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Solar Panels Explained


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#1 Andrew

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 03:16 PM

My attempt to clear up some of the confusion around solar panel systems ...

What's the deal with the government rebates?
Are they still a good investment?
How much energy do they actually save?

Answers within ...

Part 1 / Part 2
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#2 Damo

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

I just got panels installed about 3 weeks ago. Expensive, but given how electricity is rising, it made sense for my househould to start offsetting some of that cost..
Very happy with them so far.

#3 Mrb

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:05 AM

I had some put up last week. Apparently it will save me 30% off my energy bills. I thought $1400 is not too expensive compared to what other things cost. I dont know any difference yet other than  it gives me the high moral over my neighbours that are burning fossil fuel. I also recycle.

Get in before the rebates stop
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#4 Damo

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:56 PM

I hear that, B.
I went for a 3.2kW system, cost me around $7K.

#5 sir riff a lot

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:08 PM

Good blog Andrew , nice work.
I'm looking at getting solar at the moment
all their cool uni mates and regular x-press reading/subi $6.50 coffee drinking fags have gone so why would they be interested in moderating the site?

#6 Andrew

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:21 AM

Cheers Mr. Riff
Cape Town Lullaby:
"Pay what you want" download of our debut EP at our Bandcamp page.
Also at Fan Shan (Perth) and Mills Records (Fremantle). Want us for a gig? Email capetownlullaby(at)gmail.com

A Hole in the Head: A weekly blog about music, movies and miscellaneous junk.

#7 Lesroy

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:21 PM

That was such a great read, I work with 2 electricians one is on the old tariff and one on the new, and the one on the old tariff is so dark on the other dude because he makes more money back,But cant get his head around the fact he only paid 2000 and the other guy spent 7000. I'm gonna get myself a small system soon. My only resivation is how well are the units made and how much will it cost me to get them fixed if they break down in a year or too. Fuck the enviroment, Just joking i put stuff in the bin with the yellow lid all the time. Thanks Andrew.

#8 Andrew

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:45 PM

Yeah that's it. The old scheme was better, but because initial prices have come down so much the new scheme ain't bad either. As for the units breaking down - I get the impression they're very reliable, but I don't know the specifics.
Cape Town Lullaby:
"Pay what you want" download of our debut EP at our Bandcamp page.
Also at Fan Shan (Perth) and Mills Records (Fremantle). Want us for a gig? Email capetownlullaby(at)gmail.com

A Hole in the Head: A weekly blog about music, movies and miscellaneous junk.

#9 Lydian

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

Thanks Andrew...

We're also looking at getting solar panels. Has anyone had problems with the company they chose? Any recommendations - any to avoid??

#10 Andrew

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 01:49 PM

We went with Solar Gain. No problems as of yet. Think they have some of the best prices too.
Cape Town Lullaby:
"Pay what you want" download of our debut EP at our Bandcamp page.
Also at Fan Shan (Perth) and Mills Records (Fremantle). Want us for a gig? Email capetownlullaby(at)gmail.com

A Hole in the Head: A weekly blog about music, movies and miscellaneous junk.

#11 Lesroy

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:30 AM

A few boys in work have gone with Truesolar,they all seem happy, the mob who advertise on the telly 50 times a hour.1650 for 8 panels at the mo. Dont forget you will have to pay to get a smart meter put in if you dont already have one.

#12 BASTARD

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:28 PM

I have heard from reliable sources within the industry (i am an electrician but i don't install solar systems) that the most important part of the system is the inverter. It's one of those things that you should pay a bit more and get a decent one, not the cheapest on the market. It will improve your units efficiency and will also be built to a higher standard and be more reliable. I haven't had direct experience with these systems but as a general rule it applies to most commercial/industrial electrical appliance, that includes multi-million dollar machines, and i have had experience on those.

They are a great way to save money, and as Mrb mentioned, take the moral high ground over your neighbours. A small system wont cover a whole families cost of electricity, eg parents and a few kids, but they will reduce your bills, and so will turning off lights and other unused appliances. But if you are a working couple and not home most of the day they could reduce you bills a fair bit. Of course this all depends on your power consumption and the power your unit can supply, and Andrews blog explains all that quite well.
You want to burn your bridges? I'll help you start the fire. You want to disappear? I got the manual right here. You say you want my help? I can't help myself.


#13 treehugger

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:09 AM

I worked 2 years at a solar place, uploading RECs to the government, dealing with warranties, etc.
I feel pretty competent to advise.
I think its great people are becoming more independent and interested in generating their own electricity

hard to go wrong with sunpower or SMA

#14 Damo

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:16 AM

On advice from friends in the know, I went with Renewable Logic and upgraded to the Sunny Boy inverter.
Well worth upgrading the inverter for reliability.

#15 sir riff a lot

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

Got myself a 5KW inverter with 3.5KW of panels.
hopefully that will tame the bills a bit.
all their cool uni mates and regular x-press reading/subi $6.50 coffee drinking fags have gone so why would they be interested in moderating the site?

#16 Tevilspek

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

Great read, thanks Andrew.
Feeling even more like I want to own our own home so we can go this direction now.. Farken.
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Perth, Western Australia
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