Lidl solar kit and an RST-shaped socket / Image: Lidl, Wieland, RE assembly.
With its mini solar power plant and low-cost kit, Little wants to democratize photovoltaics. However, the kit is marketed with a specific “RST” type socket, meeting German standards. A standard not used in France. But is this a problem?
The first solar kit from a European company Hard discount Landing in German stores on May 17 (read our article). Sold for €199, the kit includes a 150 Wp photovoltaic panel, a 300 W micro-inverter and various mounting and wiring accessories. These elements include a socket and a connector “RST” format, unknown in France. It is a standard in accordance with German standards, in which the installation of a mini solar power plant ready for self-consumption is mandatory. But will it be a problem if Lidl wants to install solar equipment in France for the moment when it is sold exclusively across the Rhine?
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French socket vs special “RST” socket
In concrete terms, the “RST” wall socket should be placed on a dedicated line from the electrical panel (for example, a radiator or charging station for an electric car). Its dimensions are similar to a regular household socket. So if the upstream wiring is adequate, it can be installed as an alternative to the latter. The “RST” standard improves safety, thanks to the insulation of contacts, its sealing and a locking system that prevents accidental disconnection.
In contrast, in France, ready-to-plug solar kits are sold with a classic plug with bare conductors, such as a kettle or microwave. In theory, electrocution is impossible: the micro-inverter is designed to automatically cut off the current from the solar panels when it detects no voltage from the public network (when the socket is disconnected or there is a power outage. ) current, therefore). The safety of the installation depends on the micro-inverter.
Little Solar Kit, its Parkside Micro Inverter and its accessories / Pictures: Little Germany.
However, “If the protection system that shuts down the inverter when there is no mains voltage is faulty, there will be 230 V at the bare contacts of the household plug or at the end of the cable” Electrician and Technical Sales Manager at Sébastien Bischoff explains Mr. E.V (The Fraxen Group, owner of Energy Revolution). “The German plug wall prevents the contacts on the socket side and the plug side from touching” He details.
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Is it possible to install a Little Solar kit in France?
Technically, nothing prevents the use of the “RST” socket in France. Install it instead of a regular socket. “German users use it anyway. They simply unscrew a standard wall socket to put it in the special wall socket supplied with the kit. Sebastien Bischoff believes. “A French user can do the same, but his electrical installation will not be up to standard” He warns.
WARNING: It is strongly advised not to remove the “RSD” connector from the Little Solar Kit, replace it with a classic French plug, as the supplied inverter may not be designed to effectively disconnect the current when the kit is disconnected. Hence there is a risk of electric shock in case of contact with conductors.
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