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Frank Hovis

Solar Panels Spontaneously Combusting

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Oh dearie me, up go the insurance premiums B)

Lifespan of 20 years my eye and Betty Martin :lol:

Firefighters were called to land near Bodmin Jail, Bodmin yesterday afternoon after a report of a fire iinvolving solar panels.

Two appliances were mobilised just after noon and crews were faced with electrical boxes and solar panel units on fire.

Initially crews liaised with on site specialist to isolate electrical boxes before extinguishing the fire.

The fire was accidental and confined to the electrical boxes and solar panels.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11135644.Solar_panel_blaze_near_Bodmin/

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Well we shall see but I suspect a duff installation is more likely to be the source of this problem, otherwise this would have been happening all over the place.

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Well we shall see but I suspect a duff installation is more likely to be the source of this problem, otherwise this would have been happening all over the place.

They're not that old though are they? The big ones around near me have all gone up in the last three years so corrosion and degradation will still be in their very early stages.

So is this a one off or the first of a coming wave? Lucky it was just in a field.

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I assumed they will have had some rushed jobs back just before the tariff went down. Good companies will have had them all checked.

My neighbour should worry then with the cowboys that fitted his, breaking a rooftile in the process which he didn't find out about until it rained.

There were a lot of cowboy outfits, I would see them down the pub in their uniform polo shirts.

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They're not that old though are they? The big ones around near me have all gone up in the last three years so corrosion and degradation will still be in their very early stages.

So is this a one off or the first of a coming wave? Lucky it was just in a field.

1st generation solar panels from the 1960's are still working. The panels Jimmy Carter put on the White House in the 1970's (later removed by Reagan) are still producing power at Maine Unity College

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/tp/History-of-White-House-Solar-Panels.htm

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Chinese solar panels? Could be a legal nightmare for those with free panels if there is a fault? Who will be liable the homeowner of the company that has given you the panels for the feed in tariff. I can see a few legal cases with owners trying to get the panels off their roof for safety and the company stating there's nothing wrong with them.

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1st generation solar panels from the 1960's are still working. The panels Jimmy Carter put on the White House in the 1970's (later removed by Reagan) are still producing power at Maine Unity College

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/tp/History-of-White-House-Solar-Panels.htm

Well yes, but there are cars around and still working from the 1930s whereas my cheaply-built 1990 Escort died of electrical problems at 120k miles. A lot of this recent stuff is manufactured in China where "quality control" is not a well-grasped concept.

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Well yes, but there are cars around and still working from the 1930s whereas my cheaply-built 1990 Escort died of electrical problems at 120k miles. A lot of this recent stuff is manufactured in China where "quality control" is not a well-grasped concept.

We heard all this in respect to wind turbines in the 1990-95 period (200-500KW) - they won't last 5 yeahs blah blah :rolleyes: The vast majority are still in place happily chugging away to their design life and past it

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We heard all this in respect to wind turbines in the 1990-95 period (200-500KW) - they won't last 5 yeahs blah blah :rolleyes: The vast majority are still in place happily chugging away to their design life and past it

Well neither of us has the degree of foresight of a Mystic Meg or Russell Grant but I was not aware of a fire risk with these panels, especially when sat out in a field, so I would expect insurance companies will be watching closely for more; because their insurance view may soon extend to the loss being not just the material loss of the panels but the consequential loss of a house burning down so may start weighting the whole house premium for having roof panels.

And as it's a way of making more money I am sure that the thought has already crossed their minds.

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Well neither of us has the degree of foresight of a Mystic Meg or Russell Grant but I was not aware of a fire risk with these panels, especially when sat out in a field, so I would expect insurance companies will be watching closely for more; because their insurance view may soon extend to the loss being not just the material loss of the panels but the consequential loss of a house burning down so may start weighting the whole house premium for having roof panels.

And as it's a way of making more money I am sure that the thought has already crossed their minds.

I think we all have exactly the same degree of foresight as Mystic Meg or Russell Grant.

Interesting point about insurance companies, hmmm...

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Well neither of us has the degree of foresight of a Mystic Meg or Russell Grant but I was not aware of a fire risk with these panels, especially when sat out in a field, so I would expect insurance companies will be watching closely for more; because their insurance view may soon extend to the loss being not just the material loss of the panels but the consequential loss of a house burning down so may start weighting the whole house premium for having roof panels.

