IBC 2012  Section 1511.1 Solar photovoltaic panels/modules

Solar photovoltaic panels/modules installed upon a roof or as an integral part of a roof assembly shall comply with the requirements of this code and the International Fire Code.

Code Interpretation

This is a relatively new standard added to the code that reflects the growing number of materials used in roofing for energy production and energy savings. Photovoltaic modules are used to generate the electrical power on solar panels. Since solar panels are becoming more common on the U.S. market and are commonly applied on the roof surface, the code presents them in the Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures section. The code implies that the panels must comply with the roof requirements mandating support of the material load, and must have adequate structural framing and attachment. The code also indicates that the materials must be in compliance with the International Fire Code because they generate electricity.