As more and more Australian households look to battery storage as a way to get the most out of their rooftop solar systems, a set of installation guidelines has been released for industry and consumers.
The installation and safety guidelines, released on Friday by the Clean Energy Council and made available on the Solar Accreditation website, were established after extensive consultation with the CSIRO.
The guidelines will have a six month phase-in period before becoming a requirement for installers who are accredited for battery installation from October 2016.
The CEC said on Thursday that the Installation Guidelines for Grid-Connected Energy Systems with Battery Storage aimed to get ahead of what many consider to be the next big wave of the renewable energy transition.
It is estimated that 50,000 battery storage systems could be installed in Australia over the next 12 months, and more than a million within a decade. Some suggest more than two million homes could have battery storage in a relatively short time.
“Everyone is excited by the potential of a future created by a combination of renewable energy, home energy storage and smart energy technologies,” said CEC chief Kane Thornton. “The new guidelines are an important step in making that vision a reality.”
Thornton said batteries, like any electrical device, had risks. Indeed, these risks were highlighted last month, when images of an “exploded” lithium-ion battery storage device in a home garage in Victoria did the rounds of social media.
According to Thornton, the new guidelines – written in “plain language” – provide clear procedures that address community concerns and make it easier for installers to comply with sometimes complex safety standards.
“It is obviously important that industry professionals take these risks extremely seriously and operate in a way that ensures the safety of themselves, their colleagues and consumers.”
The guidelines were welcomed by the federal government, with environment minister Greg Hunt descirbing their development as an important step in ensuring consumer confidence that home battery systems were safe and would work as specified.
“The Clean Energy Council is to be congratulated for taking this pro-active step to ensure the safe installation of battery storage systems,” Hunt said.