We’re often asked about the approval requirements for grid connect inverters, which seem to be the hot product for 2010 (along with LED lighting), as people move towards a carbon neutral footprint for their homes.  Austest is approved by the Clean Energy Council for testing inverters.

Aside from the standard EMC requirements to satisfy the ACMA’s RCM regime (applicable to most electrical items), Grid Connect Inverters require safety certification to be provided to many electricity retailers prior to connection.  This allows listing under the EESS.  Safety certification is based on several electrical safety standards.  The following is a brief summary of the approval requirements for Grid Inverters.

  • AS/NZS 3100, may also include AS/NZS 60950
  • AS 4777.2 and AS 4777.3
  • AS/NZS 60529
  • AS/NZS 61000.6.3
  • Electrical safety Approval/Certification
  • ACMA RCM Compliance Folder and sDoC
  • Listing with Clean Energy Council

 AS/NZS 3100, may also include AS/NZS 60950

AS/NZS3100 is a joint Australia and New Zealand safety standard covering isolation from hazardous voltages, temperature rise, flammability and other safety aspects relating to a mains voltage device.

AS/NZS60950 covers information technology and telecommunications equipment, clauses of which are applicable if the grid inverter has communications ports such as USB/RS232/RS485, ethernet or modem connections.

AS4777 testing is performed by Austest Sydney and covers;

AS 4777.2-2005, which specifies the requirements for inverters, with ratings up to 10kVA for single-phase units or up to 30kVA for three-phase units, for the injection of electric power through an electrical installation to the electricity distribution network.

AS 4777.3-2005, which specifies the requirements for grid protection devices intended to be used in inverter energy systems, with ratings up to 10kVA for single-phase units, or up to 30kVA for three-phase units, and for the injection of electric power through an electrical installation to the electricity distribution network.

AS/NZS60529 (IP Testing)

Ingress Protection is required for inverters that are located outside, which is the case in the majority of installations.  IP65 requires enclosures to be dust proof and protected from low pressure jets of water (all directions) – limited ingress OK provided no hazard.

AS/NZS 61000.6.3 addresses EMC emission requirements for the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) C-Tick requirements.  EMC emissions testing for inverters covers the following 4 tests:

  1. Conducted EMI on AC output (as it feeds into the grid).
  2. Conducted EMI on DC input (if cable length can be greater than 30m).  If cable length is less than 30m, and assuming that DC input is only connected to solar panels (and not to a DC supply network), then this test may be omitted.
  3. Discontinuous interference.
  4. Radiated EMI.

Austest performs testing to all of the above standards.  The standards themselves can be purchased from SAI Global or Standards New Zealand.

Electrical Safety Approval

Austest can provide an electrical safety certificate of suitability in 4-5 days (subject to compliance and required documentation). This 1 week turn-around for certificates comes at NO ADDITIONAL COST to our standard safety cert costs.  Our preferred supplier for safety approval certs acceptable to the CEC is www.australiansafetyapproval.com

ACMA RCM Approval

Electrical and electronic products sold in Australia are required to be marked with the RCM mark and the safety approval certificate #.  This allows the product to be sold in all States and Territories, even Queensland!  As only Australian entities may lodge a request for permission to use the RCM, we offer our services as an Australian agent and allow the use of our ACMA supplier code for international customers.

Listing with Clean Energy Council.  Following the above testing, product Approval reports and certs should be sent to the Clean Energy Council.