Managing fire risk related to photovoltaic (PV) systems on buildings

IEC TR 63226:2021 is intended for use as guidance for reducing fire risks in general and for site-specific needs for buildings with PV systems. In addition to the general recommendations, technical, installation, and maintenance measures can be selected to reach the intended safety level of the PV system and building, depending on the results of a risk assessment. This document contains general information about building related risks and includes measures for reducing those risks. These measures are not general requirements or recommendations. They are explained as a guide for selecting suitable measures depending on the on-site needs.

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IEC TR 63226 ®
Edition 1.0 2021-02
Managing fire risk related to photovoltaic (PV) systems on buildings

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IEC TR 63226 ®
Edition 1.0 2021-02
Managing fire risk related to photovoltaic (PV) systems on buildings

ICS 27.160 ISBN 978-2-8322-9395-9

– 2 – IEC TR 63226:2021 © IEC 2021
1 Scope . 7
2 Normative references . 7
3 Terms and definitions . 7
4 Risk evaluation . 7
4.1 General . 7
4.2 Site selection . 7
4.3 Aspects for building risk evaluation . 7
4.3.1 Roofing materials. 7
4.3.2 Building construction . 8
4.3.3 Building contents . 8
4.3.4 Use of building. 9
4.3.5 Building type considerations regarding financial risks . 9
4.4 Measures for supporting firefighter and rescue service operations . 9
4.4.1 General . 9
4.4.2 Response times of emergency responders and available apparatus. 10
4.4.3 Geometry, height, accessibility of building . 10
4.4.4 Coordination with fire alarm systems . 11
4.5 Other organizational aspects. 11
4.5.1 Briefing fire services in on-site specific aspects . 11
4.5.2 Harmonize measures with fire protection measures of building . 12
4.5.3 Harmonize measures with owner, user and building and inventory
insurance . 12
5 Technical PV system design measures for fire prevention . 12
5.1 General . 12
5.2 Initial PV system design considerations to minimize risk . 12
5.2.1 General . 12
5.2.2 Ventilation . 12
5.2.3 Accumulation of flammable material. 13
5.2.4 Cabling . 13
5.3 Arc-fault detection . 13
5.4 Earth-fault detection. 14
5.5 Automatic shutdown after first fault . 14
5.6 Coverboard . 14
6 Technical PV system design measures for supporting firefighter and rescue
service operations . 15
6.1 General . 15
6.2 Initial PV system design considerations to minimize risk . 15
6.2.1 General . 15
6.2.2 DC cable lengths and routing . 15
6.2.3 DC cabling marking . 15
6.2.4 Access pathways and escape routes . 15
6.2.5 Caution board . 15
6.3 Generator/string-level shutdown . 15
6.4 Module-level control, ELV-systems, distributed array protection . 16
6.5 Cable routing measures . 17

6.6 Fire-resistant cable raceways. 17
7 Installation and commissioning . 17
7.1 General . 17
7.2 Important installation requirements impacting risk . 17
7.3 Commissioning procedures . 18
7.4 Documentation – clear installation, owners, fire services and maintenance
manuals for PV equipment . 18
8 Operation and maintenance . 18
8.1 General . 18
8.2 Inspection of electric system . 18
8.3 Inspection of mounting structure and building influence . 19
8.4 Inspection of pathways . 19
8.5 Cleaning . 19
8.6 Thermography. 19
8.7 Recommendations for empty buildings or systems not under supervision . 19
9 Corrective measures after fire . 19
9.1 General . 19
9.2 Measures to avoid safety risks or further damage . 19
9.3 Safety inspection . 20
9.4 Measures to bring PV system into a safe state . 20
Annex A (informative) Analysis from fire incidents in PV systems . 21
A.1 General . 21
A.2 Component where fire started . 22
A.3 Cause of incident . 23
A.4 When did incidents occur? . 25
Bibliography . 26

Figure 1 – Cable routing related to pathways . 11
Figure A.1 – Number of identified incidents and severity of effect on surroundings for a
total of about 400 fire reports . 21
Figure A.2 – Distribution of fire reports depending on mounting type . 21
Figure A.3 – For cases of damaged buildings only: distribution of fire reports
depending on mounting type . 22
Figure A.4 – Counts of system section where fire started . 22
Figure A.5 – Counts of component where fire started . 23
Figure A.6 – Distribution of identified causes of fire incidents . 23
Figure A.7 – Number of incidents over operation system age . 25

Table A.1 – Number of incidents with a certain damage . 21

– 4 – IEC TR 63226:2021 © IEC 2021
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