Solar systems in Australia are some of the most affordable in the world, particularly considering the excellent climate we enjoy that is ideal for producing plenty of energy for any sized home. And here in Adelaide, we have the advantage of a rather sunny climate, a keen public interest in solar, and some outstanding Government subsidies which further drive the costs down. But with so many systems on the market, it can be tricky to narrow down your search.
Here’s how you can compare solar systems in Adelaide:
- Choose your system type
There are two basic system types: on-grid and off-grid. The difference is the solar battery component of your system. If you’re still connected to the grid, you’ll benefit from easy top-ups as needed, and can sell excess power back to the grid when it’s not needed. The downside is that privilege comes at a cost pre-determined by the electricity companies which can spike at any time. If you are off-grid, you store your excess energy onsite using a solar battery, so have no reliance on the grid. It means that you will need a larger system to accommodate those shorter and more overcast days in winter, for example.
- Determine size
As a general rule, it’s best to determine the indicative size of the system that you need first, so that you can compare apples with apples. The average Australian household uses 18kWh of energy. Adelaide receives approximately seven hours of sunshine daily, except for the winter months when this falls to five hours.
For a solar panels only, a 5kW system can produce an average of 20.75kWh of energy, covering the average. However, if you only use 40% during daylight hours, then a 2kW system would suffice. For battery storage, you would likely want the full 5kW system, plus battery storage that gives a total capacity of 10kW.
You can use simple solar calculator like this one to get a ballpark figure. You’re now in the position to begin gathering quotes from installers near you.
- Compare prices
Until you collect a number of quotes, it can be difficult to get an idea of what is a good price for what you’re after. That’s where another handy tool comes in. Solar Choice’s Solar PV Price Index reports the average costs of various sizes of solar systems in each capital city around the country—giving you a reliable benchmark that you can compare to any quote you receive.
For example, as recently as August 2018, in Adelaide the average price of a system ranged from a 1.5kW system for $2,970 all the way through to a 10kW system for $12,540. Alternatively, you could calculate the price per Watt and compare that with the report’s low, median and high estimates for your city to figure out where you stand.
For help with your research, to obtain a competitive quote, or to discuss your solar needs, you can rely on Solar Warehouse Australia.
Also Read: Top 10 Solar Panels Installers in Adelaide
Solar panels are those devices which are used to absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity or heat. According to Solar Quotes at the time of writing, there are 10 clear front runners in the Adelaide solar installation industry. These ratings are determined by customer reviews which rate for value, system quality, customer service and installation. Below are listed ratings of solar panel installers who serve in Adelaide.
List of Best Solar Panel Installers in Adelaide
- Solar Warehouse Australia (4.9 rating)With over 15 years’ combined experience in the solar industry, this company is well known for its tight-knit relationships with wholesalers and distributors to get customers the best deal, as well as offer the comprehensive advice to guide your research.
- Adam Solar (4.8 rating)Adam Solar was a finalist in the Australian Startup Awards back in 2014, and has grown steadily since. The business offers solar for residential and commercial, as well as air conditioning and electrical.
- DQ Electrical (4.8 rating)DQ Electrical is a family-owned solar business located at Gepps Cross, servicing both metro and regional areas across a variety of electrical services, including solar installation.
- Goliath Electrical (4.7 rating) Founded in 2012, despite the name the Goliath team is a small one, focused on presenting the local alternative to the big solar companies.
- Clayton Solar and Electrical (4.6 rating) Since 2010, Tom Clayton and his small team have delivered a personalised solar system installation experience to local and regional clients.
- Generate Energy (4.6 rating) Ace Solar & Electrical and Adelaide Electrical Solar & Security combined recently to form Generate Energy, providing a number of services from solar installations to sustainability audits.
- Greenbuild Energy Solutions (4.6 rating) Based in Golden Grove, Greenbuild Energy Solutions has been in the industry since 1997, with a focus on delivering affordable solutions for their clients.
- MyEnergy Engineering (4.6 rating) The MyEnergy team consists of electricians and engineers, offering clients a unique insight and education into the technical aspect of solar system installation.
