- If your system was properly installed at the time, then you don't have to do anything. Australian Standards are generally not retroactive.
- If your solar system gets modified, then the whole thing will have to brought up to the current standard.
- If your solar system needs to be repaired, then as long as it is a simple component replacement and the component replaced (inverter or panel etc.) is replaced with the same model, then the whole system does not need to be brought up to standard.
The following Australian Standards apply to solar installations:
|AS/NZS 3000||Wiring Rules|
|AS/NZS 5033||Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays|
|AS/NZS 4509.2||Stand-alone Power Systems – Design|
|AS/NZS 1170.2||Structural design actions – Wind Actions|
|AS 4777.1||Grid connection of energy systems via inverters – Installation requirements|
|AS/NZS 1768||Lightning Protection|
|AS/NZS 3008||Electrical installations – Selection of cables|
When any of the above standards change it could mean that new solar installations and/or new equipment that is installed has to meet the new standards.
But as said above, the changes are hardly ever retroactive, and the most recent changes that affect solar panels and solar inverters are not retroactive.
As an example, a recent relevant standard change was AS4777.2 which became mandatory as of 9th Oct 2016.
Inverters that are not certified to the new standard can not be able to be connected to the utility grid in Australia, unless they are replacing like-for-like in a repair situation.
Some of the main changes introduced in the new standard were:
- Introduction of Demand Response Modes (DRM’s)
- Changes to Passive Anti-Islanding trip points
- Additional Power Quality modes
- Phase balancing requirements (for 3-phase inverters)
Upgrading your solar system size
If your solar system was installed before Oct 2016, it is unlikely to meet all the new standards. If you upgrade the system by adding panels then you will have to bring the whole system up to the new standards.
For this reason if you want to increase your solar capacity, it is often more economical to add a whole new system next to the existing one. There is not problem having multiple solar inverters on the same house.
My understanding is that if you want to add batteries via AC coupling , then you are not modifying the original system in any way. AC coupling simply connects into the switchboard, there is no need to touch the solar system, except to put a Current Transformer on the solar feed. So you should not need to upgrade your solar system if you add batteries via AC Coupling. Adding batteries via DC coupling will modify the original system and so will require the whole system to be brought up to the new standards.