SunPower Solar Panels: One of the best panels lots of money can buy

sunpower solar panels

SunPower make very good, very expensive panels.

SunPower make some of the best solar panels in existence. Or at least some of the best on this planet. Perhaps Spectrolab regularly shoots better ones into space to mars or somewhere, I don’t know. But if you want to buy something that is meant to go on a roof and not a space probe, then SunPower solar panels are hard to beat.

Now note that I did say some of the best and not some of the cheapest. If you haven’t worked out that the words cheap and best don’t normally go together, then I have a really low quality laptop held together with superglue and wooden rulers that I’d like to sell to you at a really high price. [Read more…]

ZCell Battery Review: Better Than Lithium-ion?

redflow zcell vs powerwall etc

How does the Aussie Redflow ZCell compare to lithium ion batteries?

The Australian company Redflow is accepting pre-orders for its new home energy storage system, the ZCell battery.  It has a 10 kilowatt-hour usable storage capacity, can provide 3 kilowatts of continuous power, and is suitable for on-grid and off-grid use.  Deliveries will begin in August 2016.

In this Z-Cell battery review I go deep into the zinc bromide technology’s pros and cons compared to its main challenger: lithium ion batteries.

While there are many lithium-ion storage systems on the market, the Redflow ZCell stands out as the only zinc bromide flow battery.  Its unique chemistry gives it several advantages over lithium-ion systems.  One is it can lie dormant for long periods at any level of charge without suffering from deterioration.  And another is its storage capacity will never decline over its over its entire lifespan.  [Read more…]

Enphase Battery Is Impressive But Very Unlikely To Save You Money

Enphase AC Battery

The Enphase AC battery. image: Enphase

Until now, if you have been one of the highly intelligent and undoubtedly good looking people with a grid connect solar system and you wanted to add batteries, you were looking at spending at least $10,000.

But that will no longer be the case in August when the teeny tiny $2,000 Enphase AC Battery becomes available in Australia. [Read more…]

Phono Solar Panels Review: Reliability Scores Highly

phono solar panel review

Phono Solar Gets A Rave Review From Respected testing House DNV-GL

Getting the most out of solar panels depends upon them working as promised when they are installed, and then continuing to work in a similar way for decades to come. To assist people in selecting solar panels that are likely to do this, DNV GL, an international certification organization, performed tests upon a wide range of mostly Tier 1 solar panels including Phono Solar, Kyocera and numerous other manufacturers.  They published the results in their PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report 2016. Or at least they published a very useful review of the results, as they didn’t include everything they found. [Read more…]

Adelaide University Solar Racer Taken For A Spin

Today the Solar Racing Team of the University of Adelaide gave Finn and I the opportunity to take Lumen, their solar racer, for a spin. And I was there to take Finn’s picture as he nailed it and completely managed not to hit or destroy anything at all. Well done, Finn!

Finn Peakcock sitting in the cockpit of the Adelaide University's Solar Racing Team's Car, Lumen, about to take it for a drive.

Finn, about to take the University of Adelaide’s Solar Racing Team’s vehicle for a spin.

[Read more…]

GCL’s E-KwBe Battery, Or Something Similar, Will Change The World

gcl e-kwbe battery

The GCL E-Kwbe battery may be unpronounceable – but it may also save the world. Kind of.

GCL, a large Chinese company, has unveiled a new lithium-ion energy storage system at a price point that some consider to be shocking. Called the EKwBe, it has a seven year warranty, a ten year expected lifespan, and comes in two varieties. A 2.5 kilowatt-hour system that wholesales excluding GST for $1,499 and a larger 5.6 kilowatt-hour system that wholesales for $2,999.  This is the lowest price that has been offered for any comparable energy storage system and I believe that it, or something similar, has the potential to change the world.

Update: 1st December 20016.  The GCL EKWBE battery currently appears to be retailing for around $3,600 inc GST.  This doesn’t give it a cost per warranted kilowatt-hour as low as the announced Tesla Powerwall 2, but it will be interesting to see if GCL will cut its price further in response once the Powerwall 2 is actually available for installation.

[wpdtable id=”5918″] [Read more…]

Revealed: Ausgrid’s Devious Strategy To Keep Solar Customers Confused

ausgrid complaints

Want to ask Ausgrid what the rules are for connecting solar? Then be prepared to enter their infinite loop of hell.

In order to help out people who are considering installing rooftop solar in Sydney, I took it upon myself to find out what people need to know if they want to install a system in the Ausgrid Electricity Network area. I did it for the benefit of humanity. Well, specifically for the benefit of people in the eastern half of Sydney, but if it results in more clean solar electricity being generated, then it will benefit all humanity. [Read more…]

Solar Panel Rebate To Be Phased Out From 1st of January 2017

solar rebate ending

The projected solar rebate for a 5kW system in Zone 3 with a $37 STC price.

The solar rebate which currently reduces the cost of rooftop solar in Australia will be phased out with the first reduction starting in less than 8 months on the 1st of January 2017. The rebate will reduce by one fifteenth of its current amount on the first day of each new year until 2030 and will end on the 31st of December that year. At the start of 2017, the rebate of $3,990 that most Australians would receive at the moment for a 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will fall by around $266 down to $3,724. The phase out encourages Australians to install rooftop solar sooner rather than later. [Read more…]

Coal Power Eliminated From South Australia With Help From Rooftop Solar

coal miners hat

The last coal miners in South Australia have hung up their helmets, and the last coal fired power station has shut its doors.

History has been made with the closure of the Northern Power Station which has eliminated the use of coal in South Australia. And I say good riddance to you, Northern Power Station. I’m sorry you are no longer providing employment for people in Port Augusta or at the Leigh Creek coal mine, but I’m not sorry you are gone because you kill people and I am a firm believer that electricity generation should be death light. [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why Supply Charges On Electricity Bills Must Go!

pylons

Supply charges have no place in a 21st Century electricity network.

Do you know what I hate? What I truly despise? What causes black bile to bubble up from the deepest, darkest depths of my soul? Supply charges on electricity bills. [Read more…]

GET THE SOLARQUOTES WEEKLY NEWSLETTER