Solar Power systems

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udo started the topic in Sunday, 8 Jun 2014 at 7:50am

Solar power .
set up costs
off grid
grid connected
buy back tariffs
lifespan
maintenance
your story

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udo commented Saturday, 28 Mar 2015 at 11:30pm

Southey, how do they or how will they keep 1.3 million solar panels clean .....to keep max output ?
daily dust let alone a dust storm will knock down a big percentage of wattage ?

southey's picture
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southey commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 at 12:22am

ooops fucked that up . Quote post is correct ?!?!

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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southey commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 at 12:17am

southey wrote: Right ,
I feel like I've let a few people down , as I've been busy and haven't checked back in this thread .
As of today I will probably have more time ( I tore my calf muscle ) .
Anyway . Shatner nice .
AnnK welcome . Pls don't take my advice as gospel . I struggle to get my head around the whole lease arrangement thing . Firstly the solar industry is full of people with dodgy business ethics , then throw ontop of that people who come accross as a service provider that have an avenue for people to afford green power on their roof . To me anyone involved in finance is in it for one thing , and this shouldn't be news to anyone .
BUT ....... One thing is for sure is that if their money is on the line then invariably they won't be installing a inefficient system !!!! I wouldn't stress too much on the panels . I've learnt also lately first hand that where a panel is from doesn't matter that much . I'm not sure I added them in the thread earlier but currently I'm quite impressed with LG and Yingli ( PANDA ) both n type panels . Anyway I digress , my only concern with lease agreements is that the quality of installer is paramount as you may not own the panels but they are attached to YOUR roof , and crap installers run the risk of damaging your roof both short term and long term from rushing , poor procedures and cheap quality components especially racking ( mounts ) .

Udo , my system is fine . Pretty much spot on to design .
We ( even though started at the highest consumption time of the year :- a fair bit of A/C used ) have averaged only 6 % of our consumption has come from the grid . So most days we are now currently running 24/7 off grid now that the A/C won't be needed . I underestimated a little how much load the battery bank can instaneously discharge to ensure no grid usage . So with the batteries I have unless I upgrade my A/C straight away to an inverter style then I won't match consumption on high load days . But none of that matters too much as I wasn't expecting a serious ( no need for grid ) setup . The other thing is that I'm exporting enough to cover my daily network charge . Next thing for interest will be winter with low light and high ducted heater usage .

Zen , the average latest panels have peak production around 260-275 watts each , those panels look like Q-Cells QPeak mono crystalline . With roar ( silver ) aluminium frames they are most probably no higher than 265 watts each . Large commercial systems like that tend to have high total conversion efficiencies perhaps in high 80 percentages or even low 90's .
On my rough calcs that farm shown in the picture would produce peak output around 2.2 Mega Watt / 2.2MW / 2.2 million watts.
1 acre = 4,050 square meters , on your lattitude the spacing would need to be enough that the total area could only be covered with 40 % panels . 16,200 Sq M divide by 1.67 (each panel area ) . So roughly 9,700 panels at perhaps 265 w panels . 2.570 Million x 0.9 = 2,314,000 watts .
Based on a peak household draw of 5,000 watts per home your looking at just under 460 homes powered by those panels .
On the day tha photo was taken I would say the peak would be 0.6 of a cloud free day . But then household loads would also be lower . Note this is not accurate as I can't tell the exact angle they are tilted at .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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southey commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 at 12:27am

Udo ,
Some places in Europe don't bother cleaning as the cost and frequency of soiling don't warrant it financially . Extreme soiling will damage them eventually so would say they would atleast clean them every 48 mths at very max time .
If tilted above 20% in non desert locations they almost self clean .
That being said some places have built/ engineered in robot /mechanical cleaning devices attached to the mounting frames or on rails that work like pool cleaners / creepy crawlers ,!?

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Sunday, 29 Mar 2015 at 10:44am

My post seems to have disappeared into cyberspace somewhere. Once again though, thanks Southey for your detailed response. I think I know more about solar systems now than probably in the combined last 10 years. Cheers.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

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udo commented Saturday, 25 Apr 2015 at 10:21am

Large floating Solar plants in Japan - Gizmag

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nochaser commented Tuesday, 5 May 2015 at 1:19pm

Telsa has a off the grid solution coming looks insane.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/5/4/technology/teslas-h...

