Eliminating the risk of roof fires
As governments around the world are actively updating their safety standards, regulations are being introduced to ensure solar energy is safe and reliable so that fire risks can be reduced. Australia lags behind international solar safety standards resulting in conventional DC systems still being widely used. Most consumers aren't aware of the fire risk associated with cheap, high-voltage DC solar, or the safer alternatives available in the market.
There are currently two safe solar technologies available in Australia:
1. Microinverters that provide a safe AC solution by converting DC to AC at each solar module.
2. DC optimisers that control the DC voltage and power between the modules and the main (string) inverter.
These advanced solar technologies eliminate the risk of DC arc faults, which are responsible for all solar-related fires.
Microinverters convert the output of each solar module into 230 Volt AC electricity. The alternating current is then connected directly into the conventional electrical wiring of the home or business. The only DC voltage that exists within the whole power system is between each solar module and microinverter and the voltage in this circuit is at a safe level that is unable to sustain a dangerous DC arc.
Microinverter technology also provides increased power output and system reliability, helping to extend the life of your solar system solution and increasing your return on investment. The world’s largest manufacturer of microinverters is Enphase Energy.
You can learn more about Enphase Energy microinverters here.
DC optimisers are installed on each solar module to control the voltage and power between the modules and the main (string) inverter.
These systems operate at high DC voltages. However, some manufacturers have implemented propriety technology which detects fault conditions and switches the power output of every module off in the event of a DC arc fault. As DC arc faults are the primary cause of solar fires, this safe solar technology reduces the fire risk while providing a cost-effective solution for residential and commercial solar systems. These systems remotely isolate the DC voltage at each solar module so the high voltage DC cabling can be instantly isolated in the event of a fault. SolarEdge is the world’s largest manufacturer of safe DC optimiser technology.
You can learn more about SolarEdge DC Optimised systems here.
ELIMINATES FIRE RISK
Meets safety codes
Protects your home
3 to 6 year payback
Choosing a safe solar installer
There are many installers throughout Australia who provide rapid shutdown compliant, safe solar solutions.
If your installer is unfamiliar with the term 'Safe Solar', then seek quotes from alternative companies until you find one that can demonstrate with confidence that safety is paramount.
We recommend working with an installation company that has a long-term local presence and is part of your community. There are many social media groups that you can approach to ask for recommendations and feedback, so make sure you do your research before making a decision.
As with any investment, obtain several quotes and select the solution which is right for your needs. Safe solar solutions may cost more initially but will save you money in the long run. If you focus solely on price, you could end up paying twice. Or worse, by having to deal with the consequences of a fire.
Important considerations for your safe solar system
Protecting your home and family is a huge priority when investing in any solar power system. With many different solar modules and energy storage components now compatible with safe solar systems, safer choices are readily available.
Naturally, you want your new safe solar system to be durable and reliable, so assess the quality of the overall system to avoid having to recall technicians to replace components that can be costly, time-consuming, and inconvenient.
A key driver for installing a solar power system is to save money on energy and become more independent from the grid, so evaluate the return on investment timespan and the level of energy independence you will receive.
NEED MORE INFORMATION ON SAFE SOLAR SOLUTIONS?
If you have any specific questions on safe solar equipment, please contact us.