New fire regulations for solar panels

6th Mar 2013

Customers will soon have another factor to consider when choosing which solar power system to install – the level of its fire safety. New and more rigorous fire safety checks and ratings are a way of giving consumers assurance of their wellbeing when using the product.

Energy Matters announced last week that beginning July 16 this year, any solar panel to be installed in Australia must pass a new testing process.

The fire check will focus on two aspects of fire safety. First, how the solar panel reacts to an external fire such as a bushfire, no doubt a matter of great concern for Australians who live in at-risk areas.

This external fire danger is simulated with the Spread of Flame test. This involves a gas flame being held over the solar PV panel in the open air and to pass, must be held there for a duration of at least four minutes without the flame spreading.

The second type of assessment is called the Burning Brand Test. This check is to make sure that if something burning is placed on a panel, it does not begin to burn itself.

These new fire safety regulations will with any luck give Australian solar customers peace of mind, and enable them to trust in the safety of the solar panels they purchase. It also endows the solar panel industry with more reliability and a reputation of best practice.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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