Australia’s first rules governing the safe installation of energy storage systems were introduced on 11 October, five years after consultation on the guidelines first began.
Non-profit standards organisation Standards Australia has publishedAS/NZS 5139:2019, Electrical installations – Safety of battery systems for use with power conversion equipment.
The standard— developed by energy storage system manufacturers, system integrators, designers and installers— sets out the requirements for the safe installation of battery systems connected to power conversion equipment for the supply of AC and DC power.
Sandy Atkins from Standards Australia’s Technical Committee, responsible for the standard, said: “This achieves a lot for the sector by applying a risk-based process to ensure appropriate installation methods are applied depending on the hazards that are identified.
“It aims to ensure battery systems are safe, consistent, and reliable for the benefit of the Australian community.
“The work calls for consideration of available information, safety objectives and the growth of new technology in complex areas.”
In October 2017, regulators dropped initial proposals that would have banned the introduction of on-site lithium-ion battery storage in homes. The potential ban came to light when Standards Australia launched consultations into draft fire safety regulations for the use of lithium-based batteries.
The standards finally gained approval— including from Clean Energy Council— in July.
Last year, a government-backed project was launched in Australia to define a “performance standard” for home battery storage systems connected to solar power systems by Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena).
The standard covers battery systems up to a maximum size 100kW/200kWh.