Check Your Home Solar Batteries, Because the ACCC Reckons They Could Catch Fire

Check Your Home Solar Batteries, Because the ACCC Reckons They Could Catch Fire
An LG battery. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The ACCC has issued a warning about specific solar energy batteries currently going through a recall due to fire risks.

Solar storage batteries are probably familiar to you as “those big boxes with lights on them on the wall of my garage or backyard wall”. They’re part of the package deal that is home solar, storing the excess energy that doesn’t go directly into use from the panels installed on your roof. They’re integral to our shift to renewables, however, the ACCC has issued a warning about specific domestic batteries from LG, Opal and Solax.

The government body tasked with protecting consumers and ensuring safe competition is urging home solar users to check their batteries if they are affected by the recall. If so, they must contact the manufacturer immediately.

The batteries that must be checked include LG, SolaX and Opal home energy systems. Affected systems are at risk of overheating, catching fire, serious injuries, death and property damage. About 6,400 of the recalled batteries have not yet been replaced and the ACCC is concerned that Aussie consumers might not be aware of the risk these faulty systems could pose.

The batteries were officially recalled on February 25, 2021 in Australia, with about 7,200 products to be replaced. Note that only about 800 batteries have been replaced so far.

There have been nine reported incidents involving these recalled batteries since October 2019. One resulted in property damage and an injury in Australia, with five incidents and an injury in the U.S..

“We encourage consumers to urgently check if they have an LG, Solax or Opal solar energy storage battery which is included in the recall by LG. These batteries have already caused injury and fire damage to properties and could lead to serious injuries or death,” said Delia Rickard, the deputy chair of the ACCC.

“The affected batteries have also been supplied in solar energy storage systems with brand names other than LG, so it is extremely important to check if you have a battery affected by the recall by checking the serial number on the LG website.”

Which specific battery models are affected by the recall?

The following batteries are affected by the recall and are eligible for a replacement from LG. The ACCC has included the dimensions of these battery systems.

  • LG Chem RESU3.3, 452 x 403 x 20 mm
  • LG Chem RESU6.5, 452 x 656 x 120 mm
  • LG Chem RESU10, 452 x 484 x 227 mm
  • LG Chem RESU13, 452 x 626 x 227 mm
  • LG Chem RESU7H Type-R, 744 x 692 x 206 mm
  • LG Chem RESU10H Type-R, 744 x 907x 206mm
  • LG Chem RESU10H Type-R secondary, 744 x 907 x 206mm
  • LG Chem RESU10H Type-C, 744 x 907x 206mm
  • SolaX PowerStation, 1570 x 750x x340 mm
  • Opal Storage (system size), 750 x 1550 x 410 mm (approx.)

Your battery solution may have been installed by a solar storage retailer, including AGL Energy, Baywa, CSR, Energy Australia, Krannich Solar, MMEM, One Stop Warehouse, Rheem, Solar Juice, SolaX, Sonepar (as Solar Plus Solutions) and Supply Partners.

The batteries can have their charge reduced to lower the risk of fires, however the ACCC and LG stress that they’ll need to be replaced to work optimally.

“Of the 7256 affected batteries, approximately 1,736 are installed in systems connected via the internet and can be charge reduced to 75 per cent remotely by LG. The remaining 5,520 need to be charge reduced by a qualified technician on-site (including SolaX’s 1,800 units),” the ACCC notice added.

If your home battery is listed above, then you’re urged to contact LG immediately. Visit the LG battery website and follow the battery replacement steps, or call 1300 677 273 or email productau@lgensol.com.

If you have a SolaX battery, email service@solaxpower.com or call 1300 476 529.

You can read the ACCC’s official media release on the battery recall here.