Fire protection plays an important role in Italy, and the country-specific requirements are even more stringent than the EU standard. Italy’s UNI 9177 fire protection regulation implements building authority fire safety requirements.
Only PV panels of fire class 1 may be installed without further determination of the used roof materials; for all other modules, an additional layer of class 1 material has to be installed below the modules.
The Italian test institute LAPI S.p.A. tested Sharp NU-JC360B and NU-JC370 panels and according to UNI9177, both are now classified as class—the highest classification possible.
According to test standard UNI9174, the modules are exposed to a heat radiation and ignition source. The panels are evaluated in terms of flame propagation, speed, dripping behavior and afterglow. Beside material flammability is also tested according to UNI8457.
PV panels approved according to UNI9177 fire class 1 are clearly preferred by Italian installers as this simplifies compliance with building codes for PV installations.
Simon Betka, Sharp Energy Solution country manager Italy stated that “The result of this fire resistance test is an award in fire safety behavior and excellence of the materials used by Sharp Energy Solutions Europe in photovoltaic modules. It is our goal to always offer the highest quality standard for all products and therefore also the highest fire safety class 1 for the country-specific requirement in Italy. By minimizing the risk of the reaction to fire, Sharp modules simplify the work of the installers while assuring the safety for the lifetime of the PV system.”
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Sharp is one of the world's largest photovoltaic manufacturers and has been a driving force behind the use of photovoltaic technologies for 60 years. Sharp offers solar modules for environmentally conscious energy production. To date, Sharp has delivered more than 50 million PV modules worldwide. Sharp’s portfolio of high-performance PV panels is built for residential, commercial and free-field installations. Working with partners in advanced engineering sectors that include aviation, astronautics and the e-mobility industry, Sharp continuously proves innovative strength with new solar applications. Sharp has been active as an EPC in the project business worldwide, working alongside partners in developing PV projects. Sharp seeks and acquires project rights at every development stage and offers partners direct access to production capacities and financing options.