Photo from the Micronisers’ project completed in 2014 — Winner of the industry’s first and only Best Practice Installation award.

Photo from the Micronisers’ project completed in 2014 — Winner of the industry’s first and only Best Practice Installation award.

There are a number of Australian standards that apply to Solar PV. Key of which is AS/NZS 5033 (applies only up to 240kWp systems). Generally the market has the impression that a solar PV installation will meet this standard and those listed below. This is rarely the case. Deviations can be as innocuous as no expansion gaps, to as severe as: loose terminals, high-resistance joints, undersized cables, hazardous installation methodologies resulting in fire risks, etc.

So, how does the customer assess compliance to the standards?

standards

Does the mandatory Inspection (only applies to some states) satisfy this requirement? And if it did then why are is there such a growing market for auditors? Inspection rarely captures all the key issues and even often misses the obvious ones. This is why iEnergytech does not seek inspectors who conveniently pass systems due to a comfortable relationship with installers or with iEnergytech but instead drive our installers to be that extra pair of eyes and step in the QC process. As such, we select our inspectors carefully.

Some of the other standards that apply to Solar PV:

AS/NZS 1170.2 Wind Actions

AS/NZS 3000:2018 Wiring Rules

AS/NZS 3008.1.1:2017 Electrical Installations - Selection of cables

AS/NZS 4777.1:2016 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters installation requirements

AS/NZS 4777.2:2015 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters

AS/NZS 4777.3-2005 Grid connection of energy systems via inverters Grid protection requirements

AS/NZS 1768:2007 Lightning protection

In addition various building codes and the CEC best-practice guidelines apply.

The standards clearly differentiate between clauses that are mandatory ‘shall’ and those that are recommended ‘should’.