A Queensland-based electrical company has collapsed just days after the state government recalled thousands of faulty solar power circuit breakers imported and sold by the company.
SV Partners was appointed liquidators of Advancetech on Thursday, May 15, after Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie issued a recall on May 12 for 27,600 Avanco DC solar power isolators sold by the company.
The isolators, which are designed to automatically shut down if a solar panel overheats, are reported to have caused around 57 minor electrical fires in Queensland and up to 13 in NSW.
While the majority of the products were sold in Queensland, News Corp reports homes in other states could also be affected.
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SV Partners said in a statement on May 19 the company appointed liquidators “due to concerns as to the added financial liability the company suffers as a result of the product recall”.
The company is no longer trading and SV Partners said “current indications available to the liquidators are that the company will be unable to meet the cost to replace all affected isolators estimated to be more than $3 million”.
“The liquidators are liaising with the key stakeholders and government departments to provide as much information and assistance as possible to those affected by this recall,” said SV Partners’ director Jason Cronan.
SmartCompany understands the Queensland Electrical Office is investigating options for taking action against the directors of Advancetech.
SmartCompany attempted to contact Advancetech but did not receive a response prior to publication.
In relation to the recall, Advancetech said on its website it has received advice from “a leading electrical safety and compliance expert [which] contradicts the conclusions of the Electrical Safety Office and strongly suggest that a number of other factors are the most likely cause of the problems being experienced”.
“All Avanco brand DC isolators have been thoroughly tested to comply with (and in many instances exceed) all applicable Australian Standards. Independent certification by a leading and accredited Australian electrical compliance company was also obtained,” said the company.
The Queensland Electrical Safety Office has also issued a recall for PvPower-branded DC isolators, sold by DKSH.
Bleijie said in a statement last week the recall was ordered after investigations by the Electrical Safety Office and independent reports from the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology.
“We want all Queenslanders to be safe at home and that’s why we’re acting quickly to ensure homeowners and installers can take the necessary steps to avoid any potential risks,” said Bleijie.
“No one has been injured and that’s the way we want to keep it,” he said.
Bleijie said the government is urging homeowners and electrical installers to check their solar power systems and to replace any affected isolators.