Solar Quotes Blog

The STC Price: Is Your Solar Installer Ripping You Off?

A solar crook

Short Answer: Probably Not. Longer Answer: Ah, the joys of STC prices! Every so often I get an email from someone who is desperately worried that their solar installer is using the STC price to rip them off. The suspicion is usually kicked off by one of two things:

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The way forward for feed-in tariffs?

A Rural German Solar Installation

Not sure how many SolarQuotes readers caught this fascinating Radio National discussion during the week. Amongst a number of issues raised, it gave a number of insights into the problems facing how Australian governments deal with solar power incentives. Hosted by Waleed Aly with guests Matthew Wright, executive director of the renewable energy action group […]

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Solar Panels On Roofs Facing Different Directions? Then You Need To Do This.

A House With Solar Panels Facing Different Directions

Here is a photo I took of a house around the corner from me. As you can see, it has solar panels on 2 separate roof areas. In solar jargon, you would say there are 2 “strings” of solar panels. The main string is facing North, which is the best roof orientation for solar panels. […]

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What is solar tower technology?

Diagram showing how a solar tower works.

News that the Perth-based renewable energy company Hyperion Energy is planning to build a solar tower in mid-west Western Australia sent your correspondent scurrying to the research files this week. According to the company website, Hyperion have purchased a 127,000 hectare site near the town of Tuckanarra. The site is near mines and an airport and […]

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Understanding Solar Panel Specifications Part #2: Power, Tolerance & Efficiency

the 4 most important solar panel specifications

In Part #1 I went into great detail about why the “Max Power” quoted on your solar panel specification sheet and the real max power you will actually get from that panel are very different numbers. I showed you how to calculate a more accurate max power by using some little known temperature specs. In this post […]

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How To Read A Solar Panel Specification: Part #1 Power & Temperature Specs

A typical solar panel specification

Does a solar panel specification with “Max Power” rated at, say 190W, really produce a maximum power of 190W when it is on your roof in the blazing sun? Short Answer: Not on your nellie! The max power rating (in Watts) that your solar panels are rated at is the figure that everyone quotes when […]

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How NOT to save $1,000 on your solar system

I got this email today: “Hi Finn, I’ve got a quote for a 1.5kW solar system for $2500 and a 3kW system for  $6000. I want 3kW. Why don’t I just buy 2 x 1.5kW systems??? Cheers, Bob” Bloody good question Sir! In fact I can’t believe more people don’t ask this question. But, as […]

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Would the solar industry be better off without government support?

Sir Humphrey discusses the UK's Solar Feed In Tariff

Fascinating article this. The UK’s only Green MP, Caroline Lucas, takes to the pages of The Guardian to launch a broadside against the UK Government’s investment policy in relation to solar energy. The UK Government this week lost an appeal in the High Court against a lower court’s ruling that its retrospective attempt to change […]

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Two Reasons You Must Look At Efficiency Curves When Choosing Your Solar Inverter

a graph of inverter efficiency vs. inverter power output

In my last blog post I explained how to find an inverter’s real-world efficiency instead of relying on the inverter manufacturer’s  numbers. The CEC or European Efficiency numbers that I talked about are a much better number to use when comparing solar inverters. And for most people they will be all you need. However if […]

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Solar Inverter Efficiency: What you need to know before buying.

Everything goes through the inverter so its efficiency is critical.

Solar inverter efficiency is a critical specification that directly affects the efficiency of your entire solar system. It is almost always a much more important consideration than solar panel efficiency. All the power generated by your solar panels has to go through your inverter before you can either use the power in your home or export […]

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