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Enphase Energy APAC General Manager Wilf JohnstonEnphase Energy APAC General Manager Wilf JohnstonGlobal energy technology company: Enphase Energy, Inc. has released a detailed report that raises questions about the fire safety standards for Australian solar energy systems, including the use of a safety device that has become “a common cause for solar system fires”.

The Enphase report, A Comparison of Australian and US Residential Solar Markets, identifies that Australian solar energy systems cost about half the price of those in the US but asks if they are as safe. “Australia makes it easier for homeowners to install rooftop solar… but at what cost?” asks the report.

The detailed report observes that while US incentives for installing solar systems may be similar to those in Australia, they are far less lucrative. “In fact, residential solar systems are roughly 50 per cent cheaper to install in Australia than in the US,” it states.

“While the US and Australia have some common ground across incentives and rebates ... the two countries manage solar system safety very differently. In the US, requirements for solar safety have been added into state and municipal electrical, building, and fire codes, as well as permitting and inspection processes. All electrical contractors must follow National Electric Code (NEC) guidelines, which are updated every three years and adopted by most states. Within these guidelines are some strict requirements on weatherproofing enclosures, rapid shutdown in the case of a grid outage, wiring, and much more.”

AC Solar Warehouse managing director and co-founder Grant BehrendorffAC Solar Warehouse managing director and co-founder Grant BehrendorffLeading Australian solar equipment distributor AC Solar Warehouse is bracing for a fresh surge in sales as Victoria emerges from lockdown, replicating a “COVID premium” in demand for residential solar installations that has seen its sales grow by 30 per cent over last year’s record high.

The Queensland-based company, recently recognised as Enphase Distributor of the Year for 2019-20, reports its sales have hit “historic levels” since emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown in April.

AC Solar Warehouse managing director and co-founder Grant Behrendorff said business “has been hectic from May onwards”. “Our greatest challenge is making sure we keep up with demand,” he said.

“The residential market is the strongest it has ever been. Residential sales inquiries are consistently high, with each month setting a new sales record as COVID-19 has increased demand for household systems.  Although it hasn’t leapt ahead in the way that the residential sector has, the commercial market also remains strong.

“We have significant stock levels of all products throughout our network, so we’re prepared for Victoria reopening over the next month or two, which will see the release of a lot of pent-up demand. We have deliberately built up stock levels to prepare for that demand.”

carbonTRACK Managing Director Spiros LivadarasSouth African energy system integrator Greenfox Agencies is deploying carbonTRACK’s smart energy management system to help customers deal with an unreliable electricity grid.

Greenfox partners in the South African market with Alpha Energy, Solar Giant, Orca Solar and PSC Projects which distribute the Kilowatt Labs Sirius Capacitor Storage Modules and Centauri Energy Server system. This revolutionary approach to energy storage helps offset the devastating impact of South Africa’s notoriously unreliable national electricity supply.

carbonTRACK’s technology delivers the intelligent energy management systems that facilitate embedded networks, Virtual Power Plants, and smart grids, thus creating an intelligent energy ecosystem with remote control and partial or complete grid independence.

In South Africa, Greenfox is deploying carbonTRACK’s technology to revolutionise formerly analogue switchboards into “digital load panel” switchboards that can be easily managed remotely, letting customers prioritise in response to load-shedding and electricity fluctuations on the country’s grid. carbonTRACK’s energy management hubs allow users who have solar PV and batteries to further maximise their energy storage whilst enabling flexible management of their day to day appliances.

carbonTRACK Managing Director Spiros Livadaras carbonTRACK Managing Director Spiros Livadaras Australian energy company carbonTRACK has joined the major BankEnergi III consortium which recently won an Innovate UK grant to develop an industry-leading end-to-end energy trading solution in London's South Bank area.

The Consortio-led BankEnergi III group aims to create a local energy economy in South Bank by deploying an end-to-end solution that enables energy to be traded from building to grid supply point. The peer-to-peer energy network will allow members to trade energy with each other, creating a local energy economy and giving them an option to avoid big energy suppliers.

carbonTRACK, through its local arm carbonTRACK UK, will leverage its global expertise to deliver a behind-the-meter solution with demand response and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) capabilities at London South Bank University. The site will connect into the wider energy ecosystem through a ground-breaking open energy data integration layer linked into carbonTRACK’s VPP solution for interfaces with various route-to-market providers.

carbonTRACK Managing Director Spiros Livadaras said the consequent balancing of energy would set the standard to solve grid constraints caused by an ageing and under-capacity energy distribution infrastructure. “It’s widely recognised that a flexible approach to managing the whole energy system is a key strategy to achieve the UK’s target of carbon-neutrality by 2050,” he said.