Key Considerations in Designing PV Systems: Fire Safety, Maintenance, Wind Resistance


Understanding the importance of integrating photovoltaic (PV) systems into building roofs to harness solar energy as a renewable source in the near term and before the pivotal year of 2050, Evergreen is committed to ensuring the safety and maintainability of every installation. It is crucial not to overlook the technical aspects of PV systems, including fire safety, structural integrity, and mechanical support and anchoring of the photovoltaic surfaces.

Ensuring Adequate Power and Energy Sharing

When designing a PV system, it is essential to install a capacity that matches the building’s real energy consumption patterns throughout the year. This approach ensures optimal utilization of the generated energy. Energy storage solutions, while useful, can be costly and often have limited durability. Therefore, designing a system that aligns closely with actual energy needs can mitigate these drawbacks. Additionally, wherever possible, sharing energy production with adjacent users through energy self-consumption communities can enhance efficiency and reduce costs.

Evaluating Roofing Materials and Fire Risks

A predictive evaluation of the roofing materials is necessary to understand the potential risks and impacts associated with the PV system, particularly in the event of a short circuit or fire. This evaluation should include an assessment of how the PV system interacts with the existing roof materials and the potential consequences of any electrical malfunctions. Ensuring that the PV installation does not compromise the fire safety of the building is paramount.

Considering the Permanent Load

Photovoltaic surfaces add a permanent load to the building’s roof. While this load typically results in minimal additional stress on the underlying structure, it is crucial to account for it during the design phase. The structural integrity of the roof must be evaluated to ensure it can support the added weight without compromising its stability or performance. This consideration is vital to prevent structural failures that could result from overloading.

Assessing Wind Effects

The effects of wind on the PV system must be thoroughly evaluated to prevent potential failures that could cause material damage to third parties, especially given the increasingly extreme weather events. Wind can exert significant forces on the PV panels and their mounting structures, so it is essential to ensure that the system can withstand these forces. This assessment includes understanding the local wind patterns and designing the anchoring and support structures accordingly.

Hail Resistance and Panel Durability

The hail resistance classification of the photovoltaic panels is another critical factor to consider. The mechanical properties of the glass that protects the photovoltaic cells play a crucial role in the panel’s durability. Ensuring that the panels can withstand hail and other environmental impacts without significant damage is essential for maintaining the system’s longevity and performance.

Ensuring Stability with Appropriate Mounting Techniques

Ensuring the stability of PV systems typically involves two primary approaches: the use of ballasts and direct attachment to the roof support structure. Ballast systems add weight to the PV installation to secure it in place, while direct attachment involves mechanically fastening the PV system to the existing roof structure. Both methods require a thorough evaluation of the load-bearing capacity of the existing structure and the potential local consequences, such as punching or deformation of insulating layers, which could compromise the roof’s waterproofing.

Facilitating Maintenance and Ensuring Accessibility

Facilitating maintenance is vital to reduce the costs associated with periodic cleaning and inspection of the PV system. During the design phase, it is crucial to ensure that the PV system is designed with easy access points and safe spaces for cleaning and maintenance activities. This includes compliance with current regulations, which often mandate the provision of guardrails and safety lines. Ensuring that maintenance can be performed safely and efficiently helps to maintain the system’s performance and prolong its lifespan.


At Evergreen, we are committed to providing reliable and safe technical solutions for integrating photovoltaic systems into building roofs, thereby contributing to the transition towards a sustainable energy future. By addressing these key considerations, including energy matching, material evaluation, load assessment, wind and hail resistance, and maintenance accessibility, we ensure that our PV installations are not only efficient but also safe and durable. These efforts align with our mission to advance sustainable energy practices, ensuring that our PV systems support a low-carbon future while maintaining the highest standards of safety and reliability.

Picture of Miro Rava

Miro Rava

Data Scientist and Certified EU Drone Operator at System Evergreen AG

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