How Big A Deposit Should You Pay Your Solar Installer?

Solar power system installation deposits information

What are the rules about deposits when buying solar power systems?

This post is going to be light on words, but the topic is worth covering. It arose from a couple of questions SolarQuotes founder Finn Peacock asked me to research: what’s a “normal” start-work deposit to offer a solar PV installer, and is there deposit protection for consumers? [Read more…]

Solar inverter cyber-security: listen carefully, and you’ll hear the time-bomb tick

Solar power system security

On a Friday afternoon early in July, I was pleased to hear the ABC’s current affairs radio program PM cover cyber-security in the small business sector. It’s impossible for a four-minute radio spot to be comprehensive, but building awareness is a slow process. [Read more…]

6.6 kW Solar System: How Many Solar Panels?

Solar panels - 6.66kW system

6.66 kW is the largest solar system most people are allowed (without resorting to export limiters). How many panels do you need to reach the magic number?

If someone casually asks me how much solar they should install, I may simply tell them they should fill their roof with as much capacity as they reasonably can.  But after learning the details, I often recommend installing as close to 6.66 kilowatts as possible. [Read more…]

ABC 7:30 Report On Shonky Solar: Fair Comment Or Beat-up?

Leigh Sales - ABC 7.30 report on solar power

Is the solar industry full of shonks like the ABC implied? Should you be worried?

Who saw the 7:30 report last night? Its lead story was questioning the safety and quality of the Australian solar power industry. Leigh Sales promised to reveal “the dark side of Australia’s solar obsession”. [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…]

How To End Dodgy Solar For Good? 100% Inspections By State Electrical Bodies

This is a guest post by John Inglis, owner of Positronic Solar. John is a veteran of the solar industry. Rumour has it that his involvement predates the invention of the sun dial. Take it away John… [Read more…]

Why Solar Analytics Is Better Than The Fronius Smart Meter

solar analytics and fronius smart meter

If you want consumption monitoring you should buy Solar Analytics instead of a Fronius Smart Meter. If you need Fronius export limiting you should buy both. Here’s why…

I love Fronius. The last solar power system I bought came with a Fronius Primo inverter. 1

I also love Solar Analytics. It is the best monitoring system I’ve ever used. I love the way it proactively tells you if there is a problem with your PV system. I love the number showing you how well your solar installation is performing from 0-100%. [Read more…]

Solar Installation Audit: 20% Of Installs Sub-Standard – More Than 2% Dangerous

Australian solar installation audit

CER Audit: Over 20% Of Solar Installations Are Sub-Standard And More Than 2% Are Dangerous. 0% of installers suspended by CER.

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target or RET was audited last year and a report released last month.  It’s a 25,000 word report so I’m not going into everything it covers.  There’s way too much detail for that.  It’s enormous.  If you wanted me to write that many words it would take me all day.  Even longer if you wanted them in coherent sentences. [Read more…]

Poor Solar Panel Performance? Be Sure To Check Both Energy and Power.

Poor solar panel performance? What you should check

If you suspect your solar power system has poor performance – here’s what you need to check.

Although I personally can’t think of anything in life more exciting than getting a new solar power system installed, I sincerely hope you can – otherwise you’d be as weird as me.  Having said that, even those who score 10 out of 10 on the Voight-Kampff normal human test should feel excited when they get their first solar system.  Unfortunately, this excitement sometimes gives way to confusion and heartbreak if they erroneously come to the conclusion that their new solar panels are not performing as well as they should. [Read more…]

The Good Solar Guide: 7 Steps To Tiny Bills For Australian Homeowners

Order the Good Solar Guide by Finn Peacock

Almost 10 years ago, I sat down for 2 weeks in Brighton Public Library and put everything I knew about residential solar power systems into my battered old laptop. I used the free Wi-Fi to upload that information to a home-brewed website called SolarQuotes. The knowledge was picked up from working for the Energy Transformed Flagship at CSIRO combined with my broader background in electrical engineering.

Since then, millions of people have visited the site; which has been continuously improved over the years. [Read more…]

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