The central UPC unit of a ground-level photovoltaic system caught fire

THE CONTEXT

The policyholder is the maintenance manager for ground-level photovoltaic equipment of 3 MWc. A fire broke out in one of the UPC units, causing significant damage and an equipment shutdown lasting more than 6 months.

A judicial expertise process was launched. The manufacturer of the UPC units tried to claim that the fire was caused by a defect in tightening the cables on the continuous current side, which put the policyholder in a vulnerable position in the dispute.

GM CONSULTANT INTERVENTION

During a 2-day damage survey procedure, the GM Consultant expert loss adjusters completely took apart the burnt UPC unit, examining each component.

They were able to provide conclusive technical evidence showing that the fire could not have broken out at the connection point, but that the source of the damage was definitely internal.

Extreme vigilance was required throughout the case, as the UPC unit manufacturer tried on several occasions to attribute the cause of the loss to maintenance.

During the damage survey, the loss adjusters learnt that the filters in these UPC units had been the subject of a recall and replacement campaign. The fire is likely to have had something to do with the defect that prompted the recall. At this time, the damage survey is primarily focused on the filters at issue.