Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has warned homeowners of fire risks from residential PV systems.
In a report published by its Consumer Safety Investigation Commission, the agency said 127 fire accidents related to rooftop solar systems were recorded in the years 2008-2017. Seven led to burnt roofs, after installations were laid on surfaces which included combustible materials, the report revealed. According to the report, an estimated 110,000 residential PV system owners in Japan – of around 2.4 million in total – have deployed installations on rooftops which include combustible materials, and they should conduct continuous inspections.
The report also highlighted specific fire incidents, showing pictures of burnt cable, panels and roofs. According to the study, however, the fire came from modules or cables in only 13 cases.
The Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) told pv magazine it will take the matter seriously and will hold a press conference on Tuesday. “[The] JPEA has to deal with this as carefully as possible so that Japanese people should not bear [a] negative image in mind about solar PV generation, and in view of solar PV users’ protection,” the association stated.
The JPEA has also published a document containing instructions on avoiding fire incidents. The industry body added, the fire risk issue should not be used as an argument against Japan’s transition towards clean energy. “Some media are exaggerating the matter, too much,” it said.