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southey commented Tuesday, 5 May 2015 at 5:25pm

the commentors in that article and more so another which is linked
" http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/5/4/smart-energy/powerw... "
are very narrow minded .
( guys are talking about the Grid being redundant ) ......... hello earth to mars where are you guys going to plug in your Tesla cars ....... 85kwh car battery charged from a 10, 20 ,30 kwh home battery system ... yeah right ....

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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nochaser commented Tuesday, 5 May 2015 at 6:08pm

Agree Southey on another forum call the guys at Business Spectator 'dad's army' spruiker's of the first degree.
Good point re:plugging your car in, off the grid.

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southey commented Tuesday, 5 May 2015 at 8:23pm

Even though the link says business in the title , you'll find that it's actually in the " climate spectator " section . Realism can often overseen in such commenters enthusiasm .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 5:54pm

S.A. solar power owners miss out on price reductions - ABC news.

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southey commented Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 7:46pm

took me a while to find that article . ended up cutting and pasting your description .

" http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-26/solar-panel-owners-to-lose-out/649... "

Its a little vague on detail , and it also briefly mentions businesses will pay real time usage tariffs .... scary .

I wonder if you had batteries in that state and a zero exporter limiter if they would still subtract the $100 off the savings . Very little facts , think I will have to do some digging through the Industry regulators .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

udo's picture
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udo commented Saturday, 20 Jun 2015 at 6:24pm

Sustainable Business .com - Seems to be a huge market in knocking off solar panels from large farms in Europe, Millions $ worth- Tamper proof screws were no distraction to the thiefs , Panels are now being coated in an artificial DNA.... ? which is cheaper than installing CCTV.

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southey commented Saturday, 20 Jun 2015 at 6:35pm

I wouldn't buy second hand panels even new panels get damaged by people who don't know how to handle them .
Micro cracks are where the silicon wafers crack from sharp jolts /shocks when people knock them hard .
Or when transported any length , not in some sort of proper packaging .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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shaun commented Saturday, 20 Jun 2015 at 6:43pm

So what portable panels?

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.

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southey commented Saturday, 20 Jun 2015 at 8:57pm

Portable panels tend to be smaller area , and hopefully thicker glass . ( the glass doesn't crack , when I refer to micro crack . Just stress fractures in the ultra thin crystalline wafers that are placed under it . Glass actually flexes more before failing than the wafers .)
Also they tend to be wired in a 12v configuration , so less dangerous than typical 300+ V , if they do have issues .
A lot of portables are actually half wafers , or poly crystalline .
Many solar farms actually use panels larger again than typical domestic /commercial grid connect systems . And lastly grid tied panels tend to be more refined / higher output which can be more susceptible to issues .
Are u not happy with just satellite phone Shaun !?
Your not doing a Telstra hut trail raid on the way home are u .
If you are stack them side by side verticle , just like glass . Even those fold out ones , try to keep them stowed inside your car and not trailer and packed vertically .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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udo commented Tuesday, 25 Aug 2015 at 6:28pm

Catalyst : Sun Drop Farm.
Powered by sun tracking parabolic mirrors.

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udo commented Friday, 4 Sep 2015 at 1:28pm

Not Solar but a cool little light : Gravity light - Interesting Eng.com

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udo commented Saturday, 10 Oct 2015 at 2:10pm

Anyone seen this - Waterstillar

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southey commented Saturday, 2 Apr 2016 at 12:36am

Can't remember if it was Floyd or someone else was interested in the Zinc bromide flow battery's from Redflow . Well they got launched to market two days ago .
"http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-30/recyclable-solar-storage-battaries... "
" www.zcell.com "
And today ( US ) we had the launch of the Model 3 from Tesla . <$60 K Aus . ->350 km off full charge /range .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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floyd commented Saturday, 2 Apr 2016 at 11:59am

not me southey but saw the story on the abc news .... i love the fact the batteries are recyclable ........ as an aside i've pretty much gone 36V battery operated in my large garden ... hedge clippers, whipper snipper and blower ..... cannot believe how effective they are .... only petrol device now is the mower but if that blows up (if ever) i'll look at battery

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southey commented Saturday, 2 Apr 2016 at 10:35pm

floyd wrote: not me southey but saw the story on the abc news .... i love the fact the batteries are recyclable ........ as an aside i've pretty much gone 36V battery operated in my large garden ... hedge clippers, whipper snipper and blower ..... cannot believe how effective they are .... only petrol device now is the mower but if that blows up (if ever) i'll look at battery

Timer on your charger/s ..... Love your work .
I trust they are the old school LA "back breaker " appliances ;-))
You know 'cause they are recyclable !! ( 98% of LA are recyclable ) the salt water " Aquias " battery's are ever better on the environment . Just not on your space and wallet .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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udo commented Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 at 8:28am

ABC news - Changes to the lucrative tariff, warning on bill shocks.

