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Raising the bar for quality in the solar PV industry

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The latest expert guidance on designing, specifying, installing and maintaining grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the UK is now available from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

With expert technical input from the BRE National Solar Centre, the IET 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,’ says 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,’ says 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.’

The CoP updates UK industry practice to ensure safe, effective and fit-for-purpose installation of solar PV systems of all sizes. 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,’ says BRE National Solar Centre Associate Martin Cotterell, the expert technical author for the CoP. ‘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.’

As well as supporting industry practitioners, the IET Code of Practice for Grid Connected Solar Photovoltaic Systems is also designed to be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders, including customers, owners, investors, insurers and financiers of solar PV systems. The CoP can be purchased from IET here.

For further information please contact Linda McKeown, BRE, email [email protected]

Notes for editors

BRE National Solar Centre

The BRE National Solar Centre (NSC) was established in 2012 to provide independent evidence-based information on solar energy systems and related topics. Its dedicated team of solar professionals, whose expertise include the practicalities of complex installations, technical consultancy, project planning, applied research and policy analysis, is based at the Eden Project in Cornwall and the BRE head office near Watford.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.