If you are importing PV modules, you must ensure the module is approved for use in Australia before you sign the contract. There have been a number of cases where importers have containers of stock landed in Australia before finding they cannot be approved for use in Australia.
A licensed electrician cannot legally install the modules unless they are approved, as AS/NZS 5033 is called up by AS 3000.
Both the certifying body and the associated test laboratory must be on the IECEE list.
The modules must be sold under the name of the licence holder shown on the IEC certificate. It is not permissible to sell them under your own name, as this is in breach of the terms of the certificate. If a brand name is used, it must be used in association with the full licence holder name.
If you wish to use your own brand name on modules you market, you need to apply to the certifying body, through your supplier, for a certificate in your own name, and get this approved and listed.
The module label and the datasheet must bear the exact same model number as the certificate and the AS 5033 compliant modules list. Every power rating approved for use in Australia is listed.
Module types or families will always have the power rating as a suffix. If in doubt, please email email@example.com for clarification.
The Clean Energy Council guidelines will require applicants to supply copies of representative module labels and datasheets to ensure they agree with the certificate. The installer must supply a copy of the module datasheet to the customer at handover, so your cooperation in making these available to the installer is required.
As an importer, you are legally responsible for meeting any warranty obligations, including manufacturer warranties. Your ability to get warranty support from the manufacturer will depend on the strength of your ongoing relationship with the manufacturer.
For your own protection you should ensure you work with manufacturers who you know you can trust to provide this long-term backup, before entering into contracts. Many module importers insist on visiting the factory before entering into a contact to purchase.
For manufacturers and distributors of array frames, the installation guideline requires an engineering certificate to be supplied to the customer by the installer, stating that the frame is certified to AS 1170.2 for their location.
The installer must also obtain information on how the frame is to be mounted to the roof to maintain this certification. As the supplier, you will need to be in a position to provide this certificate, and the associated recommendations on the number of attachment points required for different roof types and different installation circumstances.
The installer must supply a copy of the module datasheet and installation manual to the customer at handover, so your cooperation in making these available to the installer is required.
Under AS/NZS 5033:2012, all modules mounted on buildings have to be certified to IEC 61730 (not EN 61730), including the fire test MST-23, and be rated at least Fire Class C. This provision took effect from 16 July 2013.
The majority of modules currently on the approved modules list have not been tested to this standard, and will not be able to be installed on buildings without further testing and recertification after this date. Ensure you make your dealers aware of this and clear stock of old modules before this date.
Your cooperation on this will be required if the installer is to meet their obligations under these guidelines, and under the regulations introduced by the Clean Energy Regulator for the Solar Credits scheme.