Voltage Rise & Solar Shutdowns. Why It Happens & How To Fix It.

Grid voltage rise and solar energy systems

Your grid voltage should average 230V. But it probably doesn’t.

This time last week I was at the 2019 All Energy Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne.  Or — if I have been lazy getting this article out — it was this time last week plus or minus one day.  Mostly plus.

I attended a group presentation on grid over voltage. It’s a growing problem.  When grid voltage rises too high, rooftop solar either reduces output or shuts down.  This not only costs solar households money but costs the country lives, as clean solar energy going to waste means more fossil fuel is burned, resulting in more pollution and environmental damage. [Read more…]

What Licences Are Needed To Sell Solar in Australia?

Licenses needed to sell solar in Australia

Is your company licensed to sell solar power in all the states & territories it operates in? Are you sure?

At SolarQuotes, we constantly get applications from solar companies across Australia hoping to join our network.

Today we received a promising application from New South Wales. It was a 3 month-old company, founded by two experienced installers. The installers had been operating as sole traders for many years and had decided to take the next step: forming a company. They had a website up and running and were out selling and installing solar, trading as the new company. They appeared to have lots of happy customers.

But I quickly spotted a showstopper of a problem with their application… [Read more…]

Victoria’s AusNet Forces New Solar Homes On Time-Of-Use Tariff For 12 Months

AusNet - solar power and time of use tariff

Power Of No Choice. AusNet are making the most of their monopoly.

AusNet Services — formally known as SP AusNet — is a Victorian Electricity distributor1 that covers most of Victoria east of Melbourne, along with some of Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

If you get rooftop solar panels installed, AusNet will force you to change to a time-of-use tariff regardless of your personal preference.  So I guess your freedom to choose means nothing to them.  [Read more…]

How An Oddly Placed Switchboard Spoiled A Tasmanian Solar Install

Solar power and electricity meters in Tasmania

When you get solar power installed you often need a new meter. The rules governing this meter are made by the local network. The electricity retailer organises installation and readings, then a third party company installs the meter. This can cause frustration when there is a metering issue – as Margie in Tasmania found out recently.

In this week’s post, we’re hoping we can help resolve a problem for a customer named Margie, who found herself falling between the cracks after installing new solar panels in Tasmania. [Read more…]

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…]