Blaze highlights need for electrical testing of solar PV systems

The popularity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is rising in the UK and many other countries around the world and this is no surprise. These energy solutions can help people to minimise their energy costs and they are also beneficial from an environmental perspective, meaning they have proved attractive to consumers and businesses alike.

However, these systems can also pose a risk if they are not installed and checked regularly. Indeed, a fault in a solar PV installation recently caused a house fire in Kent, Solar Power Portal reports. The news source went on to note that cases like this “highlight the fire risks that can be associated with PV systems and support the need for thorough commissioning and regular periodic electrical testing”.

Talking about the incident itself, it noted it was thought to have been caused by a faulty DC switch and it was said to have “wreaked havoc”. Although no one was injured in the fire, the building will be out of use for at least two months.

Solar Power Portal also suggested that given the growth in use of solar PV systems over the last couple of years, blazes involving the technology should not be unexpected.

Meanwhile, commenting on the difficulties associated with tackling fires like this, Sittingbourne Fire and Rescue Services watch manager Mat Barney remarked: “All the time the sun is shining on those panels, they’re live and we’ve got an issue isolating that in the loft space, so they pose a significant problem for us fighting fires on roofs and inside roof spaces.”

To help prevent blazes involving solar PV systems, firms can take advantage of electrical inspection services.

Thankfully, accessing electrical testing provisions is now straightforward and as well as helping companies to boost safety, these electrical inspection services can also enhance people’s peace of mind.

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