Development of Fire Mitigation Solutions for Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Installed on Building Roofs

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The installation of large PV systems on commercial building roofs is an emerging risk due to a favorable value proposition attracting building owners to install the technology. With these systems, the likelihood of a rooftop fire significantly increases since electrical breakdown – leading to arc faults, ground faults, and short circuits - can occur anywhere across the system. Any electrical fault can be accompanied by ensuing fire.

The challenges introduced by this emerging risk require further research. This project is specifically directed at concerns with rooftop fire spread and identifying additional means to limit fire spread to allow the fire service time to implement a responsible final fire extinguishment plan.

Research Goal: The overall goal of this research will be to identify features to mitigate fire spread between and within PV arrays installed on roof tops. The objective of this phase will be to develop a test plan to explore this topic to be implemented in a later phase.

Download the project summary. (PDF, 117 KB)