Solar Safe Agri

Stable Fires Risk Monitor

On average, about thirty to forty barn fires occur each year, sixteen of which have animal casualties. The number of animals killed varies from year to year, but averages 143,000 per year. This is evident from the Stable Fire Risk Monitor published by the Dutch Association of Insurers. LTO Netherlands is committed together with POV, the Animal Protection, the Insurers Association, the Fire Brigade Netherlands, and the government to increase fire safety so that fewer animals die from barn fires. (Source: LTO Netherlands)

Following the publication of the Dutch Safety Board’s study on tackling stable fires, the Ministry of Agriculture has set the goal of reducing the number of fatal stable fires by 50% (compared to 2020) by 2026. The approach focuses, among other things, on minimizing the risk of fire caused by electricity, which is a major cause of fire according to the Dutch Association of Insurers’ Stable Fire Risk Monitor.

Determine cause of fire

It is often difficult to determine how a barn fire started. Short circuits and other problems with electrics seem to be the main cause. Equipment and poorly constructed PV installations are often considered here. From the union of insurers, the prevention brochure Solar Panels has been developed in which points of attention around building regulations, the building and the construction of PV installations are defined. Also safe extinguishing, insurance, delivery and Scope 12 are described. Within this document all kinds of relevant technical aspects are explained including the importance of fire compartmentation, the correct method of roof penetration, lightning protection, earthing, overvoltage protection and cable management.

Solar Safe Agri

To improve fire safety in stables, Conduct Technical Solutions has developed the Solar Safe Agri (SSA) concept. SSA recommends the use of lightning protection (including overvoltage protection) in combination with high-quality grounding and potential equalization. Conduct also offers the FireSwitch, which allows the entire DC installation to be switched off remotely in the event of a fire. It is important to keep the (extra) AC low-voltage distributor and inverter outside the stables and at a sufficient distance from them.

PVcontainer

PVcontainer A en B

Part A and Part B of PVcontainer

Conduct offers the PV container within SSA. By using this outdoor placed and directly connected to the transformer Low Voltage Distribution & Inverter outdoor cabinet, several safety aspects are achieved:

  • Good accessibility for maintenance and inspection purposes
  • The DC circuit is kept outside the barn, so that no fire can occur in the barn as a result of any arc development between the PLUS and MIN lines
  • Due to the fact that leakage/differential currents occur in stables as a result of moisture and dust, the necessary deployment of a 300mA ALS in an outdoor LS distributor based on proper circuit impedance is not necessary
  • The AC line is not fed back into the building
  • Preventing unnecessary transmission of viruses as installers and inspectors do not enter the stables
  • Preventing dust and heat development in the inverters
  • Improved fire safety by keeping the DC infrastructure based on RoofSupport wire gutter fully on the roof and therefore outside the stables

Solar Safe Agri offers practical benefits in addition to the safety aspects described above due to its integrated cable management capabilities. The RoofSupport cable tray system is fully connectable and can be integrated into the PV-container. Also, the necessary openings are shielded by a grid to prevent the intrusion of, for example, rodents.

Complete system

FireSwitch_BRES kast

FireSwitch based on BRESS cabinet

Solar Safe Agri includes as a complete system:

  1. RoofSupport cable management under or along the panels into the PV container
  2. FireSwitch based on BRESS cabinet for rooftop installation
  3. Overvoltage protection concept based on EMC zone concept
  4. PVcontainer for placement at a distance from the stables provided with:
  • Inverters
  • PVboxes equipped with SPD and load disconnector
  • Emergency button for switching FireSwitch (if applicable)
  • Low voltage distribution with direct connection to transformer

 

Do you want more information or have questions about fire safety for a solar panel installation to be designed? Please contact us, we are happy to help you!