Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - acti...

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Hi all,

If you like the idea of being able to install your own 12 Volt solar  
module to run a ventillation fan in your shed, or keep a battery charged  
to run a light in your shed, or install any other small solar panels on  
your premises, then you might find that it is much harder and more  
expensive than it used to be, unless you have your say NOW (by 28th Oct).

The standard for solar installations, AS5033, is being revised, but the  
draft standard is open to comments from the public until the 28th.  
AS5033 requires such things as:

corrosion resistant mountings, surge protection, uv resistant materials,  
circuit breakers, disconnecting devices, earth fault interrupters, steel  
wire armoured cables, earthing and bonding arrangements, equipment  
marking, wiring identification, fire emergency information,  
labelling/signs for disconnection devices, documentation, maintenance  
recommendations, commissioning tests, commissioning sheet, insulation  
resistance measurement, open circuit voltage measurements, infrared  
scan, earth fault protection test, lightning protection, screening and  
shielding, etc. etc.

In the future, if you want to know which of these you would need to  
apply to your DIY installation you would need to spend a few hundred $$$  
buying the standard, then who knows how much more making your little  
solar panel comply with complicated rules.

Presently (in the 2012 version of the standard), solar arrays of less  
than 240 Watts and less than 50 Volts are outside the scope of the  
standard - which is sensible as such modules are not especially  
hazardous. The draft standard will remove this restriction for fixed  
modules, and only allows PORTABLE arrays to be exempt. So your solar  
powered pocket calculator will not need lightning protection and danger  
signs, but your solar powered illuminated street number might.

If you would like to have your say on this topic, go to this web address  
and find AS5033 and leave some comments:
https://sapc.standards.org.au/sapc/public/listOpenCommentingPublication.action

Here are more instructions for leaving comments:
http://www.standards.org.au/HubTraining/Other/Register%20to%20submit%20a%20comment%20on%20a%20Draft%20Standard.pdf

You need to create an account to read the draft standard and make  
comments, but it is free of charge and your only way to influence these  
rules.

Chris

Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
On 22/10/2013 4:05 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
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Any chance you could pop the draft copy on dropbox or somewhere  
accessible? That way a LOT more people will read & comment if they so  
feel inclined.


Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
On 22/10/2013 5:01 PM, Glenn B wrote:
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Or just drop the text into this thread?

Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
On 22/10/2013 20:02, Glenn B wrote:
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I suspect that would be some kind of copyright violation (even though it  
is publically accessible whilst it is still a draft), I read that they  
don't like people quoting more than 50% of the text. I don't like  
copyrighted standards, especially if they become referred to in laws.

Instead, I will post an excerpt of the change that bothers me:

Old text, from the "Scope" section of AS5033-2012:
"PV arrays of less than 240 W and less than 50 V open circuit voltage at  
Standard Test Condition (STC) are not covered by this Standard."

Proposed new text, from the "Scope" section of DR2 AS/NZS 5033:
"PV arrays in portable equipment of less than 240 W and less than 50 V  
open circuit voltage at Standard Test Condition (STC) are not covered by  
this Standard."


Chris


Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
On 22/10/2013 5:25 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
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I agree - that change restrictive without offering any obvious benefit.

I always wonder who is pushing for changes & why.

Someone always profits and it's not the end user!

Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required



Soon you will have to follow a set of standards and rules to be able to  
walk outside your own back door.

--  
Regards,

Adrian Jansen           adrianjansen at internode dot on dot net
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
Dear all

I note and share some concern about this standard and its increased scope,  
but before getting too carried away....

It's not clear what impact, if any, it will have. Unless compliance with th
e standard becomes a mandatory requirement in legislation, then it is merel
y a guideline for installers. A (very limited) google search suggests that  
it is not referred to in legislation (except possibly regulations about ins
tallations where energy efficiency credits are claimed - probably not appli
cable to this scale of installation anyway).

Does anyone know of legislation that forces compliance with this standard (
especially non-grid connected installations)? Of course, laws can be introd
uced in the future, which is a worry. To this end, it would be helpful if t
he standard said, that in relation to installations below 240 watts etc, it
 was simply a 'best practice' guideline and not a mandatory requirement. I'
ll be sending comments to SA to this effect.


Re: Small (<240W) Extra-low-voltage Solar Installations soon to be subject to new rules - action required
On Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:10:54 -0700, Glenn wrote:


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LGA inspectors who come across them are an obvious one.  
Some LGA in Tassie are reportedly fining people for not obtaining  
development consent before getting roof top pv installations.

Basically, any smart arse licensed contractor can. There are plenty of  
these  around who want to force people to employ them.

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