View Full Version here: : Solar system reccomendation in Melbourne
21-06-2012, 11:52 AM
Thinking of putting in a solar system to help cut power bills.
Anyone in Melbourne done this and have reccomendation on who to use, what size system or brand to get etc...
There seem to be 100's of suppliers and no doubt some are dodgy so if you have any advice it would be appreciated.
21-06-2012, 01:12 PM
Hi chris, I used solar gain for my PV system two yrs ago. They were very professional in their approach and did not charge for extras such as tile roof installation.
A couple of tips if I may, get a good inverter, it is the heart of the system and even 2-3% difference in efficiency can mean a lot in the long run.
Also, the size of the system makes a difference in payback time. I installed a 1.5kw system. I initially wanted a larger capacity inverter so I can expand later. The company actually talked me out of it! Basically get the inverter to match the system and don't upsize unless you really have to.
In terms of performance, I only just paid my first bill of $7.59, that's after I got a refund of $300 for the excess electricity the system fed back to the grid. All up I am very happy with my system and have recommended it to a few of my friends and colleagues (I am in no way associated with the company).
am I right in thinking that these setups have no batteries and that any excess power just goes straight back to the grid?
21-06-2012, 04:00 PM
I believe so. No batteries. Solar panels wired to inverter which pump power into grid.
21-06-2012, 04:35 PM
Do your research
How much per KW buy back do you get
How long will the rebate last
people quoting maginificent refunds on 1.5kw systems IMO must have small homes, small families and are receiving the premium REB rates
a) be quite certain of how much it's going to cost you for a new meter
b) how much you will get per Kwh produced by your system
Other issues to consider if you do get a small system with a larger inverter is can be expensive to upgrade, additional solar panels retail for nearly a $1000, must be installed by a licensed electrician, may affect your REB rate if you upgrade, will in some cases depending on the original install require new heavier duty wiring.
IMHO if you are in WA, forget it, until the State Govt reintroduces a reasonable REBS scheme.
21-06-2012, 05:26 PM
Yes Bo is correct in what he says, another thing about upsized inverters is they apparently degrade the efficiency of the system so get an inverter to match the panels.
What the panels produce is used by the house first and any excess is what is fed back to the grid so you could conceivably have a situation where the house is running on half and half so to speak where everything the panels are making is being used but the house needs a bit more so it's pulled from the grid at the same time.
And of course it also works the other way round as well when feeding back.
21-06-2012, 05:31 PM
Im thinking of a 3kw system, but getting quoates and doing the maths on the rebates. My family use a lot of power and I cant see prices going down anytime to may be a worthwhile investment in long term.
21-06-2012, 07:30 PM
Trevor makes a good point about feed in tariffs.
I got the system when the tariffs were 60c feed in. I think the Vic Govt has dropped that rate to 20-30c. You also need to consider using electricity during off peak times, which means programming dishwashers and washing machines to run btw midnight and 7am or during weekends. Off peak rates are significantly cheaper than peak rates (weekdays btw 7am and midnight).
22-06-2012, 07:55 AM
Hi Chris I went with true value solar and I installed the 4.5 kilowatt system. I have 16 panels on the roof . My house is a large 30+square home. We use a lot of power specially with 3 kids. We made the decision that if we were going to invest money in a solar system we weren't going to go the small system. Our line of thinking wax that if you are going to invest in a solar panels then get the biggest system you can afford (or that rebates allow for) so that you don't have to pay any bills. Also with 3 kids it's pretty hard to be chasing them around all the time getting them to turn things off.
We still try to be energy conscious but with a system like ours if I want to leave my Telly and computer on all day and my kids playing with their nintendos etc I don't have to worry. We generally don't but I don't have to be miserly with my power usage. Besides as my kids grow they'll only use more power. By the way I haven't paid a bill in the 8months I've had the system.
22-06-2012, 08:44 AM
Gday Chris 3Kw systems after rebates $6K to $6.5K expenditure to install
best bet Greg at Solarzone or Mark at Solarize (best SMA 3K inverter):thumbsup:
MUST be done before end of June 2012 as rebates and tariff cuts from 1st July
22-06-2012, 10:50 AM
Well that's going to be a problem then given its 22nd June now.
22-06-2012, 03:47 PM
Chris even if you don't get it installed in time the price will not be horrendous. The cost benefit will be huge.
As a recommendation we have used True Value solar three times so far. One for home, one for the observatory and one for my dads house and each time that company has performed really well.
22-06-2012, 03:50 PM
We don't have that on general power in SA. Only off Peak is for hot water only. The rest of the time is a price gouging free for all.
22-06-2012, 03:57 PM
How very true Paul, you have hit the nail on the head, a price gouging free for all.;)
At the current rate of exoplanet discovery, soon everyone will be able to afford their very own solar system. :lol:
22-06-2012, 08:39 PM
My understanding is that Governments are heading for a 1:1 ratio for feed in tariffs and if correct then there will be no advantages to a solar system.
I am taking a different route; a reduction in the amount of electricity I use. First change is to just stop wasting it, such as, turning off all appliances that have a standby (of which there a quite a few in this house; seems just about every appliance has to have a clock these days) Another change is replacing all light fittings to LCD, some with battery backup.:)
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