On Saturday I Voted For The Planet — But It Didn’t Work!

Australian election 2019 - climate change

“The planet’s burning you idiots!’. But hey, at least your negative gearing and franking credits are safe. (Image: HBO)

On Saturday morning I wandered down to my local polling booth to exercise my voting power.  I have more of this than the average Australian because South Australia has a low population, yet the same number of senators as other states. [Read more…]

New Energy Tech Consumer Code Seeking Submissions (And Boy, Does It Need Them!)

New Energy Tech Consumer Code

A number of bodies — as in organisations, not corpses 1 — are working to come up with a New Energy Tech Consumer Code that covers the sale of solar power and battery systems, and are seeking submissions.

I’m planning to submit all over that son-of-a-bitch, so if you’ve got any suggestions you’d like included; put them in the comments and if I like them I’ll add them in. [Read more…]

Powering Finn’s Land:  No Nukes Required

Nuclear power vs renewable energy in Finland

I have no idea what the badge says but Finn insisted on adding it.

During our 15th SolarQuotes vodcast filmed on Friday, Finn tried to get my goat by pointing out greenhouse gas emissions would be considerably higher without nuclear power.

[Read more…]

How Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standards Work: They Save Lives & Money & You Can Still Buy A Ute

Vehicle fuel efficiency standards explained

A month ago Federal Labor announced that, if elected, they would introduce fuel efficiency standards for light vehicles that would be phased in by 2025.  As a direct result some people completely lost their shit.  [Read more…]

Random Solar System Inspections Are Effective And Low Cost

Random solar power system inspections

On Monday John Inglis from Positronic1 Solar had a guest post published on our blog where he called for 100% of new rooftop solar installations to be inspected by the state or territory’s electrical regulator.  [Read more…]

Smart Energy Council Says Dumb Things About Batteries

Smart Energy Council - solar batteries

On Thursday the 1st of May the Smart Energy Council put out a press release that strongly implied home batteries can pay for themselves.  Unfortunately, at this time, they don’t with the possible exception of South Australia with their hefty subsidy of up to $6,000.  Anyone who says they do without a large subsidy is either being ignorant, incompetent, or deceptive. [Read more…]

Large 72 Cell Solar Panels Can Go On Home Roofs But Beware Of Shoddy Installers

72 cell vs 60 cell solar panel - size

Large 72 Cell Solar Panels Can Go On Home Roofs But They Must Be Clamped Correctly

This article is about big solar panels.  Bigger than the standard sized 60 cell panels commonly installed on residential roofs.  Those are only around 1m by 1.65m.  I’m talking about larger ones with 72 cells that are about 1m by 2m.  These larger panels are mostly used for commercial installations and solar farms, but they can be used on household roofs provided they are installed properly.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. [Read more…]

The Best Tilt For Solar Panels By Australian Capital: It’s Not Equal To Latitude

best solar panel tilt angles

This article is about the best angle to tilt solar panels for the maximum possible energy yield over a year.  It’s a common belief that panel tilt from horizontal should equal a location’s latitude, but this is not quite correct. [Read more…]

Pmax And NOCT: How Solar Panels Perform In The Heat

Pmax And NOCT - solar panels

Solar panel output reduces (slightly) as the temperature rises.

It’s an unfortunate fact the hotter it gets the worse solar panels perform.  As fossil fuel generators can suffer even greater efficiency loss due to heat, this is nothing to get all steamed up about.  But it’s still not a good thing.  [Read more…]

PERC Solar Panels And LeTID — Cause For Concern But Not Panic

PERC solar panels - Light and elevated Temperature Induced Degradation (LeTID)

Solar panel manufacturers are always on the lookout for low cost improvements they can make to get an edge over the competition.  Or rather, stay in competition, as they are involved in a Red Queen Race1 where they have to run as fast as they can just to stay where they are. [Read more…]