Installing Solar Panels On A Flat Roof — All The Angles Covered

flat roof solar panels

Beautifully installed frameless solar panels on an almost flat (3º N) roof. Photo credit: Gippsland Solar

If you are checking out this article because you are planning to put solar panels on a flat roof, then odds are you’re looking to install a commercial solar system.  While there are homes with flat roofs, they’re not nearly as common as flat business roofs.  But whether it’s for a home or a business the basic principles of installing on a flat roof are the same.  It’s just that commercial systems tend to be a lot larger. [Read more…]

Small Business Commercial Solar With A 3 Year Payback – A Real World Case Study

Small scale commercial solar

Can commercial solar power for small business really slash overheads and pay for itself in 3 years? A real-world example.

A few days ago I wrote an article on commercial solar for small businesses but I was worried it may have been a little abstract.  I mentioned this to Finn, my boss1, and he said people might:

  • not believe that they can get a 3 year payback on a small business solar system – it seems too good to be true
  • appreciate something a little more hands on

.. and suggested I do a case study. [Read more…]


  1. He’s only fired me twice so far, so I’m doing quite well as these things go.  Once for misusing an apostrophe and I don’t know what he sacked me for the second time because I was too drunk to remember.

Commercial Solar For Small Businesses Can Pay Back In Under 3 Years

commercial solar power system

Don’t let soaring power bills kill your business – commercial solar can slash your bills.

Business is a kind of miracle where humans put aside their natural desire to screech and fling stuff at each other to work together to achieve common goals.  And the most common goal among businesses that are still in business is making money.  Unfortunately, focusing on this has led to some undesirable consequences such melting the icecaps.

If our civilization wants to continue as an ongoing concern then we need to make money in a way that doesn’t damage the environment.  Fortunately, I know something that can help business both make money and protect the environment and that something is commercial rooftop solar power. [Read more…]

SA Plan For New Private Generator Using Solar Panels On Roofs And Tesla Powerwalls Is Virtually Brilliant!

But is is a good idea?

Yesterday I was surprised by the South Australian Government announcing a plan to put solar panels on the roofs of 50,000 or more homes along with a Telsa Powerwall 2 and smart meter.  The goal is to have them work together to create a virtual power station with 250 megawatts of solar panels and battery storage that can provide 250 megawatts of power over two and a half hours. [Read more…]

South Australia’s New Diesel Generators Ready To Rumble — But Probably Won’t

TM2500 turbine generator ready to rumble

A General Electric TM2500 turbine generator yesterday. Or possibly earlier.

In order to improve the probability of South Australia making it through the summer without one or more blackouts, the state government has leased, with an eye to buy, 9 mobile General Electric TM2500 turbine generators.  [Read more…]

Black Max Solar Panels Review: Beware Conflicting Warranty Claims

What the hell is a Black Max solar panel?

I recently wrote an article on black solar panels and included pictures of sexy black ones from SunPower and LG Solar.  What I didn’t do was mention Seraphim Black Max panels.  This is something I probably should have done, as we have received some inquiries about ‘Blackmax panels’.

Fortunately I wasn’t asked directly because all I could have said about them a few days ago was, “They are black solar panels made by Seraphim that are called Max.” [Read more…]

Trump Solar Tariffs — Evil, But Not As Evil As They Could Be

The United States has announced import tariffs of 30% will apply to all imported solar panels but a yearly quota of 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells, or enough to make around 9 million panels, is allowed.  Just how much the United State’s Figurehead in Chief, Donald Trump, had to do with this decision I don’t know, but when you vote in someone who is only good for being blamed you may as well get as much mileage out of that as possible. So they will be forevermore known as the Trump solar tariffs and that’s definitely what they’re being called in the news. [Read more…]

Black Solar Panels: Is Lower Efficiency Worth The Sexy?

black solar panels

Black solar panels in Alice Springs. Black frame, black cells, black backsheet. Photo Credit: Finn

Black Solar Panels Are Hot!  This Reduces Efficiency.

I want you to think about someone you know who has rooftop solar.  It doesn’t matter who.  It could be a friend, a relative, or that handsome bearded man you’ve been stalking for months — it doesn’t matter.  I want you to think about where they live.  Picture their home in your mind’s eye and then answer these two questions: [Read more…]

Want Hundreds Of Dollars Worth Of Cool Cash?  Buy An Energy Efficient Fridge


Ronald’s fridge yesterday.

Disaster has struck the Brakels household! And I’m not talking about a minor disaster like a son or daughter breaking a leg.

[Read more…]

Australian Standards Must Be Free For The Benefit Of Education, Business And The World.

australian solar standards and freddie

Australian Standards must break free. Charging hundreds of dollars per standard is nuttier than wearing high heels while vacuuming.

People say I have no standards, but that’s only true in a legal sense.  You see, I do have access to Australian Standards that have been purchased by my employer, SolarQuotes.  While these particular standards have a heavy focus on how not to kill people when mucking around with electricity, there lots of other ones covering almost everything you can think of – and quite a few things you’d be very unlikely to think of.   [Read more…]