Are there any installation standards in Australia?
Specific standards exist that require the earthing of solar array mounting systems in Australia and it is important that your installer uses devices that adequately connect the solar panel frames to the mounting frames, usually with small stainless earthing clips.
All solar panel frames should be electrically bonded to the mounting frame and then the entire mounting frame should be earthed using a heavy duty cable as prescribed by Australian Standards. Note that some systems require positive earthing and most require negative earthing, depending on the type of solar panels and inverter combinations used.
Specific standards exist for the roof mounting of solar systems. As a general guide, when mounted in accordance with their instructions most mounting systems will meet Australian standards. As a general rule, most mounting systems need to be more than 500mm away from any roof edge to comply.
Having a solar mounting frame and roof panel too close to the edge of the roof, will increase significantly the wind forces on the panel and system structure during heavy winds. Compliance with the standards requires your installer to confirm and sign off that your roof construction integrity has not been compromised by the new solar power system.
Although not highly significant, cooling air flow beneath your solar panels does also help reduce solar panel temperature and this will improve electricity output performance by the solar panel. Consideration should also be given to avoiding the build-up of leaf litter beneath your solar array as this can create a place for rodents to nest.
In regards to mounting systems, a quality solar system installer will:
- Make sure your mounting system won’t compromise your roof’s water proofing ability;
- Make sure your mounting system and solar panels frames are earthed;
- Make sure your mounting system is mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, suits your roof construction and does not compromise your building certification;
- Make sure your mounting system is more than 500mm away from all edges.
Using a quality installation company and quality components will ensure your system is properly installed