- Solar Connected (4.6 rating) From humble beginnings in South Australia, Solar Connected is now installing systems Australia wide. They’ll also offer you a full report for installing solar in your property.
- Solar Wholesalers (4.5 rating)Since 2008, this family-owned business has been installing solar and storage systems across South Australia.
Also Read: Compare Solar Power Systems in Adelaide: Prices and Reviews
Welcome to Part 2 of my previous blog “What’s the different types of solar PV systems and solar inverters? Part 1: Your Options” I will go on discuss different analogies to differentiate different branded inverters and where we feel they sit in the market place. I will keep this one short and to the point as I am sure most of you nodded off to sleep briefly with part 1. So here we go…..
Part 2 – Car Analogies to better understand you solar inverter options:
THE GREAT WALL
When I think of The Great Wall on one hand I think of Incredibly advanced, ancient Chinese civilisation architecture and highly skilled workmanship and on the other hand I think of low cost run of the mill, might just get you from A-B but will a cough and spatter as you cross the line, short life expectancy, costly to maintain, hard to diagnose an issue, limited features, limited style, poor fuel economy, no corrosion resistance, tiny resell value, disposable cheap motor vehicle. This is exactly the same with solar. You may get a hard wearing, long lasting and reliable solar inverter but more often that not if your buying cheap….. your not buying The Great Wall, you’re buying a Great Wall. All low cost Chinese made systems tend to fall in this category and we recommend you steer clear of these products and invest a little more money in quality brand name products so you can achieve a longer lasting, headache-free outcome.
When I think of a Commodore I think of 2 things, 1 being a dime a dozen typical Aussie battler car that gets you from A-B at an affordable price, with basic upgrade features and reasonable life expectancy, mid range motor vehicle. The other is a “naval rank used in many navies that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral.” Either way you think about it it’s not the highest rank on offer but still a reasonable proposition. This is where your premium Chinese and European DC string inverters fit in. This is a good middle of the road solution that won’t break the bank but will still provide you with a reasonable level of quality and is a medium to long term reliable energy solution.
THE ROLLS ROYCE
The only thing that I think of when I think of Rolls Royce is ultimate styling, unsurpassable performance, world class engineering, luxurious comfort, supreme elegance, superior class and unrivalled quality. The Rolls Royce is the king of all cars and when I think of the Rolls Royce of all solar inverters I think of SolarEdge DC Optimised solar power system. You won’t get much better than this and the beauty of this is that it doesn’t come with a Rolls Royce price tag. The longest warranty of any inverter on the market, the best efficiency, extremely safe, battery ready, panel level monitoring…… the list just goes on and on…. click here for a more refined list of benefits. This is the solution to use if you want to get the most out of your solar system with the greatest reliability and performance a solar inverter can provide. Nothing else come close in my opinion and SolarEdge is fast becoming our most requested and installed solar solution.
So if you could get a Rolls Royce for not much more than your run of the mill Commodore, what would you do?
For more information or to ask any questions about solar systems, contact us here.
Solar power system in Adelaide have evolved over their many years of existence. Over the past 15 years the industry has seen a solid push forward in new solar power technologies both in the solar panel manufacturing industry, the solar inverter manufacturing industry and now we have additional power controls and highly advanced energy monitoring capabilities that are commercially available that are cost effective.
When making any kind of purchase you wouldn’t compare apples with oranges would you? Well believe it or not that is exactly what most people unknowingly do when deciding on a solar energy solution. I know solar is a confusing market and it doesn’t help that every single darn sales guy promises you that only their product is the best on the market. You will normally hear that followed by “We have a super limited time only bonus special just for you, buy 18 panels right now and I’ll give you 4 free!” normally followed by “This deal is only available if you sign up right now” spoken in a thick foreign accent. Normally the low price, flash in home, boss approved sales looks great on the surface but very rarely will your experience with companies like this be a long and prosperous one. Like the old sayings go, nothing good is cheap and Nothing Cheap is Good. You get what you pay for. These types of high pressure sale tactics have really tainted my beloved clean green energy industry. So today I wanted to clearly explain the differences behind each system so that you can easily understand the difference between an apple, an orange and a black diamond encrusted, 24kt white gold, platinum accented solar inverter.
