About Richard Chirgwin

Richard Chirgwin is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience covering a wide range of technology topics, including electronics, telecommunications, computing and science.

Nemy: Telling You When Electricity Is Green (And Cheap)

nemy - a nifty way to monitor electricity prices and the energy mix

Take a couple of electrical engineers sharing a home, add lockdown boredom, and what you might get is a nifty way of using electricity market information to help customers consume electricity when it’s green. And where their electricity retailer passes on real time wholesale electricity prices, cheap. [Read more…]

Gelion: Readying For Battery Manufacturing After COVID Delays

Gelion battery - zinc bromine gel energy storage

Like just about everybody, Australian battery innovator Gelion has had its business plans disrupted. But the company hopes it can have its first pilot trial production line ready early in 2022, and also anticipates commercial availability next year. [Read more…]

Kiwi Startup Readies Three-Phase Power Balancer For Market

Red Phase Technology Three-Phase Power Balancer

Compared to Australia, New Zealand is a mere beginner in the adoption of household solar power – while Australia had 2.68 million installations at the end of 2020 (source: CSIRO), New Zealand had just 33,771 solar installations at the end of July 2021 (source: Electricity Authority). [Read more…]

Solar Analytics Plan Optimiser Unravels Complex Electricity Tariffs

Solar Analytics Plan Optimiser

Nigel Morris, who heads up business development at Solar Analytics, readily admits electricity plan comparison products aren’t usually particularly exciting.

Still, it’s clear talking to Morris that Solar Analytics is excited about its recently-launched Plan Optimiser, and Morris reckons both subscribers and solar installers will be as well. [Read more…]

Sunny Covers Now Shipping Newcastle-Made Inverter Shade-Box

Sunny Covers - inverter shade cover

Good ideas can come from little things.

When solar installer Perry Borg wanted to protect customers’ inverter warranties with extra sun protection, he couldn’t really find what he wanted, so he decided to design and manufacture purpose-built protectors. [Read more…]

String Inverters Vs Micro-Inverters: Which Is Better With Shade? It Depends…

String vs micro inverters - shaded solar panels

The micro-inverter debate has been stirred with two YouTube videos looking at the marketing claim that microinverters outperform string inverters when solar panels are shaded. [Read more…]

Audit Finds Electromagnetic Radiation From Solar Inverters At Safe Levels

paranoid man

ACMA audited solar inverters for electromagnetic compliance. The worst thing they found? Missing stickers.

We’re so accustomed to seeing electrical products with compliance stickers and certificates, it’s a safe bet that most of us barely notice them. So here’s a handy reminder that those stickers and certificates matter. [Read more…]

Australian Solar Design Tool Adds Remote Shading Analysis

Remote solar panel shading analysis

Some of you will be aware of — or be users of — Pylon’s solar design and quoting tool: Pylon Observer. This year, the company announced an important new tool as part of Observer – remote solar shading analysis. [Read more…]

Meet The SolarQuotes Crew: Margherita Moffa, Customer Support

Margherita Moffa - SolarQuotes

If you email SolarQuotes with a question – it will usually land in Margherita’s inbox.

Margherita Moffa was working for her husband after having left a customer service career in banking, when her brother-in-law Robert (SQ Client Operations) asked if she could help out handling customer service inquiries for a fairly young SolarQuotes. [Read more…]

Catch Solar Relay: Load Diversion For Local Grid Stability

Catch Solar Relay

A properly configured Catch Solar Relay can help increase your solar energy self-consumption and individually make a small contribution towards grid stability.

Australian solar owners: you now have a new option to put your self-consumption on autopilot while helping both stabilise the grid and enabling more of your neighbours to install solar power systems. [Read more…]