Investigation of burning photovoltaic panels on a double-skin facade with ejecting flame from an adjacent room fire

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-949
Journal / PublicationIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number7
Online published8 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


Integrating photovoltaic (PV) panels with building envelope or roof to give building- integrated photovoltaic system is now widely used for conservation of energy. PV panels are also installed on double-skin facade (DSF). The window ejecting flame caused by adjacent compartment fire to the cavity may lead to fire in the PV system. To understand the effect of burning PV panels on fire hazard, experimental investigation of burning PV panels in a DSF rig was reported in this paper. To simulate the PV-DSF compartment system, a model rig with a combustion chamber connected to an 8 m tall vertical shaft was built. A 3.5 MW gasoline pool fire of diameter 1.16 m was placed inside the chamber. Four PV panels were installed on the shaft model wall opposite to the chamber model with a vertical facade (back-layer) facing the cavity. Gas temperatures inside the facade cavity in cases with PV panels on the DSF were much higher than in cases without PV panels. The present study shows that burning PV panels inside the DSF cavity could aggravate the fire hazard scenario and should be considered seriously in building design and fire safety management.

Research Area(s)

  • BIPV, Compartment fire, Ejecting plume, High-rise building