Inmetro and Firefighters Partner to Regulate Solar Panels

solar technician installing solar panel
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on

The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro) has partnered with the firefighters through the National Firefighting Committee (Conaci), to regulate the photovoltaic solar panels.

This means that, from the publication of the Inmetro Ordinance No. 515, of November 10, 2023, on increasing the safety of the photovoltaic system, preventing fires, the consumer who purchases the solar panel kit must observe the Inmetro certification.

The solar panel – also known as photovoltaic panel or module – is the equipment that, within a photovoltaic solar energy system, will capture the sunlight and transform it into electrical energy.

According to Inmetro, the regulation of solar panels was a long-standing demand, based on the information about the risks of the absence of such regulation provided by the firefighters. He said that, in November 2023, Inmetro published the Ordinance No. 515 with the definition of the rules for the commercialization of this equipment.

How Inmetro Regulates Solar Panel

The ordinance approved the technical quality regulation and the conformity assessment requirements for equipment for generating, conditioning and storing electrical energy in photovoltaic systems.

The decision of Inmetro considered the conclusions of the technical meeting “Risks and protection measures against fires in equipment and photovoltaic systems”, held by the Institute on July 1, 2022.

As well as the result of the public hearing “Fire risks in photovoltaic generation installations”, held by the Commission of Mines and Energy of the Chamber of Deputies on July 6, 2022.

These events demanded greater rigor of the regulation regarding the protection against electric arcs in photovoltaic systems.

Likewise, the publication of Ordinance No. 515 considered the need to introduce new requirements of protection against electric arcs for inverters, providing convergence to international standards of protection against electric arcs and greater safety against fires in photovoltaic systems.

Inmetro also saw the need to change the requirements of withstandability to voltage variations for on-grid inverters, aiming to correct oversized requirements that could cause problems for the electrical system, based on an evaluation with the National Electric System Operator (ONS).

Finally, the ordinance met the request of the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy (Absolar), which asked for adjustment of the technical requirements of harmonic distortion and overload of motor start for off-grid inverters, as well as, change of the test procedures regarding the use of electric motor simulation and inductive, capacitive and non-linear loads, reducing requirements and regulatory costs.

From now on, the solar panels must display the Inmetro certification, meaning that the product has passed quality tests, laboratory tests and does not offer potential risk to the life and health of the population.