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Industry Bulletin – 24 January 2012 DC ISO-MAX Solar Connect DC Isolator – Switch Failures Further to the bulletin released by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) dated 26 October 2011, we provide the following update to the industry. The approximate number of DC ISO-MAX Solar Connect DC Isolator switches reported to have failed to date is 28 out of approximately 25,000 that have been installed. 1.

Results of expert investigation

1.1

Switches supplied by Eltech have been investigated by an independent expert specialising in switch design, testing and application.

1.2

The results of the investigation have shown that: (a)

Some switches have a defective switching mechanism resulting in a manually dependent slow make/slow break operation, which may produce a partial contact closure and arcing. Failure of such switches is likely to occur within minutes even at low currents. There is a risk that the switch and the enclosure may catch fire.

(b)

Switches LS16, LS25 and LS32, operating at currents greater than 12A, are likely to overheat even with correctly operating switching mechanisms.

2.

Action taken by Eltech

2.1

Whilst the number of burnt out switches is very small, in the interest of public safety and in consultation with ESV, Eltech has decided to undertake a staged replacement of all DC ISO-MAX switches installed between June and November 2011.

2.2

The replacement switches have a manually independent quick make/quick break mechanism. Connect with four poles in series with ratings as per the nameplate for optimum performance.

2.3

Eltech is in the process of making arrangements with its customers (installers of the switches) to arrange for the replacement of all remaining switches, in the following order of priority: (a)

those switches that are operating in solar systems at currents greater than 12A;

(b)

followed by all remaining switches.

3.

What should you do?

3.1

To assist Eltech in the timely replacement of switches, if you have installed any DC ISOMAX switches, or if you have any DC ISO-MAX switches installed at you premises, please visit the Eltech website at www.eltechindustries.com.au and complete a DC ISO-MAX Advice Form (for installers) or Claim Form (for home owners).

3.2

Eltech or the installer of your switch(es) will be in contact with you in due course to arrange for the DC ISO-MAX switch(es) to be replaced.

3.3

As recommended in previous bulletins, all switches that have been switched off should remain switched off. Any switches that are presently switched on should remain switched on. If you want to operate your switch on or off, please contact Eltech for assistance on 1300 76 44 70.

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