- Bundesnetzagentur has conducted testing for solar PV balcony systems and found several faulty inverters being used
- Such products had no CE mark, German operating instructions or no German retailer address
- It is currently carrying out proceedings against manufacturers and suppliers not following the regulations
German Federal Network Agency or Bundesnetzagentur wants solar energy consumers to be wary of using unauthorized inverters for their balcony solar systems as it found ‘numerous deficiencies’ in various such products tested last year.
“These systems require an inverter that converts the direct current produced into alternating current that can be used in the home. Unfortunately, we find numerous products that are illegal or potentially dangerous,” said President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller.
Inverters with no CE mark, German operating instructions or no German retailer address, as the agency noticed in its testing process, are not permitted to be sold and used in the country. These requirements ensure the consumers can use the products without hesitation.
The agency says it conducts metrological investigations and regular checks on electrical devices and wireless products, both for online and stationary trade. At the same time, it can conduct anonymous test purchases. Bundesnetzagentur also cooperates with customs to stop non-compliant products from entering the country.
It is currently taking action against the manufacturers of solar inverters that meet the formal requirements but fail on account of metrological tests in the laboratory. Some of these sometimes exceed ‘legal limit values for electromagnetic compatibility during operation’.
Manufacturers found flouting rules can end up being imposed with Europe-wide sales bans and fines of up to €100,000. For importers and traders, the fine value is up to €10,000.
Balcony PV or plug-in solar power, which allows to connect an up to 600 W solar systems directly to the house grid by simply plugging in the solar system via a micro-inverter to a socket, and which is very popular in the country, is one of the target areas for the German government to expand and decentralize solar energy use in the country under its Photovoltaic Strategy (see Revised Photovoltaic Strategy).