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southey commented Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 at 1:33pm

Don't stress too much Udes ,
Most of these people if they bought quality gear that hasn't had to be replaced / repaired will be thousands of dollars ahead . Some even had to pay tax on the money they were getting from export revenue . These people will be well aware of whats to come ( being paid 10 % of what they were originally being paid for excess - export solar power .
Smart ones will start diverting their power usage to daytime , as the cunning ones amongst them were already doing the opposite and concentrating on exporting as much as possible during sunshine hours and try and use as much power in offpeak .
They have wreaped great financial reward for being early adopters . Now they will most likely invest some of that in storage batteries systems or smart loads like electric hot water , EV's etc .
Most appliances have timers these days , everyone can Tariff manage these days . Especially states with smart meters installed already . ( Any load can be metered on TOU ) .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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udo commented Friday, 16 Dec 2016 at 8:28pm

India has just completed a $US679 mill solar farm that covers 10 sq kms with solar powered robotic panel cleaning - construction time of 8 mths : Interesting engineering.com

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indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 17 Dec 2016 at 8:25am

Just outside of Tua Pajet the Mentawai's main town is a solar power plant, i think it's government run/funded, it's a pretty good size maybe a few hundred big solar panels.

Quite surprising to see.

mundies's picture
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mundies commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 9:43pm

Anyone had anything to do with ECOsupply for supply and install of electrical solar systems? They are a southeast queensland company but they travel out west and down towards Sydney too I think.
Looking at a 5kWh set up for daytime use with excess feeding back to the grid, no battery/onsite storage of excess power. Just had a sales pitch today and wanting collateral history on them, I've looked at reviews on the net but its hard to know just from that, or even if they are reviews from actual customers...

mundies

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udo commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 10:21pm

How much are they paying these days for your excess back to the grid?

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mundies commented Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 at 11:31pm

Udo - bugger all, I think its about a quarter what it costs to buy it back from them. Thats not the primary reason to get it, just a sweetener. I talked about getting a battery but its expensive and the guy reckons in about two years they'll be a third of the price.

mundies

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southey commented Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 1:23am

Not that this is a judgement , but their website doesn't open for me !?

Just get some quotes from local companies / installers that aren't the cheapest . Post a run down of each in here and I'll give you my best advice !
Remember look for boots not suits !

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mundies commented Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 11:46am

The sales manager who we talked with yesterday was a sparkie and installer who is now off the tools due to getting older and getting over working on roofs in 40 degree weather

mundies

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mundies commented Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 at 11:47am

Once I get the quote I'll post the details up here - would be stoked to get an honest review!

mundies

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mundies commented Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 10:15am

System Details
HEADING
The table below covers the details of the specific Trina layout that we're recommending for your home.
TEXT
System Size
5KW
Annual Energy Production (estimated)
9855
Solar Panels
Trina (20 units)
Inverters
ABB ([Inverter.Qty] units)
TABLE
Lifetime Financial Breakdown
HEADING
The table below details the expected lifetime costs and savings of your Trina solar system.
TEXT
25-year Utility Savings
84,460
"Break-even" time
2.8
Total Return on Investment
32%
TABLE
System Costs
HEADING
The table below details the costs associated with your Trina system.
TEXT
Name Price QTY Subtotal
Panels
$0.00
20
$0.00
Inverters
$0.00
1
$0.00
Misc Hardware
$0.00
1
$0.00
Installation Labor
$0.00
1
$0.00
Subtotal
$10,200.00
1
$10,200.00
Directors discount
-$2,200.00
1
-$2,200.00
$8,000.00
$8,000.00

mundies

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mundies commented Friday, 20 Jan 2017 at 11:58pm

Any thoughts Southey?

mundies

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southey commented Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 12:38am

One thing stands out . Directors Discount ( Wank )

