EnergySafety has issued a public warning about dangerous Salzer brand switches used in some solar systems installed in Western Australia since August 2016.
Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron said today the switches formed part of some solar photo-voltaic installations.
“They are used to disconnect the current produced by solar panels so work can be undertaken on the electrical installation of a home or business,” Mr Bowron said.
“These switches are faulty and present a fire risk in some conditions when they are switched.”
The defective DC isolating switches model numbers are:
IPV40E – DCLB232; and
IPV40ES – DCLB23.
“The defective switches were sold in Western Australia after 10 August 2016,” Mr Bowron said. “Sales in WA ceased after 13 November 2017.
“Anyone who had a solar system installed between these two dates should check if the defective switches have been fitted to the installation.”
Solar installations will have one or more of these DC isolating switches on the roof near the solar panels.
Another will be mounted close to the inverter that converts the solar direct current into the normal 240 Volt alternating current used in buildings. This second switch and inverter are usually wall-mounted near the building’s main switchboard.
If these switches are installed, the solar system should be shut down immediately by using the “AC ISOLATOR” switch and turning it to “off”.
WARNING: do not operate the switch marked “PV ARRAY DC ISOLATOR”.
If you are unsure or cannot identify the types of isolators you have, check the operating manual or invoice. If you are still unsure, contact the company that sold the solar system for further advice.
An electrician is not required to shut the system down, but assistance should be sought from the solar company if you are unsure how to carry out the shut-down procedure safely. The system will only be electrically safe once it is shut down.
“Above all, do not attempt to get up on your roof to check the switches there,” Mr Bowron cautioned. “There is no need to do this.
“If your solar panels were purchased after 10 August 2016, look for the switch near the inverter.
“If it is one of the above models, call the solar company involved and request them to supply and install safe replacements.”
For information on consumer rights, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 304054.
The Customer Service Centre of the main distributor (IPD Group Limited) can also be contacted on 1300 556 601 or at www.ipd.com.au/recall.
EnergySafety can assist with any technical queries related to electrical safety, telephone 6251 1900.