Time to Address Rooftop DC Isolators

An important message about rooftop DC isolators from the Clean Energy Council of Australia.

Rooftop DC isolators were made mandatory through AS/NZS 5033 in 2012. Since then, rooftop isolators have been proven by inspection data to be the largest single source of PV system failure. In light of the issues and risks, the CEC is advocating for a review of AS/NZS 5033 including rooftop isolators.
In March 2018 we submitted a proposal to the Standards Committee EL-042 to review AS/NZS 5033. The Committee did not accept the proposal due to other priorities. The Clean Energy Council has submitted another proposal to the Committee to commence this review as a matter of urgency.
We continue to lobby all state electrical safety bodies (many of whom are on the standards committee), and the review is gathering widespread support.

We are calling for the Committee to consider:
1. a review of rooftop DC isolators
2. increased voltages limits for PV arrays
3. review the 350 W limit on micro inverters and optimisers
4. arc fault detection
5. rapid shutdown
6. cable standards and cable rating
7. remove unnecessary labelling

We are also reaching out to the emergency services to express our concerns around rooftop DC isolators and the need for a review. We are committed to increasing overall safety and are working with emergency services around the country to identify the most suitable method to ensure electrical worker, householder and emergency services worker safety at all times.

The CEC’s Accreditation Guidelines provide guidance to CEC accredited installers in how to interpret and implement what is defined in the Standards. Our guidelines have continued to evolve to address issues particularly relating to water and weatherproofing DC isolators in an attempt to improve the safety in the immediate term. But now is the time for a wholesale review of this critical standard.