Solar standard
Legislation Updates

Standards Australia gives support to solar

Standards Australia has revised the standard AS/NZS 5033:2021 Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays to support the growing solar panel industry.

According to Standards Australia, almost four million solar photo-voltaic (PV) panel systems have been installed across Australia in the past 20 years, which has seen a dramatic reduction in overall costs.

Solar quote comparison site Solar Choice reports that the increase began in 2008–09 after government tariffs offered up to 60c/kWh for solar energy exported into the grid. Prices have since dropped from $15-20 per watt to an average of approximately $1 per watt.

With more households taking advantage of the lower costs, the Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-042, Renewable Energy Power Supply Systems and Equipment, has revised the standard to support users in meeting compliance requirements and promote consumer safety.

Head of Standards Development at Standards Australia, Roland Terry-Lloyd, says millions of solar PV panel systems are being installed across Australia.

“Clear and relevant standards are paramount in supporting safe practice for industry professionals, homeowners and businesses,” he says.

AS/NZS 5033:2014 will remain current for six months until it is superseded by AS/NZS 5033:2021.

EL-042 Co-Chair Sandy Atkins says at the time the 2014 standard was written, solar panels were at most 250W per panel – but technology is quickly changing, and it’s not unusual for panels to be greater than 400W now.

“AS/NZS 5033:2014 was limiting for installation professionals,” he says.

The committee assessed different requirements around the world against Australian conditions, identified achievable safety outcomes, and determined a number of different solutions that industry can choose to best suit their installations.

Australia previously had a limitation of 600V for panels for houses but recently aligned with international requirements of 1,000V. Additionally, AS/NZS 5033:2021 also aligns with international standard IEC 62548:2016, Photovoltaic (PV) arrays — Design requirements.

“Solar is booming worldwide,” says Atkins.

“It’s important we align with international standards so that the Australian market can use international products and technologies as well.”

The standard is available to purchase here.

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