Section 1204 Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems
Roof access, pathways, and spacing requirements shall be provided in accordance with Sections 1204.2.1 through 1204.3.3. Pathways shall be over areas capable of supporting fire fighters accessing the roof. Pathways shall be located in areas with minimal obstructions, such as vent pipes, conduit or mechanical equipment.
- Detached, nonhabitable Group U structures including, but not limited to, detached garages serving Group R-3 buildings, parking shade structures, carports, solar trellises and similar structures.
- Roof access, pathways and spacing requirements need not be provided where the fire code official has determined that rooftop operations will not be employed.
- These requirements shall not apply to structures designed and constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code.
- These requirements shall not apply to roofs with slopes of 2 units vertical in 12 units horizontal or less.
- For photovoltaic arrays occupying 66 percent or less of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 18 inches (457 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge.
- For photovoltaic arrays occupying more than 66 percent of the plan view total roof area, a setback of not less than 36 inches (914 mm) wide is required on both sides of a horizontal ridge.
Exception: Where it is determined by the fire code official that the roof configuration is similar to that of a Group R-3 occupancy, the residential access and ventilation requirements in Sections 118.104.22.168 through 122.214.171.124 are a suitable alternative.
There shall be a minimum 6-foot-wide (1829 mm) clear perimeter around the edges of the roof.
Exception: Where either axis of the building is 250 feet (76 200 mm) or less, the clear perimeter around the edges of the roof shall be permitted to be reduced to a minimum width of 4 feet (1219 mm).
Interior pathways shall be provided between array sections to meet the following requirements:
- Pathways shall be provided at intervals not greater than 150 feet (45 720 mm) throughout the length and width of the roof.
- A pathway not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide in a straight line to roof standpipes or ventilation hatches.
- A pathway not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide around roof access hatches, with not fewer than one such pathway to a parapet or roof edge.
The solar installation shall be designed to meet the following requirements:
- Where nongravity-operated smoke and heat vents occur, a pathway not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide shall be provided bordering all sides.
- 2.1. A pathway not less than 8 feet (2438 mm) wide.
- 2.2. Where gravity-operated dropout smoke and heat vents occur, a pathway not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide on not fewer than one side.
- 2.3. A pathway not less than 4 feet (1219 mm) wide bordering 4-foot by 8-foot (1219 mm by 2438 mm) venting cutouts every 20 feet (6096 mm) on alternating sides of the pathway.
- For photovoltaic systems that only shut down conductors leaving the array, a label shall be provided. The first two lines of the label shall be uppercase characters with a minimum height of 3/8 inch (10 mm) in white on a red background and the remaining characters shall be capitalized with a minimum height of 3/16 inch (5 mm) in black on a white background. The label shall be in accordance with Figure 1204.5.1(2) and state the following: