Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, delivers smart, easy-to-use solutions that manage solar generation, storage and communication on one intelligent platform. The Company revolutionized the solar industry with its microinverter technology and produces a fully integrated solar-plus-storage solution. Enphase has shipped more than 28 million microinverters, and over 1.2 million Enphase systems have been deployed in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.enphase.com/au and follow the company on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
With record Australian solar photovoltaic (PV) sales last year, Sydney-based installer Solaray Energy reports that one in five inquiries come from people concerned about faulty or failing solar PV systems.
Solaray director Jonathan Fisk said his company last year received hundreds of inquiries from people with several-year-old systems that were poorly designed and not working well. “Up to 20 per cent of our inquiries at the moment are coming from people with a faulty, failing or poor-performing solar PV system,” he said.
“The problem is that too many systems used poor quality equipment or were poorly installed to keep the price down. Over time, these systems start degrading or failing, leaving many consumers with no recourse or remedy as often the installers have long since left the market. This, combined with the problem of DC isolators - fundamentally flawed safety devices that were not designed to be on the roof for 10 plus years – leads to even more performance and safety issues. DC isolators are now the most common cause of solar-related fires in Australia.”
Solaray Energy, the 2020 installer of the year for microinverter manufacturer Enphase Energy, revealed this high level of consumer concern after Fire and Rescue NSW reported incidents of solar-related fires in NSW had increased more than 500 per cent during the past three years. FRNSW data shows firefighters attended 139 solar panel fires last year, compared to 56 in 2019 and 22 in 2018.
After a year of record sales that defied the economic impact of the global pandemic, Australia’s solar energy industry is poised for more growth in 2021 predicts Enphase Energy General Manager APAC Wilf Johnston.
Mr Johnston said he expected next year to continue the current residential sales trajectory as consumers took advantage of lower prices, smarter technology and higher standards that would reduce the risk of fires and raise the overall quality bar for the industry.
Enphase Energy is the world’s leading producer of microinverters, smart devices that convert Direct Current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) energy, which can be used safely in homes and shared with the grid. Enphase technology deploys a microinverter under each solar panel – rather than a single inverter for the entire solar PV system - which delivers greater safety and reliability, panel-level monitoring and maximum performance across all roof types and in all conditions.
Mr Johnston, who has led Enphase in Australia for the past two years 19, has worked in the Australian solar industry for more than 12 years, beginning when he headed up the engineering and commercial project team at SunPower Corporation, then later as General Manager of Energy Matters and Flex.
Enphase Energy, Inc. has released a detailed report that raises questions about the fire safety standards for Australian solar energy systems, including the use of a safety device that has become “a common cause for solar system fires”.Global energy technology company:
The Enphase report, A Comparison of Australian and US Residential Solar Markets, identifies that Australian solar energy systems cost about half the price of those in the US but asks if they are as safe. “Australia makes it easier for homeowners to install rooftop solar… but at what cost?” asks the report.
The detailed report observes that while US incentives for installing solar systems may be similar to those in Australia, they are far less lucrative. “In fact, residential solar systems are roughly 50 per cent cheaper to install in Australia than in the US,” it states.
“While the US and Australia have some common ground across incentives and rebates ... the two countries manage solar system safety very differently. In the US, requirements for solar safety have been added into state and municipal electrical, building, and fire codes, as well as permitting and inspection processes. All electrical contractors must follow National Electric Code (NEC) guidelines, which are updated every three years and adopted by most states. Within these guidelines are some strict requirements on weatherproofing enclosures, rapid shutdown in the case of a grid outage, wiring, and much more.”