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 Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?

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green_dude



Posts : 22
Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:34 am

As the title says, we are ready to buy a solar system through one of the deals going around at the moment. What do I look for? Upgrade-ability? Should I look at a smaller system intially (1kw) but with a large inverter?

Anyone have any idea? lol

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Jove



Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-02-28

PostSubject: It all depends.....   Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:13 pm

Given you mentioned deals I'm assuming that you are looking at a grid connect system. The choice of suppliers I feel is really down to the one that offers the best price as 99% of the systems are effectively the same quality. Just select a well established supplier that you know will be around for a while. We went with Origin as they had a good offer at the time.

In terms of upgrade-ability with the deals that tends to get complex unless they already have a package in place with a larger model inverter. It seems to be related to the way they are using RECs to cover the costs. RECs are based on actual generation capability rather than system potential. Plus you have to be careful that the cables that are used are sized for the eventual maximum power generation - there is a noticeable difference between the wiring on a 1kw system to a 3 kw system.

An other thing to consider is that a small system (1 or 1.4Kw) will only just, on a good day cover the electricity an average house uses so don't expect much to go back to the grid.

Finally I'd think about how self sufficient you want to be... Grid connect Solar only produces power when the grid power is on. No grid power, No solar power. This is all due to OH&S preventing back feeding of the grid in the event of a power cut making it dangerous for the line engineers. It is possible to have a combined system but you need to factor in batteries and automatic switches to switch the power feeds off the grid and in most cases two inverters, one for the grid and one for the standalone system. Rainbow Power are probably the most experienced in this type of system.

Sorry that I don't have a quick answer but, as the subject says, it all depends......

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Susie Wusie



Posts : 27
Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:30 am

So if I only have one telly and a small fridge and boil water on the stove, and seldom use anything like a hairdryer. I don't own a microwave and I have a laptop that runs all the time. Only have a couple of lights on at night. Could I get a 1 kw system or a 1.5 kw system and maybe be in credit, Jove? Smile
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Tallula Belle



Posts : 76
Join date : 2012-02-28
Age : 39
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:36 am

Hey Susie,

In short - I reckon it would come pretty close. You could get a wireless electricity monitor to find out how much power you really use and to practice keeping it low. We have a 1.5Kw system here and we have a wireless monitor and it's quite fun running around the house turning stuff off, trying to get it down really low. Laughing

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green_dude



Posts : 22
Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:51 am

Thanks Jove. Origin - you cant get more 'well known' than them. I can see why you went with them for yours. The outlay of a larger system is quite a bit more expensive, although I do agree that it is a good investment for the earth as well as for the house. I am thinking a 2Kw system. I will do a bit more of my own research and start ringing around. There was an amazing offer on television the other day around lunch time, but I cant remember the supplier now.
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Jove



Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-02-28

PostSubject: great idea Tallula belle   Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:10 am

have to agree - an ebay wireless monitor that needs no electrician to install is the best way to understand your power use.

This one...

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Wireless-Energy-Monitor-Mains-Power-Meter-/140602921899?pt=AU_Gadgets&hash=item20bc9653ab


is what I use and its cheap and simple to install. Very Happy

If you really want to understand the potential return or power need then this gives a point in time view. You just need to check a different times of the day. I would recommend first thing in the morning, before the first cup of coffee, mid morning, lunch time and then early evening and late evening. Record the results over a couple of weeks then use that info as a base requirement for solar sizing.


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Susie Wusie



Posts : 27
Join date : 2012-03-05

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:58 am

I have ordered a wireless monitor from a shop on ebay. Am waiting eagerly for it's arrival. bounce
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Oceanvsta



Posts : 5
Join date : 2012-04-20
Age : 41
Location : Streaky Bay

PostSubject: Just installed a Stand Alone System in January.   Sun May 13, 2012 6:13 am

Although our system is different to most because we are not on the grid, our research in the early days started with local installers and just asking anyone with panels on the roof lots of questions.
It was little alarming how many people had been messed around. So just be careful and try to go with someone who has been into solar installations for sometime( before all the grants started a surge in companies with minimal or no history/ experience) In our area this has been a huge issue. Our final choice came down to who the local electrician recommended. He also confirmed who not to go with.
Also with the grants now being pulled back perhaps get the system you can most afford. The bigger the system the bigger the rebate. Try not to cut yourself short, it's good not to have to constantly check your energy usage to see if you can put the washing on etc
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Tallula Belle



Posts : 76
Join date : 2012-02-28
Age : 39
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Tue May 15, 2012 6:27 am

I totally agree, Oceanvista. That's great advice you have given.

We spoke with Rainbow Solar in Nimbin NSW initially and they helped us with the design. They have been running as a business for 25 to 30 years I think. This is for our off-grid cottage in the bush in Northern New South Wales.

Our place in Brisbane City we went with Origin as it was one of the best deals at the time and we use them for grid connect.
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aidenrock



Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-01-05
Age : 22
Location : delhi

PostSubject: Keep it up   Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:48 am

Basketball
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aidenrock



Posts : 27
Join date : 2013-01-05
Age : 22
Location : delhi

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:09 am

This is gonna be a best idea ever!!!
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2anrip



Posts : 18
Join date : 2012-12-05
Age : 29
Location : indore

PostSubject: Re: Buying a grid connect solar system. Who do I go through?   Fri May 10, 2013 2:31 pm

impressive thread and best idea i ever heard. cheers
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lyarbrough



Posts : 1
Join date : 2015-02-22

PostSubject: off grid solar and wind setup   Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:00 pm

i'm building an off grid solar and wind setup.the panels (100 watts each for 185.00) a wind turbine (400watt for 400.00) an inverter (3000 watt for 200.00) all on amazon.useing marine batteries from walmart (115 amp hrs for 100.00 each) i have 2 panels and 2 marine batteries connected to my inverter.where the cable comes through the floor for the tv i ran an extension cord with a plug strip to my battery storage(dog house) outside didn't want all the wires and batteries in the house.now i have tv,dvd player two lamps pluged in so far.waiting on my wind turbine to be delivered. then will add more batteries as i can and run a cord to charge two lap tops. my little system is pretty expensive but at least i'm not relying on the grid. and will continue to add to my little system to power more of my home.
.
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