Tech Today

Rooftop photovoltaic applications

Interest in rooftop photovoltaic applications has been growing largely because of increasing electricity costs, advances in photovoltaic technology, declining photovoltaic module costs and building owners' increasing interest in environmental protection. This growth presents roofing professionals with new oppor­tunities, but with these opportunities comes the need to be aware of code requirements and applicable standards.

Code requirements

Electrical installations, including photovoltaic applications, typically are governed by the National Fire Protection Association's NFPA 70®: National Electrical Code® (NEC). NEC's Article 690—Solar Photovoltaic Systems applies specifically to photovoltaic installations and provides requirements for photovoltaic systems and the related array circuits, inverters and controllers.

NEC specifically requires that photovoltaic modules and panels and their related equipment be listed for specific installations.