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.

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…]

It’s Time For All Solar Manufacturers To Take Cyber Security Seriously

Solar power devices and cyber-security

With this week’s launch of the Internet of Things Alliance Australia’s (IoTAA) security awareness guides, this seems a good time to remind the solar industry that we’re part of the Internet of Things – and so far, we seem to take a pretty relaxed attitude to security. [Read more…]

How Ned From SolarQuotes Ensures The Integrity Of Our Solar Reviews

SolarQuotes' Ned Holland screening reviews

SolarQuotes’ Ned Holland hard at work fighting review spam.

What happens on SolarQuotes’ review pages is clearly part of the beating heart of this business, and anyone who has experience with open forums will know what it’s like. There are trolls, people with a grudge (both fair and unfair), honest mistakes, and occasionally dishonest reviews. [Read more…]

Tesla Now Supporting Powerwalls For Off Grid Living In Australia

Off-grid Tesla Powerwall battery storage.

Wanna go off-grid? Now you can officially do it with Tesla Powerwalls.

For the ordinary on-grid customer, batteries are optional. They’re nice to have if you can afford them. Although they’re unlikely to pay for themselves, there are plenty of people who want them for backup, lower power bills, and the joy of using much less grid electricity.

But if you’re off-grid (as I am), batteries aren’t optional – they are how you get through the night and have the lights come on in the morning. [Read more…]

Using Table Salt To Make Better, Cheaper Li-ion Batteries

Salt use in Li-ion battery cathodes

Table salt could hold the key to bigger, cheaper Li-ion batteries.

Just before Australia went into its traditional summer stupor, someone from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in America got in touch with me about research into single-crystal technologies for Lithium-ion batteries.

[Read more…]