Google DIY Solar Australia: February 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013


Well, you may be thinking its all very well to take part in installing my own solar system but how do I ensure meet all the rules and compliance set out?

You will need to be reasonably competent with the relevant Compliance and Standards used if you want to convince CEC accredited designers and installers that you are a capable person to do some of the work.

Mostly compliance in the domestic electrical area is derived around safety and indemnity of the home owner.  By this I mean the system must be safe, like any electrical system in the home such that the likelihood of electrocution, fire, damage etc is minimised or mitigated.

You need to comply in the following ways:

  1. Panel installation. There are two aspects. Mounting Compliance including wind loading and Wiring Compliance
  2. Wiring from Panels to Inverter. Wiring Compliance and   compliant isolation components.
  3. Inverter Compliance. Must be of a certain standard to connect to the grid, and proper wiring of the inverter
  4. Wiring and isolation of grid connection. Compliance of wiring and components used to connect back into the grid
  5. Batteries. Only necessary where battery storage is used. Proper standard of installation is required. Batteries need to be properly maintained.
Here is a list standards used. 
AS 4509 Stand-alone Power Systems
  • Part 1 Safety requirements
  • Part 2 Design guidelines
  • Part 3 Installation and maintenance
AS / NZS 5033: 2005; Installation of photovoltaic (PV) arrays
AS 4777 Grid Connections of Energy Systems via Inverters
Some other relevant standards:
  • AS 3000 Electrical Wiring Rules
  • AS 1768 Lightning Protection
  • AS 1170.2 Wind Loads
  • AS 3001 Electrical wiring rules for mobile applications
  • AS 4086 Secondary batteries for SPS Part 2 Installation and maintenance
Investing in a set of these standards would cost a small fortune. Although not ideal, searching these terms on the Internet will take you a long way to getting a good idea of key points of these standards.  You could also visit a university or TAFE college library where these can be found.

Areas you should concentrate yourself with from above are points 1, 2 and 5 above if you are going to do some work yourself.  I will try to cover the areas of the standards for these points in later posts.