Which Solar Panels Can Be Installed Flat Without Voiding Their Warranty?

Installing solar panels flat and warranty

Solar panel warranties have lots of interesting conditions in them.  Some require panel cleaning while others forbid any shading of any panels.  [Read more…]

Solar Panels On A South Facing Roof Can Pay Anywhere In Australia

South facing panels - worth it in Australia

TLDR: Can you put solar panels facing south in Australia? Hell yeah!

In 2010, when Australian rooftop solar power really started to take off, nearly every Australian solar system faced north to maximise energy yield.  But today, on an unshaded roof, panels facing any direction can pay for themselves.  This includes the ‘worst’ direction: south. [Read more…]

Don’t Install A Smaller Solar System To Get A Higher Feed In Tariff. Here’s Why..

Solar feed in tariffs and system size limits

Finding a high feed-in tariff is becoming harder. Our feed-in-tariff comparison tool makes the job easier, but increasingly electricity retailers are putting system size limits on their most generous solar feed-in rates. [Read more…]

Solar Panels On A Flat Roof? Consider East-West Tilts

To maximise the solar energy generated over a year, the perfect roof to install solar panels on in Australia is large, north-facing and inclined at an angle close to the location’s latitude.

Panels mounted parallel to this perfect roof will be optimised for annual energy yield, and in most parts of Australia, should seldom need cleaning. Thanks to their angle, rain will slide off, cleaning as it goes.

Flat roofs are not ideal for solar. [Read more…]

Why Landscape Solar Panels Can Be Better (But More Expensive)

Have you ever noticed that most solar panels installed on Australian roofs are mounted in portrait orientation?

Portrait is more popular because solar panels are cheaper and quicker to install this way.

This post will explain why panel orientation can matter, and why you may be better off with landscape panels despite the extra effort required to install them. [Read more…]

Kiwi Startup Readies Three-Phase Power Balancer For Market

Red Phase Technology Three-Phase Power Balancer

Compared to Australia, New Zealand is a mere beginner in the adoption of household solar power – while Australia had 2.68 million installations at the end of 2020 (source: CSIRO), New Zealand had just 33,771 solar installations at the end of July 2021 (source: Electricity Authority). [Read more…]

Big Trouble For Bad Installers As Clean Energy Regulator Shows Its Teeth

Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector in Australia

Last week the Clean Energy Regulator held an online information session titled, “Update on the Integrity Review of the Rooftop Solar PV Sector.”  It outlined major changes aimed at kicking crap solar installers out of the industry. [Read more…]

How My Friend Frank Used SolarQuotes To Buy Solar

Solar quoting case study

My friend Frank was considering putting solar panels on his roof, so — knowing I’m a solar guru — he asked me what he should do.  I told him to use the SolarQuotes site and — if it was okay with him — I’d write about his experience.  He said that was fine provided I didn’t make any horrible puns and we shook hands on it.  This was a little painful because I had my fingers crossed at the time. [Read more…]

What Makes A Great Solar Power Installation?

What separates a great solar power system installation from a crappy one – even if exactly the same panels and inverter are used in both? Watch a “gold-standard” installation performed from start to finish (transcript included). [Read more…]

Solar Export Limiting: Just How Much Energy Will You Lose?

What are the losses from solar export limiting? — You’ll lose less energy generation than you think.

Export limited solar systems are becoming increasingly common. 

Some new solar power system buyers are being told they can only proceed with an installation if the installer ‘export limits’ their system.

Export limiting is a polite way of saying ‘hobbled’.  An export limited solar system will occasionally send less electricity into the grid than its inverter can supply.  That can cause clean solar energy to go to waste. 

That sounds awful, but the good news is: the amount lost is far less than most people expect.

[Read more…]