MEAN WELL Power Supplies and Australian Approvals

9 September 2021
mean_well_power_supplies_and_australian_approvals

Australia has its own electrical safety laws and regulations that differ to other jurisdictions around the world.

In Australia power supplies fall into one of two categories:

  • Prescribed Electrical Equipment (Level 3 In Scope Electrical Products).
  • Non-Prescribed Electrical Equipment (Level 1 In Scope Electrical Products).

MEAN WELL manufactures power supplies that fall into both of these categories.

Prescribed Electrical Equipment

The laws and regulations that apply to ‘prescribed electrical equipment’ are very strict.

Power supplies that fall under this category include:

MEAN WELL LED Driver
MEAN WELL LED Driver

 

The one thing these all have in common is that they plug directly into a 3 pin power point, which means they can be used around the home, or workplace and anyone could potentially touch them. Including children, the elderly and the infirm.

There are laws which apply to both the importer of the power supplies and the electrician, who installs them.

The law requires prescribed electrical equipment to have been tested for electrical safety by an approved test laboratory and a safety certificate to be applied for. Once the importer has been issued an Australian electrical safety certificate, the power supply can be sold into Australia. It must display a valid RCM mark.

MEAN WELL power supplies sold globally will normally carry international approvals such as UL, TÜV, and CB. However, not all will carry Australian approvals.

This is usually because in order to comply with the Australia electrical safety standards, the design of the power supply may have to be modified. This modification cancels out one or more of the above mentioned international standards.

This is why, for example that the product label on a MEAN WELL PWM series LED driver sold by the distributors on our website will have different markings on the label to those supplied around the rest of the world, despite the model number being the same.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand it is your responsibility to ensure that any MEAN WELL power supplies you buy from overseas have Australian approvals.

The majority of MEAN WELL power supplies stocked by overseas suppliers will not have the Australian approvals and it is recommended that you always buy your MEAN WELL power supply through one of our MEAN WELL Australia partners listed on this website. This way you can have peace of mind that your MEAN WELL power supply is approved.

When it comes to electricians, they are legally obliged to ensure that any installation they sign off on is safe. This includes checking that equipment they installed is safe and fully compliant with Australia’s electrical safety laws and regulations.

Therefore, it is vital that electricians buy their MEAN WELL power supplies from a reputable supplier and ensure it carries an RCM mark.

Non-prescribed Electrical Equipment

Power supplies that fall under this category include:

MEAN WELL Enclosed Power Supply
MEAN WELL Enclosed Power Supply

 

Because these power supplies are used inside another piece of equipment, or locked away into a switchboard where only a qualified person can reach them, they do not need an Australian electrical safety certificate, unlike  ‘prescribed electrical equipment’.

However, it is still incumbent on the importer to ensure that the power supply is safe to use. International standards such as UL, TÜV, and CB can be used for this purpose.

Importers of power supplies, must be registered as a responsible supplier under the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS).

It is important to note that a non-prescribed power supply should not be used in place of a prescribed power supply.

For example, if you are installing LED lights. The power supplies that you use must comply with AS/NZS 61347.1:2002. This is the Australian electrical safety standard for LED drivers.

You must use a LED driver that has been designed for this purpose and tested to this standard. Such LED drivers will display the RCM mark.

You cannot use an enclosed type power supply instead. It could result in death or a fire.

If you have any questions at all regarding MEAN WELL power supplies and Australian electrical safety approvals, please contact MEAN WELL Australia.