Leading Australian home energy management start-up, Reposit Power, has announced a recall of all its installations after discovering that certain configurations of its solar and storage smart meters fall short of national electrical safety standards.
In statements released this week, Reposit said a recall had been sent out for all Reposit Kits – including the RP115 meter and Reposit box – installed since 2015, due to potential risk of electric shock to installers and/or end-users.
“Individually all the components of the Reposit Kit meet the Australian safety standard,” a company spokesperson told One Step Off The Grid.
But “after doing our own testing recently, it was discovered … that in certain installation configurations collectively they don’t meet standard. We are replacing most Reposit Kits installed.”
The Canberra-based company stresses that there have been no reported safety incidents involving Reposit Kits. But as the meter does not meet electrical isolation requirements when connected to another device, in this case the Reposit Box, they are not taking any chances.
The incident deals another blow to Australia’s homegrown residential solar and storage industry, following last month’s recall of a number of home battery systems made by Brisbane-based zinc-bromine flow battery maker, Redflow. The problems behind that recall have since been resolved and deliveries of the batteries resumed.
The Reposit Kits are the hardware component to the company’s much lauded GridCredits platform, which as Reposit director Luke Osborne recently explained to the Special Parliamentary Briefing on Energy Storage, is a world first energy storage trading system that earns consumers bill credits when their solar energy is sold back to the National Electricity Market (NEM) or network utilities.
“This trading system not only benefits customers, but it can benefit retailers and networks who can save money by having to build new power stations or power lines,” Osborne said.
Indeed, internet of things energy management solutions like Reposit’s are widely considered to be the final, and potentially most crucial, piece to the distributed renewable energy puzzle – both maximising household solar and storage systems, while also offering key demand-side benefits to grid operators.
Reposit’s technology – which Director Dean Spaccavento said had attracted overwhelming local and international interest since its December 2014 pilot – has also won it many high-profile industry partnerships, including with global residential battery upstart, Tesla.
The GridCredits platform has also been integrated into key network trials around the country, including an ANU-led program on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, and in the $60,000 Next Generation Energy Storage Pilot in the ACT.
How – or if – the recall will affect these partnerships remains to be seen.
For many early adopters of the original Tesla Powerwall, like Greens MP Greg Barber in Melbourne, the accompanying GridCredits platform has been a highlight.
“I’m signed up with Reposit and Diamond Energy to export electricity to the grid at times of high prices, via software and a meter that they control,” Barber wrote on One Step Off The Grid in February, one year after his battery system was installed.
“On Friday, my iPad flashed me a notification: ‘GridCredits Event. Your battery has been requested to discharge for 44 minutes starting at 05:15 PM. You will receive $2.47.’
“That’s $1/kWh at a time when the Victorian wholesale market was bidding about $1500 per megawatt hour. I’m competing with the big boys!” Barber wrote.
“That’s only happened three times this year, but looking forward, who knows? Fifty thousand more homes and businesses like me and we are on our way to a completely new form of energy market. Exciting times!”
Reposit says it is working quickly to resolve the problem, and will replace the affected devices, at no cost to consumers, with upgraded devices that comply with the relevant standard.
It says this process – which should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician – will take roughly half an hour, per Kit. In the meantime, it has assured customers the meter will continue to work as normal, gathering data, and optimising solar and battery storage.
“We will be in touch in June to arrange a time for this upgrade,” Reposit said in a statement. “We apologise again for any inconvenience this may cause you and look forward to your cooperation to ensure a speedy resolution to the issue.”
It would not reveal how many devices had been installed.
For more information about the recall, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 392 938 toll free, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.