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What Electricity Scheme? Solar on the Roof?

ICUDoc

Active Member
May 19, 2015
1,822
1,348
Sydney NSW
As I'm feeling all electric these days, I'm contemplating putting a solar system on the roof.
Has anyone in Sydney done this and is happy with the outcome? I would love your advice.
Also, if I'm going to be buying electrons for the Tesla, I wonder if anyone has strong advice about best electricity retailer / best scheme to make overnight charging as cheap as possible (or even a bit green???????)
 
As I'm feeling all electric these days, I'm contemplating putting a solar system on the roof.
Has anyone in Sydney done this and is happy with the outcome? I would love your advice.
Also, if I'm going to be buying electrons for the Tesla, I wonder if anyone has strong advice about best electricity retailer / best scheme to make overnight charging as cheap as possible (or even a bit green???????)

I would shop around for the solar installation...get a few quotes to compare. We had ours installed by Origin but then discovered Powershop for supply (thanks to those here who posted about it). With a net meter, power generated is utilised and excess is fed back at a tariff of 6.4c per kWh. You purchase power packs through the app where you can choose from green options or cheaper varieties. There have been many positive reports about Powershop and so far they seem justified.
 
I'm in adelaide and installed 14 solar panels to meet our average needs for two tesla's. Only have the first tesla on it at this stage, but they met our needs plus more during winter. We essentially get 24c for exporting, so I use the grid for storage.
I use the tindo panels. Each has a micro-invertor so they are expandable later on the daisy chain. Plus each panel is web visible with some fantastic data. Because they are 240v rather than low voltage, my normal electrician could install the wiring, which is minimal.
You need to work out your annual likely distance and do the various conversions to determine the number of panels you need.
 
I have micro inverters under my panels too. The brand is Enphase. A bit more expensive to install but it does mean that you have minimal loss of efficiency when one or more panels are in the shade, or compromised in some other way. Great where you have panels on roofs facing different directions as I do.

Like other forum members, I recently switched to Powershop as my electricity provider. Pretty happy so far. Unfortunately they don't do gas.
 
I've just installed a 10kW system on my roof. Q-Cells panels with Tigo optimisers (achieve a similar effect to micro inverters but the inverter stays out of the weather) and Fronius Inverter.

If you want to future proof for Tesla PowerWall then you need to use either a Fronius or SolarEdge. If you're using 3-Phase you can only use Fronius in AU at the moment.

It's already happening and quite likely to continue that feed in tariffs will reduce so it's worth setting up to maximise self consumption. Current inverters can monitor solar output vs total consumption and dynamically switch some circuits (eg pool pump, tesla charger, hot water heating).
 
I have micro inverters under my panels too. The brand is Enphase. A bit more expensive to install but it does mean that you have minimal loss of efficiency when one or more panels are in the shade, or compromised in some other way. Great where you have panels on roofs facing different directions as I do.

Like other forum members, I recxently switched to Powershop as my electricity provider. Pretty happy so far. Unfortunately they don't do gas.
Recieved an email from enphase today stating that they are bringing a storage system to Australia to compliment their micro-invertors, although the survey that followed certainly left an impression that nothing has been designed yet.
 

ICUDoc

Active Member
May 19, 2015
1,822
1,348
Sydney NSW
Thanks all- I'll chase up the companies you mention- looks like I'll use a smart system to maximise self-consumption pending the availability of Powerwall or equivalent.
The feed-in tariffs are hopelessly low. The electricity death-spiral might be an ugly part of late this decade...
 
I've just installed a 10kW system on my roof. Q-Cells panels with Tigo optimisers (achieve a similar effect to micro inverters but the inverter stays out of the weather) and Fronius Inverter.

If you want to future proof for Tesla PowerWall then you need to use either a Fronius or SolarEdge. If you're using 3-Phase you can only use Fronius in AU at the moment.

It's already happening and quite likely to continue that feed in tariffs will reduce so it's worth setting up to maximise self consumption. Current inverters can monitor solar output vs total consumption and dynamically switch some circuits (eg pool pump, tesla charger, hot water heating).

I Have 31 panels, half from 2010, and about 7.2 kW with AGL as a provider. We have set up a common charge position so we can add a small i3 for inner city driving; it arrives in early November and will lower our electricity use driving in the city.

I agree maximisation of self consumption is the key and our home will have domestic storage (LG) soon to help with that, but it seems the distributors over the next two years will be adopting "cost-reflective" tariffs which prioritise maximum kW usage at different times of year. You may end up with a modest constant kWh energy charge plus a very aggressive peak kW charge which may be about 3 kW at the minimum charge level. So the function of storage will be to minimise grid draw to some desirable level - say 3 kW - and any extra would be taken up by storage and the PV array when it is active. The storage could be filled by below 3kW draws as well as PV. Of course with two electric cars around and at least one there a lot of the time, it would be great to use their huge batteries for peak-lopping, but I don't see any evidence of this happening soon.

- - - Updated - - -

Incidentally, with low kW draws from the grid prioritised, the emphasis on home charging will be to stretch out the charging times for your EVs. With two of them, you would probably have sequential low amperage charging settings during low demand periods like overnight. So 22kW home charging may be off the table.
 
I Have 31 panels, half from 2010, and about 7.2 kW with AGL as a provider. We have set up a common charge position so we can add a small i3 for inner city driving; it arrives in early November and will lower our electricity use driving in the city.

I agree maximisation of self consumption is the key and our home will have domestic storage (LG) soon to help with that, but it seems the distributors over the next two years will be adopting "cost-reflective" tariffs which prioritise maximum kW usage at different times of year. You may end up with a modest constant kWh energy charge plus a very aggressive peak kW charge which may be about 3 kW at the minimum charge level. So the function of storage will be to minimise grid draw to some desirable level - say 3 kW - and any extra would be taken up by storage and the PV array when it is active. The storage could be filled by below 3kW draws as well as PV. Of course with two electric cars around and at least one there a lot of the time, it would be great to use their huge batteries for peak-lopping, but I don't see any evidence of this happening soon.

- - - Updated - - -

Incidentally, with low kW draws from the grid prioritised, the emphasis on home charging will be to stretch out the charging times for your EVs. With two of them, you would probably have sequential low amperage charging settings during low demand periods like overnight. So 22kW home charging may be off the table.

I do low amperage charging during the day when I can to try and use only only what the solar is producing. But I don't stress over it, only do so if the opportunity is there. We never use even close to the maximum the S85 offers, so it all works well for us. I have 40a available if I need it, but at this stage cannot see a situation where we will.
 

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