The most common comment we hear from a client when we provide them with an Adelaide solar panel quote is “I’ve been told by my friends the German inverters are the best I only want that please”. To be fair, years ago a German solar inverter like the SMA Sunny Boy was the only way to go to ensure a long lasting quality solution was provided because their was so much cheap unregulated junk in the solar market that couldn’t be trusted. The truth is that the industry has evolved and has cleaned up dramatically to the point where even SMA now makes their beloved Sunny Boy solar inverter range at a facility in China. Most of the cheaper Chinese products that remain in the market are those who have been around for years and provide local after sales support and have enhanced the quality of their product over years of research and development so there’s more reliability in the cheaper options nowadays that there use to be but you still need to be cautious. I could go on for days about this topic but I have decided to keep it as short as possible and I will break up this blog into 2 parts. Part 1 is the break-down of different inverter topologies. In Part 2 we will discuss different analogies to differentiate different branded inverters and where we feel they sit in the market place.
Here we go….. Part 1 – Inverter Topologies:
So there are many different brands of solar inverters but what are the different types of solar inverter topologies in the market now? You have your standard/traditional DC string inverter (the likes of SMA, Fronius, ABB, Zeversolar, GoodWe, Sungrow etc). Then you have your DC optimizer systems (Solaredge, Tigo). Then you have your Micro inverters (Enphase).
A standard DC String inverter is where a number of solar panels are wired together and then the collective DC power output of the solar panels gets converted into AC energy through the DC string inverter. This is the oldest style of solar inverter, the simplest in design, and is the most cost-effective solution if you are price driven and don’t care for any bells and whistles or advanced monitoring. This solution is not recommended if you have any risk of potential shading as with a standard DC string inverter the weakest performing panel will bring the performance down of all the other solar modules it is wired together with. DC String inverters have very limited installation flexibility and is normally an ideal solution for large roof area of one or two orientations only. The Globally renowned most reliable products in this range are the European made SMA & Fronius inverters followed by the Chinese made ZeverSolar inverter which is owned by The SMA Group.
The next topology is a DC Optimised system which is basically a middle ground hybrid between a DC string system and a Micro Inverter System but shares more similar characteristics to a micro inverter minus the panel level current conversion. A DC Optimiser is small device that is mounted behind each individual solar panel that effectively works as a brain for each panel allowing them to function independently and harmoniously with the other panels it is connected to. The DC string inverter that the panels are connected to communicates with the DC optimiser to regulate the current when a panel is not performing as it should and the other panels effectively are told to pick up the slack. This leads to greater efficiency, longer inverter life and proactive maintenance. As the current is being regulated by the inverter, SolarEdge have a unique safety feature that if there’s ever a fault or risk of danger in the system, the inverter will go into rapid shuts down mode all cabling voltage will be reduced to an extra low safe voltage. Other key benefits is greater flexibility with design and installation layout making it an ideal solution for shaded roof areas, premises with limited roof area and designer properties that have multiple roof orientations .A DC Optimiser Inverter solution is ideal for sites with shading issues, different roof orientations, where customers want to know exactly what is happening with every part of their solar system and is our recommended solution for any residential and commercial solar solution. The industry leading manufacturer of DC Optimers is SolarEdge. A SolarEdge system is a highly flexible inverter solution that is easily battery ready with a simple add on device called the StorEdge retrofit battery charge or you can get a hybrid battery ready StorEdge all in one inverter.
A Micro inverter is a small DC-AC inverter that is mounted behind each individual solar panel which converts the DC output of the solar panels to AC output immediately on the roof. This solution is extremely flexible being able to function with as little as only 1 panel and can be installed on many different orientations. As the current is converted at the panel it doesn’t require any high voltage roof top DC isolators and if there’s ever a fault in the system, the AC circuit breaker will trip and shuts down all cabling voltage to an extra low safe voltage. Every panel functions independently so this solution is best suited to sites with shading issues, different roof orientations, smaller sized installations. The leading brand of micro inverter available on the market is the Enphase micro inverter who are just releasing their 7th generation of micro inverter June 2018.
To be continued……
For more information or to ask any questions about solar systems, contact us here.