Fire risk prompts North American recall of 1.5 million SolarWorld modules

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SolarWorld has announced today that it is to recall systems using 1.5 million of the producer’s modules installed in North America after June 1, 2010 following the revelation that any of its panels that were installed with bare-copper grounding lugs could pose a risk of electric shock, electrocution or fire hazard.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will oversee the recall – which actually requires customers to contact SolarWorld for replacement lugs should they find they have been improperly fitted – which has so far caused no known injuries.

"Bare-copper grounding lugs can corrode, which could result in a faulty ground circuit, posing an electric shock, electrocution or fire hazard," read a CPSC statement.

The problem stems from information in installation manuals that were not sufficiently explicit regarding the type of lugs used to ground array. The manual accompanied SolarWorld modules shipped throughout North America over the past four years. The manual omitted an important procedure detailing that copper lugs must be coated in tin before installation.

The manual in question was only packaged with modules in North America and will not affect those installed in Europe, SolarWorld has confirmed.

Consumers in the U.S. and Canada with SolarWorld modules installed between June 2010 and June 2014 are instructed to contact SolarWorld, who will issue replacement lugs. Any consumer that does not know how to identify the lugs should nevertheless contact SolarWorld, who have also confirmed that an authorized company representative will be sent free of charge to inspect and – if necessary – change the lugs in question.

SolarWorld Americas can be contacted free of charge on 001 877 360 1787.

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