How To Power Through A Heatwave – In Comfort – On 100% Solar Energy

solar power and heatwaves

Is it possible to keep a family home comfortable in an extreme heatwave using only solar energy? Yes.

Last week I received a phone call from an ABC journalist. Unfortunately he didn’t want to invite me on Gruen to talk about the joys of solar advertising, or book Ronald & Tonto23 to perform on Mad As Hell. Rather, he’d been told that solar panels lose efficiency when it gets hot, and was keen to learn more. Specifically, he wondered how much solar panel efficiency would be lost if the temperature hit 45º during the heatwave – as forecast for the following day. [Read more…]

How To Use Solcast To Check Your Solar Panels’ Performance

Solcast API - solar panel performance checking tool

By Dr. Nick Engerer

Note from Finn: This is a guest post by Dr Nick Engerer – Solcast is a super handy, free, quick and accurate way to check what your solar power system should have produced in the last 7 days. [Read more…]

Help! I Bought Solar But My Bills Are Still High

Solar power and electricity bills

If you bought a solar power system and your bills are still high, then either your system is not working or you haven’t considered the big picture of energy-efficiency, hot water heating and system size.

In this post you will discover:

  • Why – if you want tiny bills – buying a solar power system is about more than buying a good system from a reputable installer.
  • How to quickly estimate if any solar panel array is working well in 3 minutes, with or without monitoring.
  • How to work out if your electricity retailer is billing you correctly or ripping you off.
  • Just how hard-to-use most inverter manufacturer monitoring software is – and why you should always buy a good third party monitoring system such as Solar Analytics to go over the top.
  • How following the 7 steps in my book – The Good Solar Guide – virtually guarantees tiny bills and no surprises.
  • And how to read The Good Solar Guide for free.

So let’s get started shall we… [Read more…]

The Good Solar Guide: Now Available Online For Free

The Good Solar Guide - free to read online

In June I published everything I know about buying solar in Australia as a full-on, professionally edited and published book. We had a big, posh book launch – opened by the SA Environment Minister and I’m happy to report that the book has been selling steadily ever since. [Read more…]

Should You Get A 3 Phase Solar Inverter?

three phase solar inverter

There are a few things you need to know if you are getting a 3-phase solar inverter and expect to add a battery later.

I love three-phase solar inverters.

If your home has a three-phase supply and you do not want or need micro-inverters then my recommendation is to use a three-phase solar inverter over a single-phase model. [Read more…]

Enphase & Solar Analytics Mind-Meld: The Future Of Smart Solar Monitoring?

solar analytics and enphase energy

Solar Analytics & Enphase have had a meeting of the minds which could lead to cheaper and better monitoring for everyone.

Solar monitoring firm Solar Analytics and microinverter manufacturer Enphase sent out a joint press release yesterday.  It is unlikely to get much attention as it is very geeky: they are trialing making Solar Analytics monitoring software compatible with Enphase monitoring hardware. You won’t be reading about it on the front page of the Australian any time soon. But here’s why it’s a big deal (in my little world at least). [Read more…]

The Good Solar Guide: 7 Steps To Tiny Bills For Australian Homeowners

Order the Good Solar Guide by Finn Peacock

Almost 10 years ago, I sat down for 2 weeks in Brighton Public Library and put everything I knew about residential solar power systems into my battered old laptop. I used the free Wi-Fi to upload that information to a home-brewed website called SolarQuotes. The knowledge was picked up from working for the Energy Transformed Flagship at CSIRO combined with my broader background in electrical engineering.

Since then, millions of people have visited the site; which has been continuously improved over the years. [Read more…]

Solar Panel Optimisation: Micro inverters, DC Optimisers, AC Solar Panels & Maxim Explained.

Solar panel optimisation

Solar Panel Optimisation is an extra feature you can pay for when buying solar that optimises the power output from each panel independently. [Read more…]

Don’t Add Batteries To A 3-Phase Home Before Reading This

3-phase homes and solar battery systems

If you buy the wrong battery system for your three-phase home your electricity bill will not go down nearly as much as you expect. And with the economic return of battery systems being pretty marginal in even the best case scenario, it is super important that your battery gives you the best returns possible. [Read more…]

The Six Biggest Myths About Battery Storage

finn's battery system - energy storage myths

If you are buying a solar battery – go in with your eyes wide open.

I’ve been publishing thoughts on the solar industry since 2009. And since Tesla announced their Powerwall battery to great media hype in May 2015, a lot of those thoughts have concerned batteries.

Unfortunately, a lot of the facts I’ve published about batteries, their economics and their environmental impacts have not gone down well with some parts of the solar industry, generally the parts that have bet their future on selling lots of batteries in the short to medium term. [Read more…]

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