Can Solar Panels Catch Fire?

22 Dec 2022
Can Solar Panels Catch Fire?


The solar panel industry has witnessed an escalating demand in recent years. People around the world tend to adopt solar panels as an investment in a sustainable and quality lifestyle.

The global solar panel market is expected to grow by 20.5% from 2019 to 2026. This refers to loads of benefits associated with solar panel installation.

With the change in energy development, renewable energy, represented by solar energy, will become the most widely distributed resource and the most substantial energy endowment. This includes both environmental and economic aspects. However, improper use of these solar panels may also pose some safety issues.


What is a Solar Panel?

A solar panel is a device that captures solar energy from sunlight and harnesses it to convert it to electricity. This electricity can then be used to power various electronic products.

Solar panels are also called photovoltaic (PV) panels or modules. A solar panel system consists of PV panels, an inverter, and optional solar battery storage units.

The sunlight activates the PV panels, and a direct current (DC) is generated. The inverter converts DC to alternating current (AC). This alternating current then powers your electronic devices.


Can Solar Panels Catch Fire?

Are solar panels prone to occasional fires? The fire safety issues associated with solar panel systems are becoming a growing concern with more and more panel installations. Even with installations that are compliant with safety codes, solar panel fires do occur.

Solar panel fires are relatively rare compared to other sources of fire incidents. Previous reports by solar power world have noticed around one fire incident per 10,000 installations. According to a study by Fraunhofer ISE, out of 2 million installations in Germany, 0.006% resulted in a fire incident causing serious damage.


Major Causes of Solar Panel Fires

A great approach to addressing solar panels' fire safety is to probe into the underlying causes of solar panel fires. Having an understanding of these causes is an important step in mitigating the fire risk associated with solar systems.

Solar panel fires can have a number of underlying causes. However, the major reasons associated with these fire incidents are just a few. Here we will discuss these 4 reasons that can cause fires to installed solar systems.


Water Ingressions in DC Isolators

DC isolators are frequently associated with solar panel fire incidents. Solar rooftop isolators are highly crucial for the safety of solar panel systems.

An improper installation fails to maintain the ingress protection of isolator boxes. As the water gets into the enclosure, it causes corrosion and damages the interior of DC isolators. Carrying current in such a condition may cause a hot joint resulting in a solar panel fire.


Loose Cable Connections

The solar equipment installation must be done precisely to ensure the fire safety of electrical systems. Tight cable connections and terminals are quite necessary for a proper flow of current.

Loose cable connections may lead to hot joints resulting in a fire risk. The heat melts the plastic covering of the wires, and a fire hazard may occur. Inside the closures, pinching of the wires or connector damage can also pose a risk to your solar panel system.


Module Damage

Solar panels are highly durable and resist harsh physical and environmental exposures. However, any damage caused to the solar panel modules may cause invisible internal cracks. These cracks in the modules may cause crucial points in the PV cells that pose a fire hazard.

These invisible cracks may occur due to any sort of brutal external stress applied to the solar panels. These may include the smashing of solar panels with a golf ball or hail storms, and improper transport. Delamination of the PV module may also result in a fire incident.


Improper Installation

Another cause of a solar panel fire is an improper overall installation of the solar system. You may come across so many solar panel installers having no expertise in the subject. Getting your solar panels installed by such installers may lead to potential fire risk.

A substandard installation leaves many unaddressed faults in your solar panel system. This eventually results in loose connections, improper wiring, and safety concerns leading to solar panel fires.


How to Prevent Solar Panel Fire

Ensuring solar panels' fire safety is highly crucial to prevent potential damage to the electrical systems. Safe installation of solar panel systems ensures long-lasting benefits and minimal fire risk.

Here we will discuss a few strategies that can help you in preventing solar panels from catching fire. Compliance with these strategies will lessen the risk associated with rooftop solar panels.


1. Install Quality Systems

When it comes to purchasing a solar panel system, always go for a quality product. The market is loaded with so many solar panels of all sorts of brands.

Always go for a system backed by a renowned brand. Look for the quality certification of the product and make sure that the product is guaranteed for a long time when purchasing. Referring to user reviews can also help in choosing the best solar panels.


2. Choose Professional Installers

With the growing demand for solar installations, so many companies and agencies are offering the services of rooftop solar panels. It is quite necessary to choose a professional installer.

Look at the customer reviews and testimonials of various solar installation service providers. This will help you in choosing a professional installer to get an installation of high-quality standards.


3. Regular Inspections

Inspecting your solar panels regularly is highly crucial to prevent potential fire hazards. This lets you keep an eye on possible damages to your solar panels and repair them before a mishap occurs.

You can get your installed solar systems inspected by professionals from a fire department. Besides that, many solar agencies also provide services for inspecting solar panels.


4. Components Labelling

Labeling the components of your solar panel system is crucial to prevent damage from a potential fire incident. Properly label the inside of your building, showing various lines and components.

This labeling helps in mitigating any serious damage if a fire incident occurs. Using these labels, the firefighters can understand the risky parts of your building and take measures accordingly.


5. Compliance with Safety Codes

Safety codes and standards are meant to ensure the safe installation of solar panels. A great way to prevent solar panels from catching fire is to ensure compliance with the safety codes.

Such an installation that is compliant with safety standards ensures the secure working of your solar panel systems. Hence, you can have seamless power generation without the involvement of potential fire risks or safety concerns.



Solar panels have witnessed global success with their eco-friendly and economic performance. Consequently, the number of solar panel installations has significantly escalated in recent times.

With the increasing installation of rooftop solar systems, the risk of fire hazards has also increased. These refer to the multiple underlying reasons associated with the panel design, installation, and improper usage.

Mitigation of fire hazards can be done with a few preventive measures. These include the installation of quality panels by professional installers. Besides that, compliance with safety standards, regular inspection, and component labeling significantly reduce the fire risks associated with solar panels.


Solar Panels maintenance service

Solar Panels Maintenance Service


Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can solar panels cause fire incidents?

Solar panel fire incidents can occasionally occur because of multiple underlying reasons. However, fire incidents associated with solar panels are rare and can be further reduced by taking certain safety measures.


2. What causes solar panels to catch fire?

Solar panels can catch fire because of multiple underlying factors. These may result from technical faults in the product design. Besides that, improper installation or harsh external factors may lead to fire incidents too.


3. How can I prevent solar panels from catching fire?

Preventing solar panel fire incidents requires compliance with safety codes and standards. You should get quality products and reliable installers to have a safe installation. Besides that, you prevent such fire incidents by regularly inspecting and maintaining your solar panels.


4. Is it risky to install a solar panel at my home?

Any electrical system comes with potential risk and safety concerns. The same is the case with solar panels too. However, if you ensure a safe installation by trusted installers and take good care of your PV panels, you can get incredible benefits without any associated risks.

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