Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Inc. is revising its standard for
evaluating the safety of photovoltaic (PV) modules and panels.
Because this revision will directly affect rooftop rack-mounted PV
installations, you should be aware of the revisions taking place
and their effects on these installations.
UL 1703, "Flat-Plate Photovoltaic Modules and Panels," is the
basis for UL's evaluation of PV modules and panels. UL 1703
currently references UL 790, "Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests
of Roof Coverings," for determining a panel's fire classification;
UL 790 is the same test method used to determine roof assemblies'
Class A, B and C fire classifications.
In 2008, the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar
ABCs), a collaboration of PV industry stakeholders, identified PV
module-specific fire research, testing and rating systems as high
priorities. In subsequent research programs sponsored by Solar ABCs
and funded by the Department of Energy, UL has conducted numerous
fire tests of rooftop rack-mounted PV...
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