I would be extremely shocked if it paid for itself in 3 years .
( but I don't know your power usage or your current rates up there . )
ABB and 250W Trinas are not that good .
If your install is standard 1 Storey , the house and Switchboard not old , and they can fit the whole array " Easily " on the one Nth Facade .
Then I think you could do better .
For that sort of money on a straight forward install , I would expect you to get better panels like LG mad Fronius Inverters .
But provided you get what your paying for ( you need to know exact models ) then your not being ripped off .
The fact they are saying it will be paid back in that short of time concerns me .
Personally I visit site every time , before I quote . That way there is no conditional changes in price , layout or result .
I would compare . Again look for a company that is run by Electricians , not merely employs them .
I do realise you are in Qld , and it's reputation for snake oil salesman proceeds it .
I don't know anyone personally up there that installs . But I hear good things about Springers

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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southey commented Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 12:52am

The utility savings ROI calculation is either Made up Bullshit . ( most likely )
Or there is some mythical high curve growth crystal ball cost increase . Or you currently use on yearly average 60kWh's per day , 35 of them during daylight hours and magicly your new 5kW system will AVERAGE this for the entire 25 years ....... Check you current bill and see if it gives you your average daily ( 24 Hr ) consumption in kWh .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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tonybarber commented Saturday, 21 Jan 2017 at 9:41am

Good info Southey. When you go on site prior to a quote what info are you actually getting.i see you have some preferred recommended panels (LG) and so what else would you advise. In essence if you were to install a design supplying say 5kW, what would you do or have ? Trust you can help. Thanks.

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southey commented Monday, 23 Jan 2017 at 10:42pm

Tony .
A site assessment is done to do an accurate shade analysis , also to measure roof up properly ( satellite images can often be out of whack ) .
Lastly it's about seeing the client , talking through their power usage , expectations and going away and designing a system that meets their usage needs . .
For some it might mean spreading the arrays in a W, N , E layout or others problems with their existing Electrical installation or siting the inverter .
Nearly every job I do , we skewers try and future proof and improve the installation they have .
It blows me away that people will often sign on near $20K of work without research or actually meeting who is going to deliver it .
A sales man on a lap top and playing with a satellite image is not what you want .
Neither is someone saying ( I'll take your cheapest 5kWp deal ) , because our friends got that and it works for them .
Each installation and client has different needs , unique to them .
And yes I'm currently enchanted by LG modules / panels , Fronius inverters , SolarEdge if the client can afford it or it's a difficult roof .
grace racking is good ( but many copy it ) , Radiant is better and occasionally I've used the German K2 gear . Sunlock is also good .
Due to grid issues I'm looking to upgrade my personal battery system to Selectronic and Fronius & and use more of the same Nerada Carbon Lead Acid batteries . My old man will be gifted my current ones . As soon as the NZ based Enasolar get their storage system sorted . Still not sold on Lithium yet , but the Sony Lifepo ( lithium Phosphate ) that Fronius have are good and some installs I set up as storage ready will use these . Sonnen look good , as does Simpliphi , and the Tesla powerwall V2 sounds better when it arrives . Red flow and the salt water Aquious sound great , but haven'5 had much feedback yet .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mundies commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 10:51am

Thanks Southey. I'm on the north coast NSW but same climate pretty much. Less snake oil down here but still can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff as I don't know the industry. What price do you reckon this type of system would be worth (Director's wanky discount not withstanding...)?

mundies

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 11:34am

mundies have a look at Rainbow power co from Nimbin...put your details into there calculator get a quote ,would be interested to know there quote and whether its worthwhile going up in system Kw size.

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philosurphizing... commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 1:44pm

There is a solar energy mob up here on the northern rivers called Solartek and they always advertise in the Lismore Echo, where they show a solar battery comparison chart.
The chart says that Motoma gel acid batteries give better value (cost per kwh over life cycle)
than the lithium batteries.
Motoma gel acid with desulphation device cost $3,800 with a usable 6.72 kwh and a cost per kwh over life cycle of 15 cents.
Compared to the LG lithium Battery cost $7,500 with a usable 5.12 kwh and a cost per kwh over life cycle of 43 cents.

I currently (get it) have lead acid batteries (600 amp storage) for my self built system but am thinking about the Gel acid type next time.

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southey commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 8:04pm

Good rates are $1.50 -$2.00 per watt installed .
But that depends on the house and what quality equipment is being used .
I would expect that for the equipment they are using , that it would want be a Rolls Royce install /workmanship and sundry equipment .
Let me ask around a few guys I chat with regularly on FB to see if anyone is based up that way .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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tonybarber commented Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 at 9:13pm

Thanks Southey - can appreciate your engineering efforts. Good stuff.

