SolarWorld Solar Systems recalled a large number of their solar panels. The panels were installed with bare-copper grounding lugs and those can corrode, which could result in a faulty ground circuit, posing an electric shock, electrocution or fire hazard.
About 1.3 million solar panels in the U.S. and 210,000 in Canada were recalled. SolarWorld has received one report of corrosion related to the bare copper lugs, but no injuries have been reported yet.
It is possible to identify from the ground whether a tin-coated lug (silver) or a bare-copper lug (brown) has been used on their solar panels. Those who are able to identify the improper lugs should contact SolarWorld for replacement. If it is indeterminable which grounding lugs were used, consumers should contact SolarWorld to have an authorized SolarWorld agent inspect the installation and replace the lugs with tin-coated grounding lugs or equally safe alternative remedy at no cost to consumers. SolarWorld is requesting that distributors and others remove SolarWorld’s installation instructions dated before June 2014 from their websites or other commercial information sources.
The recall involves SolarWorld solar systems installed with bare-copper grounding lugs installed after June 1, 2010. These solar systems use energy from the sun to generate electricity within a system circuit. The installation instructions for SolarWorld solar systems sold after June 1, 2010 called for the use of GBL-4DB lugs for grounding. SolarWorld has revised these installation instructions to explicitly call for tin-coated lugs, specifically Ilsco part number GBL-4DBT. “T” is for tin-coated and indicated by the silver color of the lug. These were purchased from SolarWorld installers and distributors, or other distribution companies, from about June 2011 to June 2014 for approximately $1,000 to $10,000, depending on system size.
SolarWorld Americas, of Camarillo, California, a subsidiary of SolarWorld AG, of Bonn, Germany.
Contact SolarWorld toll-free at (877) 360-1787 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at www.solarworld-usa.com and click on the “Product Safety” tab for more information.