Responses from those in the industry are mixed, and the drafting process threw up lots of controversy.
The main positive, some would say, is that it’s well overdue given there were no existing indications and guidelines for installations. Now, with the momentum of rollout of batteries rapidly gaining pace in Australia and other countries, it’s an appropriate time to have an official standard for best practice in the industry.
The changes brought by the new standard, however, have upset some battery manufacturers. Major industry bodies and players including Tesla, Sonnen, and LG Chem continue to argue that the standard is too heavy handed, and that adhering to the rules will add costs and complexity to installations. They say that many companies have taken significant measures to make their products safe to install in homes. Unfortunately, the changes could now rule out the installation of battery storage altogether for some households where there is no suitable position for a unit to be located.
Battery makers have also complained that the standards have been written to a ‘perceived’ combustion or fire risk, and not a proven combustion or fire risk, and basically assume that all batteries are the same.
For installers, and particularly electricians, there are some fairly major changes, for example, around switching from LV (low voltage) and ELV (extra low voltage) thresholds to a new internationally recognised classification. Another change is existing battery systems will now have to be held to higher wiring rule standards.