August 15th, 2012 | Caixin Solar Heaters Have Safety Flaws, Firm’s Chairman Says
Industry said to use shoddy materials to make devices that are unsafe because profits trump consumer interests
The chairman of China’s largest manufacturer of solar water heaters said at an August 10 meeting of industry insiders that the sector is ignoring two safety flaws.
Huang Ming, chairman of Himin Solar Co. Ltd., said brackets on heaters corroded easily, causing the heaters to collapse, and another part could catch fire if not handled properly.
The devices are installed in homes to deliver water made hot by sunlight.
Writing on his blog one day later, Huang said the industry lacked mandatory standards for consumer safety. Consumers would not be protected unless compulsory safety standards were in place, he said.
Standards put in place on August 1 related to energy efficiency. Huang said this only regulated performance and specifications. This left room for manufacturers to make poor quality devices, he said. “These are the unwritten rules of the sector,” Huang said.
“Companies within the industry don’t conduct research and development of new products, but obsess on price wars to attract consumers,” he said. “In order to lower costs, they use the low-grade material to make products, which lacked regard for the interests of consumers.
Huang said that every time he attended industry meetings, he proposed formulating safety standards. “I have kept doing this for seven or eight years, but little progress has been made. Consumer’s rights and interests should be protected.”
An industry insider dismissed Huang’s remarks as part of Himin Solar’s marketing strategy.
By staff reporter Yang Qiubo