SolarEdge Safe Solar Safety Features
Protecting your home or business from the dangers of bad solar installations...
Solar Safety Concerns
The Australian solar boom has resulted in our nation having one of the highest rates of solar system installations per capita in the world with some of the lowest average system installation and component costs. While this has resulted in a serious increase in solar energy consumption and renewable energy alternatives, this boom has encouraged some less than ethical solar retail outliers to disrupt the market with faulty, cheap systems and less than satisfactory safety features. Like any industry, there are companies that fall short of their commitments and promises, but serious concerns arise when prioritising cost over safety for both the installers and homeowners alike.
Australia has seen a growing number of solar-related fires in recent years with Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Graham Kingland stating, "Over the last five years we have seen solar panel related fires increase five-fold. It is not uncommon to see solar panels cause house and building fires." While questions on solar safety regulations in Australia arise, component manufacturers and reliable installers are taking matters into their own hands to assure increased safety measures and are setting the safety benchmark in Australia.
SolarEdge, a world leader in smart energy solutions has begun to set the safety benchmark for PV safety solutions, striving to minimise fire and electrification risks for all residential and commercial PV installations. Going far beyond existing industry safety requirements, SolarEdge components incorporate safety technology across multiple platforms to mitigate safety hazards.
Without adequate precautions, a high DC voltage can lead to electrocution, burn hazards and fires as solar panels continue to produce power even AFTER AC power is turned off. Known as the DC danger zone, this poses a huge threat to all personnel involved in a malfunctioning system.
SolarEdge offers enhanced safety with SafeDC technology to mitigate risk by ensuring no high voltage DC power is running during installation or maintenance. DC cables automatically de-energise to a safe voltage whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down. Power optimisers are designed to drop to 1VDC in any of these cases:
- A building is disconnected from the electrical grid
- The inverter is turned off
- Insulation faults e.g. in cases of flooding ot structural collapse
Arc Fault and Heat Detection
Electric arcs are ongoing high-energy discharges, resulting from a current passing through a normally non-conductive media creating a shock hazard. These arcs generate heat and the potential for burns for those working in close proximity and a serious fire danger to the home or business. These faults can be caused from improperly connected cables or connectors, corrosion, animals chewing wires or failed DC isolators and while these risks can be mitigated by a reputable installer, having additional safety measures in place can further mitigate risk.
While conventional systems may have fewer overall connections, they are not protected against arcs or over-heating. SolarEdge systems employ smart, automatic protection provided by detecting arcing faults at all connections before they lead to fires by shutting down the inverter and warning the appropriate responders. Additionally, thermal issues are pinpointed to their exact location through advanced module-level monitoring to streamline the maintenance and repair process.
With built-in module-level monitoring, system issues and errors are automatically flagged to you and your chosen provider/installer to prevent potential safety risks. While conventional PV systems fail to detect to mitigate module faults, SolarEdge monitoring is available to act as a early-warning system, providing module to system-level alerts and the ability to understand the root cause of any issue. Additionally, preventative maintenance can be performed well in advance of any significant event using remote diagnostics.
What does this mean for you?
Ultimately, with millions of solar installations worldwide, solar energy is a safe and reliable energy alternative and generally has a low risk of causing safety concerns. While concerns arise about the relatively lax safety standards in Australia compared to other developed nations, initiatives from manufacturers and individual entities are breaching the gap that is currently posed from the biggest solar threats.
For those looking to install solar, choosing advanced solar technology, such as SolarEdge, can minimise safety concerns and protect your home or business from these threats. Most importantly, while it can be difficult to stay well-informed in the solar industry, ensuring your chosen installer is reputable and distinguished in the industry is paramount to the overall performance and safety of your system. Ask your installer about the safety measures in place for your system and their after sales care before you decide on your chosen installer. Does your system have arc fault protection? Module-level monitoring? And so on…
What does this mean for you?
Springers Solar provide quality components with proven performance, backed by industry-leading warranties, and dedicated after-sales support. With over 10 000 solar PV installations under our belt and 60+ qualified staff, we are a trusted industry name with a track record to back it up. As one of Australia's longest-serving and most experienced solar installers we take a straightforward approach, guaranteeing our customers only the highest quality products with proven performance and no hidden fees. To find out more about installing solar call us on (07) 3063 4039 to speak to one of our solar experts.
To find out more about SolarEdge's safety features, click here.
Check out the Safer Solar website for more updates on solar safety.