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mundies commented Friday, 27 Jan 2017 at 7:30pm

Ditto, thanks Southey. Good rule of thumb.
Udo I had a look at that calculator and it was about $7K for a similar system but with the sunny boy inverter which I've heard is one of the better ones. Plus my wife got a quote for about $6,800, so it seems that $8K is a bit steep.
Is there any point in getting one of those smart boxes to monitor the system via wifi? Cos I understand that you can read current info straight off the inverter, but the smart system can track your usage for the year I think?!?

mundies

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nate12 commented Friday, 27 Jan 2017 at 7:50pm

Solar power system is a renewable energy system which uses PV modules to convert sunlight into electricity. This is one of the best ways to produce electricity and is used in wide range of applications such as residence, industry, agriculture, livestock etc.

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southey commented Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 at 11:12am

Hey mundies .
Get Stu, Craig or Ben to message me which town your in .
Wifi as you say is not a must , but it can be handy if your away . It also helps that the installer can log in remote to check if there is any issues if you have a concern .
Fronius units mostly come with this standard , and SMA's latest offering is only remote wifi / ethernet accesible as they have removed the LCD screen .
I would personally get the wifi / monitoring regardless of what brand you use . It will come in handy if you were to add batteries at z later date . Many have external smart meters that can connect and summarise what your generating , consuming and exporting . And when ...... si this information is invaluable to size a battery system . Here in Vic we are lucky that the grid smart meters can already give consumption down to 15 minute interval data . And downloadable into csv file .
But that'd only when you don't have solar already . The proprietary units for solar inverters also allow you to oversize your system and still keep the DNSP (Distributor ) happy , by maintaining a set export limit threshold . ie if you aren't using all your energy then they can throttle down the inverter to stay under a set export limitation . All inverters are heading this way as the grid wants to have DRM . ( Demand Response Mode ) capability . Similar things are legislation in A/C splits . ie grid operators can control them from external to meet their needs !

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mundies commented Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 7:28am

Southey thanks heaps. The first mob that quoted us $10K with $2K off as "directors discount" got back to us and said they'd decrease it further to $6K. Something is not quite stacking up, too much bullshit e.g. "here's a good deal cos you're special and we like you - hey but don't tell anyone!" . Fuck that approach, trying to enlist us in some bullshit secret pretend favour.
Plus my wife had a look on one of those websites that review each solar company, this particular one (EcoSupply Australia) wasn't on that website. She has since done some more legwork and got a couple of local quotes from more reputable companies, I think SAE is one.
Southey I don't mind saying on here roughly where I am, I live in the north of Byron Shire.

mundies

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southey commented Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 8:56pm

Hey I spoke to one guy that knows and deals with companies Aust wide .
He mentioned SAE , Juno Energy and Blitzability . Of them I felt that Juno had the best equipment to offer .
Unfortunately i don't personally know the people who own them or guys that work for them .
However there is a small guy that is quality minded that operates out of Brunswick heads . He is a designer /installer / electrician , and you know when you deal with him that he will be involved through every step . He also uses qty gear , and a bonus wil be if you have issues you can let me know and I can bag him out on a mutual solar FB page we frequent .
His name is Nathan and he operates as New Alternative Technologies .
Tell him you " know " Pete . ;-)
PS keep posting quotes .
With simple : Inverter Brand , Panel Brand & $

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mundies commented Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 9:24pm

Hah! Old mate "small guy from Bruns" actually lives over the river near me. Don't know a Nathan in solar, but wouldn't surprise me if I know the dude. Do you have a website cos I tried looking it up and the results from googling about solar is a complete shemozzle, too much bullshit.
Do you mind if I ask how you know him and feel OK about recommending him?

mundies

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southey commented Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 at 10:18pm

I've never met him personally , but he is in Solar for all the right reasons . He installs good quality gear , and from the things he's posted on that site he's your man . Ticks all the boxes for what I see as a good installer . I've sent Stu his mobile number and he said he'll forward it tomorrow .
But still get a quote from him and the others I mentioned . Nathan uses sometimes uses Micro inverters which I'm not a big fan of . But depending on the install they can be okay . If Juno have a reasonable rate on LG and SolarEdge the. That would be my pick . But budget I know is important .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "