Faulty solar isolator recalled
The Queensland Electrical Safety Office (ESO) has issued a recalls and prohibition notice on Salzer solar DC isolators.
AGL Energy and IPD group have issued an urgent recall on the Salzer DC isolators with the model number DCLB232 and the Queensland Government has gazetted a notice prohibiting the sale and installation of these isolators, effective immediately. These are also known as IPV40E and IPV40ES. The isolator switch can present a risk of fire under certain conditions when switched.
According to AGL’s recall statement, some Salzer DC LB232 isolators have failed, generating excessive heat and causing the isolators to melt or char. “This has caused localised smoke and heat damage to the area surrounding the component.
The ESO is urging building owners and managers to check their solar photovoltaic installations to identify these isolators, and if found: immediately shut down the AC side of the solar photovoltaic (PV) installation (not the isolators switching the DC solar panels). Building owners and managers should contact the electrical contractor that performed the installation to arrange a replacement switch.
Electrical contractors and installers should immediately cease supplying and installing these isolator switches and contact their supplier to arrange replacements, said ESO in a statement. PV systems need to be shut down and safe isolation procedures followed. Electrical workers and installers should not turn off the DC isolators, as this will create additional risk.
Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has also issued an urgent warning to home owners about serious fire risk following the recall of Salzer Brand DC isolators. MEA CEO Malcolm Richards said the danger presented by the failed components was real, and could potentially result in a house fire if not addressed.
AGL said it will replace the components in the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sold by AGL within the relevant period and offer an amount to compensate customers for having their system switched off (when they will not be generating electricity), which will be estimated based on the customer’s system size and other available data.
Richards said it was sensible for home owners to have their solar systems checked from time to time to ensure they were operating safely and with maximum output.
“When you’re not looking at it every day, it’s easy to forget that you have a solar power system on your roof. But it’s generating electricity and it is exposed to the elements, so it should be checked occasionally by an expert,” said Richards.
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