Archived Discussion Topic

SOLAR SYSTEMS       started by Sharron+Mick on 28 Apr 2011   (23532)
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From Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 3:57 PM
Has anyone had Solar Panels installed to cut back on the huge electricity bills we now seem to be getting ??? Lots of companies on internet but until you get some recommendations they all seem the same. Does anyone know what size system would be best suited for a 4 x 2, we were thinking maybe 3 kw system, would this make a difference to electricity bills ??? Any recommendations, help or advise would be great or any of you work within the Solar companies, even better - thanks
From Mindblower

To Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 6:05 PM
Starting looking at this but I think 3kw +system was 9500 even with rebates -Solarhart A lot of beaurocracy too,plus would you want 12 big panels on your roof ? Ideally yes, but canna afford it.. Dave
From meandbee

To Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 6:16 PM
I would get a couple of quotes at least. The main thing with Solar is what rebate you are going to get for installing. If you have to pay $3k to get a system installed and it will only save $300 per year off your bill it is a long repayment period. We got a small system installed when we first arrived. I have a 2.2kW inverter but only 6 x 180W panels (1.08kW). We were lucky as it was a couple of years ago and we got the full grant so it was free to install. We only paid the $165 power meter change. We save about 25% off of our bill. We use the cheap rate electricity so run the dishy, washing machine and pool pump after 9pm. You have to be careful as the peak rate of 40c per unit compares with 10c off peak, and 20c on the high and low shoulders. The times for the peak electricity varies from summer to winter. Panels will only generate full power at about 20-25C and full sunshine, as the weather goes up the efficiency goes down. We usually get about 950W during sunniest few hours of the day and 700 - 800W for most of the day. I have recently looked at adding a few more panels and the best i got quoted was $300 per panel plus installation. Thus to increase to 1.8kW would have taken me 5 years to repay the additional panels. We used a company called Kaejen Services from Bibra Lake. Not sure of the contact details now.
From Sharron+Mick

To Mindblower

28 Apr 2011 6:18 PM
Cheers Dave - Think you could get it cheaper than that, they are advertising 3kw for about $7000. Might not be the best systems but there seems to be alot of movements in prices so could prob get a good deal. As for having 12 big panels on the roof, wouldnt bother me tbh as long as i was saving abit of money - cheers
From Sharron+Mick

To meandbee

28 Apr 2011 6:24 PM
Thanks for the info - yeah i will have to get a few diff quotes from diff companies i was just after some recommendations. Interesting though re using electricity later in the day, is it really that much cheaper after 9pm ??? if so what time from and till is it cheaper ??? We have a pool and i think we have seen a big increase mainly because of that, maybe we should change the timer ??? Decisions, decisions - thanks again
From meandbee

To Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 6:33 PM
Weekday Winter time April - Oct the cheap time is 9pm -7am. Peak is 7am -11am and 5pm -9pm and the period 11am - 5pm is the 20c per unit. Weekday in Summer time cheap is same, peak is 9am - 5pm. and the 7am - 9am and 5pm - 9pm is 20 c time. I think. Weekend all year cheap is 9pm - 7am and 7am - 9pm is 20c per unit. This is on the 'green' C1 tarrif, the standard A1 tarrif is 20-something cents per unit all day every day. We worked out that the timed tarrif would save an additional 5-10% off the bill.
From jactri

To Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 9:11 PM
Hi, Our friends run 20/20 solar & would recommend contacting them for quote. John based in Mindarie and qualified electricians, not people dabbling to make fast buck! PM and I can give John's mobile if interested.
From jimboman

To Sharron+Mick

28 Apr 2011 9:42 PM
You will only save on the time of day of usage if your meter is set up to do so. Standard meters only record usage and not time of usage. If you have a pool, the usual cycle is 8 hours per day in two shifts of 4 hours each. Try reducing the time by one hour. If your pool doesn't suffer, try taking off another hour. We've got ours down to 6 hours a day in one shift (1pm to 7pm when the pool is being used the most). We have no difference in water quality or chemical balance. As for Solar power, work out your potential saving and balance it against the cost of the system. If it will take you ten years to recoup the cost of the installation, it is probably not worth it (chances are you will move house within ten years anyway). There is no evidence that solar panels increase house prices so you won't get back what you spent when you sell. Solar power systems are way overpriced at the moment (think double glazing in the UK twenty years ago). I reckon, wait five years and watch the price drop by at least 50%. Another thing about Solar is the selling back of excess power to the grid. This works now, but when more people get solar, the system will become unsustainable.
From Sharron+Mick

To jimboman

28 Apr 2011 11:12 PM
Thanks for your advice - lots to think about. Think for the time being we mite just try keep the costs down ourselves. I have changed the pool pumps hours and will keep a eye on the chemical balance. Have changed the running times to the off peak period too, hopefully this will make a diff. Fingers crossed !!