The hard way or the Enphase way?
Australian Regulation Updates: AS/NZS 5033:2021
This week AS/NZS5033:2021 Installation and Safety Requirements of Photovoltaic (PV) Arrays updated regulations come into full effect Australia-wide. The new DC requirements included in the 143-page standard are already placing solar installers under compliance pressure when installing string systems.
Here’s what you need to know:
Enphase systems (AC) are mostly exempt
- AC solar systems operating at ELV (less than 120V) are exempt from most of the new regulations as they are deemed safe by the standard
- All that is needed is a simple change to system signage and a simple plan view layout
DC System changes
- DC cable must be compliant with IEC 62930
- Signage must show the location of DC disconnection points, indicated by “DP”, the location of additional load break disconnector(s), and the PV array size
- DC voltage and warnings where DC disconnection type(s) can only be operated by qualified personnel
- Restrictive DC cable runs
- Plus more changes covered in the 143-page document
The Enphase advantage
At Excel Power, we strive to provide you with the best solar experience to maximize the performance of your system and the value of your long-term investment. Performance, reliability and safety are most important. This is why we only install Enphase solar systems. At the same time, the Enphase intelligent technology offers you the flexibility to monitor your production and usage today, and handle whatever the future might bring — from home expansions to smart home and smart grid or off-grid integration. Excel Power and Enphase is a name you can trust now and for years to come.
Enphase solar systems are inherently safer because they operate at the same low-voltage AC power as your home. Enphase systems never contain high-voltage DC power. Enphase microinverters are extremely low in voltage - always operating <60V. So with an Enphase system there is next to no risk of any electrical shocks or arc faults that can start a fire. And if there is a fire in your home, "rapid shutdown" is a built-in feature. When the AC utility source is removed in any way – through an AC breaker, AC disconnect, or removal of the main meter, for example – the microinverter shuts down automatically. This protects firefighters attempting to put out the flames by removing the voltage and current from the system.
With string inverters, solar panels are wired together with high voltage DC throughout the system. A DC system cannot easily be turned off (without costly, add-on electrical work, electrical boxes, switches or conduit) and therefore poses a greater risk to firefighters. Plus, DC systems can easily reach more than 10 times the voltage of an Enphase system — 600V and more are not uncommon. Special switches like DC isolators are hence required on your roof, which add to the inherent risk of arc faults and electrical shocks.
Maximum performance and reliability
Independent studies by PV Evolution Labs have shown that Enphase Microinverters produce between 1 - 3.1% more energy than string inverters or string with DC optimisers in unshaded conditions and much more under partial shade which translates into real savings for you.
With string inverters, if one panel is soiled, shaded or degrades faster over time than other panels, the whole system drops output performance to the lowest performing panel. Enphase Microinverters operate independently, ensuring that your overall system performs to its maximum capability. So one shaded or dirty panel won't affect the rest of the system. Plus, burst technology lets microinverters produce more at dawn, dusk, and in low-light conditions, for a longer solar day.
Why an Enphase System is so reliable
- Enphase Microinverters have been through 1 million power-on hours of rigorous testing.
- Reduced part count and no moving parts means less wear and tear, greater durability and greater flexibility as grid requirements change.
- Low voltage reduces thermal cycling and component stress, a primary cause of wear-out in other inverters.
- The double-insulated polymetric IQ 7 enclosure is resistant to dust and capable of withstanding water immersion between 15 cm and 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Robust, per-panel monitoring
Our Enlighten Mobile App makes it easy to monitor the performance of each and every solar panel on your roof - right from your smartphone, everywhere you go. You can track your energy production, monitor your system’s health, and share your data with family and friends - all from a simple, easy-to-use interface.
Would you like a safer Enphase AC solar system, or do you trust your installer being compliant installing a DC solar system?
Excel Power is your Platinum Enphase Installer for this area. Call us today for a quote.