Limiting Fire Spread with Roof Mounted PV Arrays
Presented by Dick Davis, P.E., FSFPE, M.ASCE of FM Global
The number of roof fires with roof-mounted PV in the last decade or so have reached levels that are seemingly worse than when torch-applied roofs started to be used in the US in the 1980’s. This presentation will discuss some of the more significant fire losses, how the dynamics of a typical roof fire are changed, and the adaptation of conventional roof fire tests to realistically evaluate roof-mounted PV arrays. The presentation will NOT address prevention issues or electrical controls, but rather discuss how the construction of the roof assembly and PV array can more reliably limit roof fire spread.
Dick Davis is a licensed PE in Fire Protection Engineering. He is a Past President of the SFPE NEC and a Past President of SFPE International. He is a Fellow in SFPE, a member of the SFPE PE Exam Development Committee and a member of the NFPA Fire Test Committee and Building Construction Committee. He is a Staff Vice President in the Chief Engineer’s Group for FM Global and the author of FM Global Data Sheet 1-15, Roof Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Panels.
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New England Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers