Why It Makes Sense To Fill Your Roof With Solar

roof full of solar

Q. How much solar should you install on your roof?

A. As much as you reasonably can.

[Read more…]

WA Hikes Electricity Bills 20% For Poorest, 1% For Billionaires

 

rich vs poor

Supply charge rises in WA will hurt the poorest the most.

On the first of July electricity prices increased in Western Australia.  This was not a surprise as the state government had announced prices would be increasing over the next three years.  The surprise was they increased them in the worst possible way. [Read more…]

10 Little Understood Facts About Australian Consumer Law And Solar

 

Australian Consumer Law and Solar

While they are 10 facts and not 10 commandments, Ronald’s beard has been getting pretty Moses like lately

Here at SolarQuotes we’re all about consumers. So I am going to describe 10 features of Australian consumer law that many consumers, not to mention many solar sales companies, installers and hardware manufacturers, are unaware of.

While I am no lawyer, I have read some very thick pamphlets on consumer law and I think I have the general gist of it.  There’s no need to worry about my level of comprehension as I am very literate.  I can read with one arm tied behind my back. [Read more…]

Conserving Hot Water Gives A Better Return Than Any Diverter, Relay, Or Heat Pump Hot Water System

shower of money

In all the excitement that is solar hot water, simple efficiency often gets forgotten.

I’ve been writing a lot about hot water lately and how to use the energy of the sun to get it.  In fact, I’ve been concentrating on it so much I’ve neglected my other duties and gotten into hot water as a result.  Mind you, this may have all been part of my cunning plan, as I do enjoy a hot spa.  And if it is heated by people’s hot tears of rage and frustration over my failure to do as I have promised, well that’s just me being energy efficient.

Because that’s the kind of guy I am — efficient. [Read more…]

Is The Most Efficient Hot Water System A Solar PV Powered Heat Pump?

pv powered heat pump hot water

Heat Pump Hot Water. Power it with Solar PV and its efficiency cannot be beaten by solar thermal. Bloody expensive though.

If you are looking for the most efficient solar hot water system then solar PV panels powering a heat pump are hard to beat.

While both the panels and heat pump will need to be proficient performers, it is possible for the combination to beat solar thermal hot water which is widely considered the most efficient method. [Read more…]

Comparing Solar Hot Water Diverters Available In Australia

Update: since publishing this article commenters have made us aware of 2 other hot water diverters on the Australian market, the ‘Dimplex Free-E’ and a unit from SolarEdge. We’ll add these to the comparison table as soon as we have enough info. If you know of any others let us know.

I recently wrote about solar hot water diverters.  These devices use your surplus solar electricity to power your hot water cylinder.

They can cut your electricity bills provided your solar feed-in tariff is less than the cost of the grid electricity used to heat your water — which is not always the case.

I am going to assume you’ve read my earlier article, done your research, and decided a solar hot water diverter is for you.  You’ve either determined it will save you money or it was love at first comprehension of the concept and you’ve realized you can’t live without one.  So the question becomes, which diverter should you choose? [Read more…]

Will A Solar Hot Water Timer Save Or Lose You Money?

hot water timer

If you have solar, is adding a simple, cheap timer to your electric hot water system worthwhile?

Lately my life has been a lollapalloza of solar electric hot water heating.  I’ve looked at more ways of heating water using solar electricity than you can poke a stick at.  Or at least I have if your poking arm is weak and flabby and easily fatigued. [Read more…]

Sun Flux Review: Hot Water With Dedicated Solar PV Panels

Sun Flux Direct PV Hot Water System

The Sun Flux is a box of electronics with one function: heating water with solar electricity.

I recently wrote about solar hot water diverters1 which use surplus electricity from an existing rooftop solar system to heat water.

Another option for heating your water with solar electricity is to use dedicated solar panels. These panels put all their power directly into the hot water cylinder’s heating element. When the water hits its temperature set point the panels are deactivated. [Read more…]

Footnotes

  1. And only managed one major breach of the laws of physics in the process.

Solar Hot Water Diverters Beat Batteries On Energy Storage

battery vs hot water cylinder

If you want to store your solar energy, should you put it in a battery or in your hot water cylinder?

 

Update: Compare all the hot water diverters available in Australia here.

How A Diverter Can Give You Solar Hot Water And Store Energy At A Lower Cost Than Batteries

A solar hot water diverter is an electronic device that sends surplus electricity from your rooftop solar to your electric hot water cylinder.  This reduces, or even eliminates, the need to use grid electricity to heat water.  Under the right circumstances diverters can save you money and allow you to store energy at a cost lower than batteries.

[Read more…]

The Solar Spectrum And Why “UV Solar Panels” Are A Con Job

rainbow power company

We are getting reports of people paying through the nose for 5kW of “UV Solar Panels” from fast talking salespeople. Paying more for “UV Panels” is about as sensible as buying rainbow powered panels from a leprechaun.

The sun is a very large, naturally occurring, fusion reactor in the sky.

It constantly releases a vast amount of energy.  Even by the standards of sky fusion reactors it’s pretty powerful and outshines at least 90% of the stars out there. [Read more…]