Photovoltaic Power System Fire and the Issues in Firefighting

Report Date: March 2013

While photovoltaic systems are become widely used in applications from houses to mega solar power plants, we have insufficient knowledge about fire behavior, firefighting, and safety for firefighters in photovoltaic system fires. In this publication, NRIFD carried out experiments covering three topics for photovoltaic systems.

In the first, NRIFD carried out experiments to determine output voltage characteristics of a photovoltaic system when exposed to flames.

In the second, NRIFD carried out fire experiments on a photovoltaic module mounted on the roof of a full-size house mock-up in order to better understand fire behavior in photovoltaic power systems.

The third topic, in order to protect firefighters, NRIFD explains the characteristics, mechanisms, technical standards, and fire risks and issues associated with photovoltaic power systems.


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  • National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster

    The research and development division undertakes research for supporting firefighting and disaster prevention activities by placing particular emphasis on such research themes as are demanding immediate attention or are desired strongly by society. The following five laboratories are organized for the purpose.

    • Large-Scale Fire Lab
    • Hazardous Materials Lab
    • Hazmat Facility Lab
    • Earthquake and Natural Disaster Lab
    • Special Disaster Lab

Abe, Nobuyuki, Takahiro Tsukame, Hiroyuki Tamura, Sanae Matsushima, Yoshio Ogawa, Daisuke Kozeki, and Norimasa Morii. Electricity Generation Characteristic of a Photovoltaic Module in a Fire. Tokyo, Japan: Report of National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, No. 114, p. 8, 2013. Print.

Abe, Nobuyuki, Sanae Matsushima, Hiroyuki Tamura, Takahiro Tsukame, Yoshio Ogawa, Ken-ichi Takanashi, and Daisuke Kozeki. Electricity Generation Characteristic of a Photovoltaic Module Mounted on the Roof of a Mock House in a Fire. Tokyo, Japan: Report of National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, No. 114, p. 18, 2013. Print.

Tamura, Hiroyuki, Nobuyuki Abe, Daisuke Kozeki, Sanae Matsushima, Takahiro Tsukame, Yoshio Ogawa, and Ken-ichi Takanashi. Photovoltaic Power System Fire and the Issues in Firefighting. Tokyo, Japan: Report of National Research Institute of Fire and Disaster, No. 114, p. 25, 2013. Print.

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