally, the solar panel system installed on the roof could act as a heat-trapping mechanism, preventing adequate ventilation.
If you have any confusion, watch this video.
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