Fire safety for photovoltaic plants and for emergency personnel operating in a building that features solar panels is a topic that is still relatively un-known and unregulated in many emerging PV markets. Countries where PV has been installed extensively over the past 15 years, such as Italy and Germany, have come to realise that the specific aspects of fire safety concerning solar energy need to be well understood by authorities, system designers and plant owners.
BMSolar has worked closely with Italian fire prevention authorities to develop a solution that would comply with the highest safety standards.
All BlackMagic optimisers come with a built-in first level of fire protection as a standard: the DC circuit will automatically section individual PV panles when excessively high temperatures (85ºC+-5ºC) are detected. The panels are reconnected only once the system has been completely de-energised and re-energised: the next day or after authorised personnel carry out a manual restart.
The AF series may also be wired to a firefighter switch to be placed at the entrance of the building. In this case, the complete system up to the panel level will only be connected when an auxiliary power line is suplying the firefighter siwtch. When the switch is operated, the suxiliary supply si cut off, forcing the circuit open at paenl level. This system operates without the use of any “closed protocols” and electronic controls to ensure the highest possible level of responsiveness and compatibility with third-party equipment.
As each individual panel is disconnected using this feature, firefighters may operate without any risk of getting in contact with direct current.
BM optimisers were chosen as a fail-safe solution to adapt plants installed on highly sensitive buildings, including three supermarkets in Northern Italy. The provincial Fire Prevention authorities of Prato, Firenze, Bologna and Parma as well as the Veneto regional authorities approved a number fire safety standard projects using BM technology throughout 2015 and will enable plan owners and designers in these regions to achieve compliancy cost-effectively.
If you wish to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us.