New solar PV guidance published

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has published new guidance on designing, installing and maintaining grid-connected solar PV systems.

The IET’s Code of Practice for Grid Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems gives solar PV system designers and installers the knowledge they need to ensure that their systems comply with UK and international standards and good practice.

“The Code of Practice (CoP) raises the bar for quality in the UK solar PV industry,” said Jonny Williams, Director of the BRE National Solar Centre

“Its publication follows extensive industry consultation and peer review – receiving more than 400 comments – resulting in guidance that is both technically robust and readily useable by everyone involved.

“With the solar industry making an important and growing contribution to cost-effective low-carbon electricity provision in the UK,” added Mr Williams. “It is crucial that all systems are designed, installed and maintained to a high quality standard – the new CoP will be a valuable tool in achieving that goal.”

Topics such as system earthing, fault alarms, fusing, connectors and fire detection have been reviewed in detail, with key changes made to support good practice in the UK and to align with international standards where appropriate.

“The Code of Practice represents an evolution of existing technical standards,” said BRE National Solar Centre Associate Martin Cotterell.

“The scope is much broader, with a lot more technical details and a number of advances based on lessons learnt by the industry over the last five years of rapid solar PV development.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues