Controversy broke out a few months ago when Standards Australia published its draft standard for inverter-connected batteries, with many commentators saying it was too tough and unworkable.
The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) noted at the time the standard lacked complexity in the way it classified different types of battery according to fire risk.
This resulted in installation requirements that were likely appropriate for many types of lithium-based batteries that represent a significant fire risk, but unnecessary for those that do not. It also failed to account for design elements of all-in-one battery systems that mitigate against fire hazards.
The ATA gave feedback to Standards Australia recommending it revisit the fire hazard classification of lithium-based batteries on the performance of the different chemistries and compliance with the existing international standard for battery systems. Similar feedback was given by many other stakeholders.
In response to this feedback, Standards Australia will:
- Continue working towards a final version of the standard
- Redraft the section on placement and location of batteries, with reference to relevant standards, and publish a second draft for further consultation
- Fast track adoption in Australia of relevant international standards.
You can read Standards Australia’s statement.
The ATA believes this is a good outcome. It’s not clear to what extent the fire hazard classification of lithium-based batteries will be nuanced, but adopting the international standards for integrated battery systems should address the issue for most types of battery systems homeowners are likely to install.
We’ll keep you updated on any further progress.