Adding Solar Power to the Mix

The current boom in solar power in Australia has finally come my way. After we designed a new 3 car garage i realised i had the perfect space to install solar panels! It was a north facing area, approximately 30m by 40m – yes pretty huge area. We have an electricity bill of $1220 per quarter which is really getting out of control. The Government is offering up to $2800 for solar installation – this covers most of the cost of the solar panels and solar power inverter. I was going to try and install 20 or 3o Suntech solar 250watt  panels and go the full monty on a 5kilo watt solar system when I saw lot’s of people here in the Adelaide (where i’m on holiday) with solar panel mounted on their garage roofs – Eureka moment. I spoke to John from the solar power Adelaide news site  (see links below)- he recommended using an aluminium frame mounted at around 25 degrees to ensure the solar panels receive maximum sunlight. Coupled with that he suggested a 5KW SMA inverter which he said was one of the most popular solar inverters being used in Australia currently. John tells me that in Adelaide the solar installers are doing around 300 solar panels installations per day! That a lot of solar panels.

Anyhow i now have the solar panels mounted on a nice frame, facing north. On a sunny day they produce 20KW of power per day!!!! Thats absolutely amazing and i think this covers around 50 percent of our average electricity usage , meaning our power bills will be around $200 per month now, from $400 per month previously! A big thanks to John from the solar panels Adelaide resource and his inspiration that has proven to be a great help in cutting our greenhouse emissions and our power bill- cheers John. Johns final words of wisdom were:
1. Use BIG FAT wires, especially if you go for MPPT solar inverter.
2. Know exactly what you want before you enter the solar panel agent’s door. Do not allow them to downgrade quality of the solar panels or solar inverter.
3. Never allow the solar installation company to put a solar panel where it might be shaded by something else on the roof of your neighbours roof like a chimney. Watch out for trees casting shadows.
4. Get a solar inverter with a MPPT charge controller and one that has enough capacity to allow for more solar panels to be added in the future.
5. Get a solar metering controller that is temperature compensated.
6. Get a string of solar power regulators to charge the controller .