Has Maxim Just Killed The Microinverter & DC Optimiser?

3 maxim chips compared to a micro inverter and dc optimiser

Are these 3 little chips all you need to optimise your panels for maximum energy output?

Maxim Integrated is a Californian electronics company that has been going strong for 33 years and has only ever been delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Exchange once.  As you may be able to tell from their name, they like to integrate things and have developed a way to optimise the power from individual solar panels using 3 tiny chips embedded in the panel. [Read more…]

Microinverters Vs. Dc Optimisers: Which option is best?

optimisers and microinverters

If you’ve decided on panel-level optimisation, which is the better choice, microinverters or optimisers?

Good grief this article is going to get me into trouble with some solar installers.  Why? Because by the end of it I will give my humble opinion on whether microinverters (e.g. Enphase) are better than DC optimisers (e.g. SolarEdge or Tigo). [Read more…]

Does Sunpower + Solarbridge Microinverters = World’s Best Performing Solar System?

sunpower and solarbridge logos

Sunpower & Solarbridge sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G

A lot of Aussie solar installers really dislike microinverters. In fact many refuse to install them.

The main reason is a fear of inverter failure. The reasoning goes something like this: [Read more…]

Discover How Micro Inverter Solar Panels Cope With Shade

As a true solar geek, I can’t think of anything better to do at 7:30 on a Friday evening, than log in to my solar panel monitoring system.  While most folks are settling down to Friday Night Footy, you’ll find me checking out how much power my 6kW of micro inverter solar panels are producing as the last rays of evening sun scatter across my roof.

As I logged in tonight to see a respectable 1.2kW being pumped out, I noticed that the monitoring system was providing a great example of one of the benefits of microinverter technology.

If you have a gander at the live monitoring screenshot below you’ll see that I’ve highlighted the position of my wood burner’s flue and the approximate shadow it casts as the sun goes down.

solar panel monitoring

The red circle is my flue. I’ve drawn on its 7:30pm shadow.

[Read more…]

The Truth About Your Roof And Solar Power: 3 Questions You Must Ask.

roof with panels

Is your roof good for solar?

Imagine you walk in a shoe store and the shop assistant immediately starts measuring your head with a tape measure. You’d think she was mad, wouldn’t you? And you’d be right, of course. Sometimes the basics are just self-evident.

If you need shoes, all the information you need is right there at the bottom of your legs. Same with solar power.  No reason to start anywhere but right up there on your roof.

And there are 3 questions about your roof that you have to answer right away before we move on to anything more advanced. And you’ll soon see why…

[Read more…]

Grand Designs + Solar Panels = Epic Fail

Grand Designs Logo with FAIL stamp

Note to Grand Designs: “Do your bloody homework!”

Today’s top solar tip:

Please don’t look to Kevin McCloud or Grand Designs for advice on solar power!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Kevin McCloud, he seems like a top bloke. And Grand Designs is one of the few things I actually watch occasionally on the gogglebox.

But they really need to do their research when it comes to solar.

The UK episode on ABC1 last week showed that they don’t have a freaking clue about solar power. [Read more…]

How Do You Know If Your Roof Is Good For Solar Power?

Back to the absolute solar basics today on the SQ blog!

In this video I describe the 3 things you need to understand about your roof before buying a solar power system.

And here’s the transcript if my pink shirt gets too much for you: [Read more…]

8 Reasons To Get A Site Inspection Before Buying Solar Power

a solar inspection

If you are considering putting some solar panels on your roof, then I strongly recommend that you have a physical site inspection before getting firm quotes.

Since I started SolarQuotes many years ago, we’ve handled hundreds of thousands of quote requests and over those years the most frequent complaint I’ve had from people looking for quotes is:

“This solar installer won’t even give me a ballpark price for a solar system! He’s insisting on coming round to my house first!”

[Read more…]

The Problems With Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin Film Solar Panels in a solar farm

Picture: Thin Film Solar Panels on a solar farm in Germany

If you are looking to buy a solar power system and have done any kind of research on the web, then you have probably  come across lots of people  arguing over the pros and cons of Thin Film Solar Panels compared to the more common monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. In a nutshell, there are 3 major types of solar panel technology on the market:

  • MonoCrystalline,
  • PolyCrystalline
  • Thin-Film

It seems a lot of people are firmly in either the “Crystalline” or “Thin-Film” camp. And when discussing which panel is best, they can easily lose their objectivity with arguments along the lines of “Thin Film is the only way to go” or “Mono Crystalline and Poly Crystalline are junk!”.

[Read more…]

Don’t Make these 10 Mistakes When Buying a Solar Power System

1. Buying the cheapest – because it is the cheapest.

If a solar system seems too cheap to be true, then it is probably is!

Here are 4 ways they get the price so low:

a) The solar company is buying absolute junk panels and inverters on the spot market in China

[Read more…]

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