And as it's a way of making more money I am sure that the thought has already crossed their minds.

Any form of electrical installation has the potential to cause a fire. If you want to completely eliminate that risk remove all electrics & supply from your house.

Of course modern fuses and controls reduce that risk to a very low level.

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Any form of electrical installation has the potential to cause a fire. If you want to completely eliminate that risk remove all electrics & supply from your house.

Of course modern fuses and controls reduce that risk to a very low level.

Certianly if it's made in China anyway, I wouldn't have any of that rubbish in my.... hang on a minute! :o

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We heard all this in respect to wind turbines in the 1990-95 period (200-500KW) - they won't last 5 yeahs blah blah :rolleyes: The vast majority are still in place happily chugging away to their design life and past it

On the subject of wind turbines, assuming that the original windfarms were in the prime sites, is there much generation capacity to be gained by replacing the old turbines, or do they only get much better when they're much bigger? (therefore necessitating more planning permission issues)

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1st generation solar panels from the 1960's are still working. The panels Jimmy Carter put on the White House in the 1970's (later removed by Reagan) are still producing power at Maine Unity College

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepresidentandcabinet/tp/History-of-White-House-Solar-Panels.htm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those solar thermal panels rather than photovoltaic cells?

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Any form of electrical installation has the potential to cause a fire. If you want to completely eliminate that risk remove all electrics & supply from your house.

Of course modern fuses and controls reduce that risk to a very low level.

There are always Tilley lamps or similar, for the slightly risk averse! :blink:

I have some. :(

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Oh dearie me, up go the insurance premiums B)

Lifespan of 20 years my eye and Betty Martin :lol:

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11135644.Solar_panel_blaze_near_Bodmin/

You could cover them in fire blankets on bright days?

My concern is not with solar panels, but the companies who "rent your roof" for 25 years! B)

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There is nothing to burn on a PV panel, no matter how hard you try. Silicon, glass and stainless steel. Good luck with that.

You can short circuit them quite safely, in fact it's the recommended way to make them safe.

This is a fire in the cabling or electronics boxes, entirely different. Could as easily have been a widescreen telly or a freezer.

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Half a million installations in the UK alone and the OP finds one dodgy one. Not a fan I guess. Fair enough, they aren't for everyone.

But better not go outside tomorrow, mate. You're 100x more likely to be killed in a car crash. Nearly as likely to be killed by a dog and about five times more likely to be poisoned.

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On the subject of wind turbines, assuming that the original windfarms were in the prime sites, is there much generation capacity to be gained by replacing the old turbines, or do they only get much better when they're much bigger? (therefore necessitating more planning permission issues)

That is exactly what has been happening as its easier to get PP for replacements on an existing site than a new one. A typical development may involve removing 12 225KW turbines and replacing them with 4 2.3MW turbines. The 225KW turbines are then sold on and often find a new home on industrial parks where they are used to supplement industrial users power supply.

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That is exactly what has been happening as its easier to get PP for replacements on an existing site than a new one. A typical development may involve removing 12 225KW turbines and replacing them with 4 2.3MW turbines. The 225KW turbines are then sold on and often find a new home on industrial parks where they are used to supplement industrial users power supply.

That's almost a quadrupling of generation capacity - are there many of these old sites with old turbines still running?

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We heard all this in respect to wind turbines in the 1990-95 period (200-500KW) - they won't last 5 yeahs blah blah :rolleyes: The vast majority are still in place happily chugging away to their design life and past it

and the maintenance bills?....client of mine was in a team maintaining these things...told me that 10 year old ones cost a fortune in parts to keep them going.

Course, a glance at the location shows the old reliables still churning away.

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There is nothing to burn on a PV panel, no matter how hard you try. Silicon, glass and stainless steel.

sort of like the twin towers.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those solar thermal panels rather than photovoltaic cells?

You are right - and I always thought it was PV that Jimmy installed. Asides - its encouraging that the solar water heaters he installed in 1979 were still working effectively 30 years later.

Most PV panels are given a 20-25 year warranty which means manufacturers are confident their products will typically last longer than that time period.

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