How To Use Solcast To Check Your Solar Panels’ Performance

Solcast API - solar panel performance checking tool

By Dr. Nick Engerer

Note from Finn: This is a guest post by Dr Nick Engerer – Solcast is a super handy, free, quick and accurate way to check what your solar power system should have produced in the last 7 days. [Read more…]

Help! I Bought Solar But My Bills Are Still High

Solar power and electricity bills

If you bought a solar power system and your bills are still high, then either your system is not working or you haven’t considered the big picture of energy-efficiency, hot water heating and system size.

In this post you will discover:

  • Why – if you want tiny bills – buying a solar power system is about more than buying a good system from a reputable installer.
  • How to quickly estimate if any solar panel array is working well in 3 minutes, with or without monitoring.
  • How to work out if your electricity retailer is billing you correctly or ripping you off.
  • Just how hard-to-use most inverter manufacturer monitoring software is – and why you should always buy a good third party monitoring system such as Solar Analytics to go over the top.
  • How following the 7 steps in my book – The Good Solar Guide – virtually guarantees tiny bills and no surprises.
  • And how to read The Good Solar Guide for free.

So let’s get started shall we… [Read more…]

Record Breaking 63% Of Electricity Demand Met By Rooftop Solar In South Australia

solar record for South Australia

South Australia’s Rooftop Solar Now Meets Over 60% Of Electricity Demand At Times

On Sunday, rooftop solar provided 60% of all South Australian electricity demand in the middle of the day.  This makes SA the most solar powered state by far and puts it well past the point where we were told solar power would destroy the grid, cause your lamb roast to cost $100, and make your cows spin backwards.  It’s a big increase from last year when the highest figure I heard was 48%.  Sunday’s percentage was so high it was off the chart.  [Read more…]

How To Deal With Solar And Battery Telemarketer Pests

solar telemarketing phone rage

Sick of unwanted solar phone calls? Then read our handy guide to dealing with this scourge of modern Australia.

Have you ever settled down to enjoy a particularly intense episode of My Little Pony1 when you were rudely interrupted by a cold-hearted cold caller trying to sell you a potentially shoddy and possibly overpriced solar power system?  If so, you are not alone.  Lots of grown men watch My Little Pony.  Also, plenty of people get called by dodgy solar marketers. [Read more…]

Is SunPower’s Product Warranty All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

cracked solar panel

Is cracked silicon a defect that should be covered under the Product Warranty? Or is a crack only a defect if if affects performance?

When it comes to solar panel manufacturers, SunPower is basically royalty.  At 33 years old I can’t think of any solar panel focused company that’s survived longer.  It was founded in 1985 by Richard Swanson who is a solar panel genius.  By that I mean he’s been an important figure in field of solar photovoltaics and not that he’s a talking solar panel or something. [Read more…]

Tindo Solar Claim Spectacular Reliability: 3 Failures From 240,000 Sold

tindo solar panels

Lots Of Good News About Tindo Solar – Including An Annual Failure Rate As Low As 1 In 200,000 Panels

If you are in the market for some Australian made solar panels then I have great news for you.  It involves Tindo Solar as they are the only Australian manufacturer of panels.  If someone selling any other brand of panels says or suggests they were made in Australia, be super suspicious about that. [Read more…]

Budget Solar: How To Save Money While Avoiding Disaster

How to buy solar power on a budget - tips

How To Save Money On Solar Power Without Compromising Too Much On Quality

I’ve covered a lot of ground in various articles I’ve written for the SolarQuotes blog.  But one thing I’ve never delved deeply into is the fundamental nature of the human soul.  Perhaps because at some level we fear the stark dichotomy that dwells inside us.  Within every human being there is a fundamental struggle between the desire to spend big and buy nice things and the desire to cheap out and save a few bucks. [Read more…]

Solar Panel Performance Warranties Are Still Crap But Getting Better

crap solar panel warranties

I’ve already written about how incredibly awful solar panel performance warranties are, but I’m writing about them again because they are so bad I could write for days on the topic and still have a big sack full of snide remarks left over. However, despite my massive sack, I have to admit that warranties are improving.  And not just performance warranties, which are currently for 25 or 30 years, but also the more useful product warranties that are mostly for 10 years.

[Read more…]

Bad News: Your Solar Panel Performance Warranty Is Probably Crap

Solar panel performance warranties are crap

I’ve actually read the solar panel warranties for most of the major solar panel brands. They are almost universally full of crap clauses. Thankfully you are protected by Australian Consumer Law no matter what the warranty says.

SALESMAN:  Hi everybody!  I’m Ronald Brakels and have I got a deal for you!  Right now, for a limited time only, I am selling Brakels LED lights.  And let me tell you, they’re the best.  We have all the best LEDs here at Brakels Incorporated.  If you install these LED lights you will cut your electricity use, protect the environment, and reduce your electricity bills.  And what’s more, we have such faith in Brakels LED lights, they come with a 25 year performance warranty.  Buy a pack of 10 today!  Don’t Delay!

LITTLE OLD LADY:  Excuse me young man, but I bought 10 of your LEDs and 2 of them have stopped working.  I’d like them replaced under their 25 year warranty.

SALESMAN:  I’d like to help you, I really would, but it’s a 25 year performance warranty and bulbs that don’t work at all have no performance and so aren’t covered. [Read more…]

DNV-GL’s 2018 Scorecard Results — Longi, REC, & Suntech Only Residential Solar Panels To Pass All Tests

DNV-GL solar panel reliability scorecard 2018

Those nice people at DNV-GL have done another year’s worth of panel torture testing. Here is a summary of the results.

Over the past 4 years the Norwegian company, DNV-GL, has performed annual tests on solar panels and released a report on their performance.  Their latest one, the 2018 PV Module Reliability Scorecard is now available.  The good news is solar panel reliability looks as though it is continuing to improve.  If you buy now you are more likely than ever to get panels that will last for decades without failing and with only minimal deterioration in output. [Read more…]