Solar Rebate Ending?

dont-panic

Have you heard the news?  The solar rebate is ending!  It’s all over the internet.  Or at least all over the parts of the internet that run ads from shonky solar companies.  According to them, if you don’t rush out right now to get rooftop solar installed before the first of January you’ll end up paying a fortune for it!  If you don’t buy now, the price of a typical 5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will rise by…

…just a second… let me work it out…

Around $263 which is about a 4% increase. [Read more…]

Congratulations! Your 10 Year Solar Panel Product Warranty Is Probably 25 Thanks To Australian Consumer Law

magician turning a 10 year warranty in to 25 year warranty

Has your solar panel’s ‘product warranty’ has been magically transformed from 10 to 25 years thanks to Australian Consumer Law?

When people ask me about solar panel warranties, I tell them to look at the product warranty.  This is usually for 10 or 12 years.

I tell them not to worry about the performance warranty, which is normally for 25 years or sometimes 30.  You see, while most manufacturers are happy to honor their product warranties, not all of them expect to replace solar panels that fail while they are only covered by their performance warranty. [Read more…]

Solarwatt Solar Panels’ 30 Year Product Warranty Is World’s Best

solarwatt homepage

SolarWatt’s German homepage claims their panels are “Perfekt”. That’s a big call, but their warranty certainly seems as good as it gets.

When it comes to product warranties for solar panels, the American company SunPower has long been king with one that lasts for 25 years.  Not only will they replace any of their panels that fail in that time, but they will send people around to install a new one free of charge and cart away the corpse of the dead panel for autopsy to discover why it died so young.

But SunPower is no longer king.  They have been dethroned. Their quarter of a century product warranty has been beaten by the 30 year product warranty Germany’s Solarwatt has placed upon their double glass panels, which is three times the 10 year industry standard.

That is a very long time.  With the average age of first time home owners in Australia now around 38 years, people could buy a set of Solarwatt panels for their first home and they won’t be out of warranty until after they retire. And maybe they’ll die of old age before any of their panels start to fail.

While in practical terms for most homeowners there is not a huge difference between a 25 year and a 30 year product warranty, But I am very impressed with the confidence Solarwatt has in their solar panels and I am interested in seeing if SunPower will eventually extend its product warranty to meet or beat theirs. [Read more…]

Trina Solar’s Honey Plus Polycrystalline Panel Sets A Sweet Record With 19.86% Efficiency

trina honey panel

Trina have set a record 19.86% aperture efficiency for polycrystalline.

Trina Solar announced a new world record for solar panel efficiency on Tuesday. The announcement was made via a press release that was mostly comprised of words.

But that wasn’t all it contained.  Oh no, this press release was far too important to get by just using them. It also contained numbers, punctuation, and percentage signs.

Exactly what the particular arrangement of all these ingredients they poured into their press release actually means is a little tricky to work out. But, for your elucidation, I shall now attempt reading comprehension and I am not even going to use a net. [Read more…]

How To Clean Solar Panels

solar panel cleaning

Ronald cleaning the solar array powering his country residence.

I have already written about why it doesn’t make sense to pay people to clean your solar panels. I also wrote it doesn’t make a lot of sense to clean them yourself. Once you add in the value of your time, the chance of falling off the roof and killing yourself, and how cleaning panels usually only adds a couple of percent to their average output, it is not really worth it. [Read more…]

Is Solar Panel Cleaning A Waste Of Time And Money?

a bird shitting on a solar panel

Solar Panel Cleaning – It’s A Dirty Job, But Nobody Has To Do It

The day your solar panels are installed is the day you will get the best performance out of them.  After that it is all down hill. Admittedly, it is a very shallow hill and it might take over 40 years to get to the bottom, but day one is going to be as good as it gets.

One of the reasons for this is dirt. As soon as your panels are out in the open in the clean air, or not so clean air, dust will start to settle on them, blocking sunlight, reducing their efficiency, and costing you money.

The obvious solution is to pay someone to clean those panels or get out there and clean them yourself. And sometimes this obvious solution will be a sensible course of action. If a dust storm has covered your panels in dirt or pelicans have had a poop party on your roof, then it’s a pretty good idea.

But most of the time solar panel cleaning is not worth it. [Read more…]

Solar Panels By The Sea And Corrosion Resistance

beach house with solar

If you are putting solar on a house by the sea then I’m jealous! And I also need to tell you about the IEC-61701 standard.

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside,
I do like to be beside the sea…

Ever wonder why you never hear a robot singing that song? I’ll tell you why.

Two words: corrosion!

Sorry, that was one word. Two words – bad corrosion! [Read more…]

Why Oversizing Solar Panel Arrays Is A Smart Move

house with lots of solar panels

Did you know you can add panels up to 133% of your inverter capacity? Read on to discover why oversizing solar is a smart move (as long as your roof is big enough – unlike this guy’s).

Installing rooftop solar systems with a total panel capacity greater than the inverter capacity is usually a very good idea.  It will certainly save you money, but it can also help get around the restrictions many Australians face on the size of inverter they can connect to the grid. [Read more…]

Seraphim Solar Panel Review: Heaven or Hell?

seraphim solar panels being reviewed by Ronald

Ronald looks into Seraphim Solar Panels. Yes, Ronald really looks like that.

One solar panel manufacturer who seems to be popping up a lot recently is Seraphim Solar. On the plus side they appear to make top quality panels which have done a good job of impressing people, receiving an average rating of almost 4.9 out of 5 from our customer reviews.

But they get a black mark, for not having an Australian office despite having been sold here for some time. That fact could be a showstopper for some solar buyers as there are plenty of good solar panels for sale in Australia with fully supported Australian offices. [Read more…]

Dead Set Solar Legends Donate 30kW Solar System To Kid’s Charity

kid and solar panels

The Australian solar industry. It’s full of kind, generous people.

Do you love children?

I do.

And this is not a lead in to a stupid joke where I say, “…with tomato sauce”.

In fact, all things  considered, I find children to be about exactly as annoying as I find adults.  So if you’re human, no matter what your age, you’re okay as far as I am concerned. [Read more…]

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