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Draft battery standard update

Today, Standards Australia announced the draft battery standard, AS/NZS: 5139, has progressed to the ballot stage of the standards development process. This means that the Standards Australia EL-042 Committee will vote to accept or reject the standard as-is.

Finalisation of this standard has been a high priority for the CEC and battery industry to ensure a contemporary standard for the installation of batteries. The current standard is significantly out of date and inadequate and makes no mention of emerging technology such as lithium batteries. The CEC has been driving this process for several years to ensure an adequate standard that gives customers, regulators and industry confidence about the safe installation of home batteries.

There are two elements of the draft standard worth noting.

Firstly, the draft of AS/NZS 5139 puts much stronger installation requirements on a DIY battery than it does on batteries that meet the industry Battery Best Practice Guide. We believe this is appropriate to ensure consumer safety from products that have not been verified to meet the standards outlined in the Battery Best Practice Guide. The Battery Best Practice Guide is intended to provide a minimum level of electrical safety criteria that could be applied to lithium-based battery energy storage equipment.

Secondly, we believe that the requirements of the best practice guide mitigate the risks that the cement sheet addresses in the draft standard. We understand the frustration from product manufacturers who would be required to install cement sheet covers as part of this standard should it be adopted. However, given the current standards gap and increasing public focus on safety in the industry, on balance we believe the standard as drafted should be adopted. The CEC will continue to address some of the concerns from regulatory and safety bodies that have driven their support for the requirement for cement sheet covers, with a view to a future refinement of AS/NZS: 5139 to remove this requirement for cement sheet covers.

You can read more from Standards Australia on their website.