Recent articles in mainstream media, such as CNBC or Business Insider, regarding solar fires shine a bad light on the solar industry. They make look solar unsafe or not trustworthy.
As solar professionals we certainly don't like to read about alleged negligence in solar installations and how these reports are hurting our industry – especially because with proper installation and risk management, solar is a very safe technology, as studies by Fraunhofer Institute and others have shown.
However, DC connectors can be a risk factor when not properly managed and we, as an industry, started adoption of Module Level Shutdown (as required in the National Electrical Code), which increases the number of DC connectors by a factor of 2-3, making the risk much harder to manage. This could turn into a bigger problem for the solar industry.
Ignoring this issue would be bad for the industry. How do we explain to customers why we've decided to mandate an increase in connection points, when it’s known that these are the weak points of a solar system?
Tesla whistleblower complaint about solar fires is part of evidence in federal safety investigation
The US consumer safety regulator is investigating Tesla solar panel fires on Walmart stores and Amazon warehouses
Assessing Fire Risks in Photovoltaic Systems and Developing Safety Concepts for Risk Minimization
TÜV Rheinland and Fraunhofer Institute
Fire and Solar PV Systems – Investigations and Evidence
BRE National Solar Centre
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