Don’t Buy Second Hand Solar For Your Home

second hand solar shop

You’ll Pay A High Price For Second Hand Solar Equipment

“Psssssst!  Wanna buy some slightly used solar panels?  They fell off the back of a truck.  Or possibly off the back of a roof.  Maybe they even fell off the back of a roof of a truck.  We just don’t know.  But what I do know is they are tier one panels in great condition – they didn’t fall far – and they’re cheap, so if you are looking to install rooftop solar you’d be a fool not to buy them, right?”

Wrong. [Read more…]

How GST On Solar Is Calculated

get on solar

How to charge GST on solar is not obvious. Read on to discover why…

Let’s say you have just been quoted a nice round $7,000 for a brand spanking new rooftop solar system with 5 kilowatts of panels.  With Australia’s 10% Goods and Services Tax, you might expect the GST portion of that quote to come to $700.

Or, if you didn’t go to school in Toowoomba like I did, you might actually think GST would be $636.36 because that would be 10% of $6,363.64 which would then add up to a nice round $7,000.  (Remember kids, always pay attention in math class if you don’t want to end up as a lowly solar blogger) [Read more…]

A Reader’s Frustrations With The Enphase Enlighten Monitoring System

enphase enlighten monitoring

Enphase panel monitoring is a great feature. But some Enphase installers flat out refuse to enable it.

There are many people in this world who enjoy monitoring the output of their rooftop solar systems.

But other people – not so much.  For example, I don’t think my parents have checked the output of their system since they got it.  My father just looks at the electricity bill every three months and grunts, “Power bill low.  Is good.” And then goes back to making stone tools.

But for those who enjoy the heady pleasures of solar system monitoring, modern technology can provide the fix you’re looking for. [Read more…]

Australian Premium Solar Turn A 30 Year Warranty Into A One Year Warranty

ASP Australian Premium Solar

Australian Premium Solar. Not made in Australia and not Premium. (Screenshot from now-deleted APS Youtube video: Caution-tape is mine)

Australian Premium Solar is a company that sells solar panels with a warranty that is truly exceptional and sets them apart from all other panels on the market. [Read more…]

How many solar panels should you install with a Powerwall 2?

powerwall and solar mix up

Installing more rooftop solar is a better investment than a Powerwall 2, so always rack up as much solar on your roof as you reasonably can first. Unlike this guy.

The Tesla Powerwall 2 is going to be big.  Really big.  I mean that literally and not figuratively.  It’s going to be big as in 13.5 kilowatt-hours of storage big.  From the point of view of most Australian households that is huge.

This large capacity presents households with two main problems:

  1.  It is more than the average Australian household uses at night.
  2. Those that do use that much electricity overnight may not have a rooftop solar system large enough to fully charge it.

So if the average Australian home buys a Powerwall 2 they will use it at less than its full capacity. As Tesla’s warranty is fixed at a maximum of 10 years, this increases the cost of each warranted kilowatt-hour substantially.

The obvious solutions are:

  1. Don’t install a Powerwall 2 unless your household regularly uses 12+ kilowatt-hours of electricity overnight.
  2. Don’t install a Powerwall 2 unless your solar system normally produces enough surplus electricity to fully charge it on a mostly clear day.  Normally this will require at least 5 kilowatts of solar panels.

[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…]

Standard Tariffs Vs Time Of Use Pricing. Which Goes Best With Solar?

time of use meter

What will give you the lowest bill, a standard or time of use tariff? What if you add solar? What about batteries?

Australians pay for grid electricity in two ways.  The most common way is a standard tariff. But you can also choose a time-of-use tariff.

What is a standard tariff?

This is where you pay a fixed rate for each kilowatt-hour used, plus a hefty supply charge.  Australians have been paying for electricity this way since the the electricity meter, invented in 1888, was developed into the ‘spinning dial’ type in 1914. So Australians have been using standard tariffs for over  a century. [Read more…]

SunPower Solar Panels: One of the best panels lots of money can buy

sunpower solar panels

SunPower make very good, very expensive panels.

SunPower make some of the best solar panels in existence. Or at least some of the best on this planet. Perhaps Spectrolab regularly shoots better ones into space to mars or somewhere, I don’t know. But if you want to buy something that is meant to go on a roof and not a space probe, then SunPower solar panels are hard to beat.

Now note that I did say some of the best and not some of the cheapest. If you haven’t worked out that the words cheap and best don’t normally go together, then I have a really low quality laptop held together with superglue and wooden rulers that I’d like to sell to you at a really high price. [Read more…]

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