July2014

The 4 Coolest Applications of Solar Power

Nothing quite captures our imagination like solar power seamlessly being blending into the everyday parts of life. While photovoltaic solar power has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the booming renewable energy industry, it is often out of mind and out of sight perched up on our roofs. The following inventions have brought solar further into the public space with creative ways to blend it into urban life. Each has made us wonder, why didn’t someone think of this before?

Frances Butler, Rosewater, SA

The hardest thing about finding a solar installer is finding someone you can actually trust. I was so thankful that I stumbled onto your website so that I could compare quotes from the installers with the best reputations. After spending 3 months researching all sorts of different companies, I managed to find a great one […]

Laura Perez, Coolangatta, QLD

When we first became interested in solar power we had no idea how difficult and confusing the whole process would be. There’s so much information and disinformation out there. It also seems that every installer just wants to sign you up with the most expensive deal as soon as possible. On your website, all the […]

Melissa Griffin, Victoria Park, WA

All the information I was trying to find on government incentives, choosing the right system and what to look out for was all there on the site. On top of that, I was able to get three quotes within 24 hours to compare prices and get the best deal. I’m very thankful to the Solar […]

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy saving tips and more!

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.