March2018

Solar rebates and power prices drive record installs

2017 was the busiest year on record for solar installers nationwide with homeowners and increasingly businesses embracing the technology as a way to guard themselves against the massive increases in energy prices already experienced and those still to come. Over the last 2 years, power prices have increased by between 150% and 240% in the […]

Australia can become a global renewable energy superstar

Ramez Naam of Singularity University in Silicon Valley believes Australia, as one of the sunniest and windiest places on earth, has untapped renewable energy potential Compared to other countries in the world Australia currently has high solar radiation but low installed solar capacity But as demand for solar increases, technology is improving and prices are […]

Solar Rebate under attack

Pressure is mounting from within the ranks of the back benches of the Turnbull Government to scrap the solar rebates available to homeowners to install solar panels, worth around $4,000 for a 6kW system. The charge is being led by Tony Abbott who said recently that “Australians are paying far too much for our emissions […]

Too much solar not a problem, yet….

According to a Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute, Too much solar power produced in off-peak periods may cause grid issues, depress wholesale prices and lead retailers to reduce Feed in tariff amounts. Others, such as research firm Green Energy Markets say it’s not currently a serious issue and one that can be solved relatively simply […]

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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.