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Are the electrical circuits of my solar power system safe?

All solar systems need to be cabled together and to have appropriate fusing, protection devices, labelling and operation manuals in accordance with NZ Standards. Attention to detail is important on these items.

Solar array cabling should be UV stable and “Solar DC” labels should be applied. It is important that at some time in the future an electrician doesn’t inadvertently confuse these cables with normal household wiring.

MC4 plugs are used to connect onto the solar system

On the roof top it is important that the cabling is secured by metal clamps so it can’t be damaged by wind movement or rodents or accidentally sit in pooled water. It is also important and mandatory that cable connectors are matched by manufacturer/brand.

New standards were introduced in 2012 which require all plug connectors on solar panels to be of the same make, to ensure compatibility and adherence to testing standards. One cause of problems in solar systems overseas was the crimping of solar panel cable plugs. These plugs can carry quite high voltage and it is vital that if they are crimped on site it is done properly and with care.

A certified installer will look into all these aspects and issue a Certificate of Compliance under his license. As a consumer you should keep a copy of this certificate safely with your solar warranties and operating manual.

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