WEDNESDAY 27 FEBRUARY, 2013 |
New Solar Panel Fire Rating Regulations in Australia
From July 16 this year, all makes and models of solar panels installed in
Australia will need to have passed a new fire safety test.
Safety standard AS5033 will require IEC61730-2 compliance; which consists
of two elements - the Spread of Flame Test and the Burning Brand Test.
The testing relates to how solar panels react to external fires, such as those
experienced in bushfire conditions - a situation Australia is all too familiar
The Spread of Flame Test consists of a gas flame being directed over the surface of
PV elements and exposed to wind. The minimum test that must be passed involves a
burner with a rating of approximately 325 kW and a flame exposure period of 4
The Burning Brand Test evaluates whether a burning object placed on a panel can cause the
panel to burn or burn through. Wooden brands affixed to the solar panel are used
in this test and testing is also performed under wind exposure.
National solar provider Energy Matters
models of solar panels already installed that have not undergone these tests will not suddenly
burst into flames on July 16, determining IEC61730-2 compliancy is another tool
solar buyers currently in the market for a system should use as part of their
While solar panels are considered a commodity item these days by some, a panel's
performance in these tests is another example of how not
all solar panels are equal
says Energy Matters.
The company says that the two major brands it includes in its solar
have already achieved IEC61730-2 compliancy. This provides added peace of mind
to customers that not only do the panels installed on their rooftops provide
excellent performance, but a superior degree of safety.
Image Credit: TÜV Rheinland
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