Clean Energy Council Delists Simax Solar Panels

Simax Modules Off The Approved Products List | Panel background: CharlesMJames

The CEC’s Approved Products List became a little leaner again after Simax solar panels, manufactured by Simax (Suzhou) Green New Energy, were struck from it yesterday.

Update August 9, 2017 : Simax solar panels have been relisted on the CEC’s Approved Products List

Note from Finn: I spoke to the Clean Energy Council about the process for Simax to get re-listed.  Simax fully co-operated with the CEC and took all the corrective actions necessary to satisfy that the panels could be re-listed, and that existing stocks of panels could be installed. Specifically the different components that were found, which were not originally covered by IEC testing were tested to prove that they were OK to use. There was a period of about 6 weeks where Simax were not allowed to be installed.

Historical notes:

The reason for removal in June provided by the CEC was as follows:

“The modules of Simax (Suzhou) Green New Energy have been de-listed from 15 June due to non-conformances found in CEC testing. Specifically, the modules tested had serial numbers and components not covered by the IEC certification.”

Simax solar panels join Amerisolar and TPL Energy modules in having the unpleasant distinction of recently being removed from the list. As a result, purchases of these modules from the date of delisting won’t be eligible for Australia’s main solar subsidy scheme.

It’s important Australian solar buyers take note of CEC delisting announcements as part of due diligence and check to see if a brand and model of panel or inverter being considered for purchase is approved for use.

The Clean Energy Council’s Solar Accreditation website also states:

“PV modules installed in Australia must be CEC listed as compliant with AS/NZS 5033 ‘Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays’, regardless of whether a rebate is sought.”

Simax (Suzhou) Green New Energy is a privately-owned company based in China that has been developing and manufacturing solar products since 2004. Outside of China, it has offices in Germany and Australia; however, the company’s Australian web site didn’t appear to be functioning at the time of publishing.

SolarQuotes’ reviews database indicates feedback from Australians who have had Simax solar panels installed in the past to be generally positive.

Solar Product Standards Evolving

The Clean Energy Council has been working on improvements to its terms and conditions for some time in an effort to further raise the bar on product standards – and more changes are on the horizon.

From September 1, all new crystalline PV module listing applications need to demonstrate compliance with new versions of IEC 61215 and IEC 6173, and new thin film module applications have until January 1, 2018 to comply. Then from February next year, all listed crystalline panels must also comply, followed by all listed thin film modules in April.

The CEC’s Product Listing Review Panel is an independent panel with industry and consumer representation. It consists of Dr. Penelope Crossley (Chair), Oliver Derum (Consumer representative) and Nigel Morris (Industry representative).

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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