Latest Pages from the blogs

26th Oct 2016
China’s appetite for solar benefits Aussie buyers
Are you still undecided about investing in solar PV panels for your home? If you’re put off by the cost involved, it’s time you had another look because solar panel prices are lower than ever before, meaning now is an excellent time to buy. The reason for this lies in China. Background In the first six months of 2016, China experienced a massive surge in the uptake of solar PV systems. In fact, the Chinese installed a whopping 20GW of new solar panels in that time. That’s triple the amount they installed in the first half of 2015. What does 20GW of solar capacity equate to? To put it into
6th Oct 2016
overloading
Overloading your system makes financial sense As the cost of solar panels continues to decrease, so too has the cost of adding capacity to your solar PV system. By adding extra panels to your system when it is first installed, you are benefiting from increased production straight away and lower installation costs compared with adding the extra panels at a later date. With panels facing multiple orientations, you can achieve even greater savings as your system is capable of producing more electricity over a longer period of time each day, pumping out power earlier in the morning or later in the
6th Oct 2016
replacing solar hot water system
When was the last time you thought about your solar hot water system? It’s one of those things we take for granted when it’s working properly. However, we recommend you start researching a replacement well before your current system stops working. Otherwise you’ll be left with no hot water, no idea what to buy and no time to research your options. Yet, with a little forward planning, you’ll know exactly what to do when your solar hot water system finally bites the dust. How will I know when my solar hot water system needs replacing? The age of your system and the symptoms it’s displaying can
4th Oct 2016
retrofitting battery
You’ve already invested in a solar PV system for your home (or are thinking about doing so) and, now, you’re wondering how you can maximise your savings by adding battery storage into the mix. Read on to discover just how easy it is to retrofit batteries to your solar power system. Battery storage is the way of the future According to the Climate Council, Australia is expected to be one of the largest markets for battery storage due to: the high cost of electricity the large number of households with solar panels Australia’s excellent solar resources As feed-in tariffs are phased out (meaning
28th Sep 2016
busting solar myths
There are so many solar myths out there and, here, at Solargain, we hear them all the time. From misleading web pages to misinformed uncles (we all have one), the truth is that the wrong information leads to poor choices which can cost you big bucks. Today, we set the record straight – separating solar facts from fiction! Here are the most common ‘solar stories’ along with the facts which are usually forgotten. Myth #1: “Solar PV panels are really expensive and unaffordable for most working Australians.” Okay, let’s start by making it clear that, in Australia, working class families living in
21st Sep 2016
health check
Are you experiencing issues with your solar system? This may be due to faulty panels, wiring, inverter or even grid issues. Determining the cause of an underperforming solar system can be tricky, which is why you should always get CEC Accredited Installers and Designers to check your equipment. Our solar technicians are fully licensed professionals who will help you get the most out of your solar power equipment, whether it was installed with us or not. They’ll check your installation thoroughly, detect and correct any existing issues, and determine their origin in order to prevent them from
14th Sep 2016
What does one kilowatt hour actually mean?
Have you ever thought about how much energy your household uses each day and what that actually means? When you look at your power bill you might see your electricity usage recorded in kilowatt hours (kWh) or in some cases it’s referred to as one ‘Unit’ of electricity (which is the same as 1kWh). But what does 1kWh actually look like? The average Australian household uses about 16kWh of electricity every single day. While this doesn’t sound like much, the following examples give you an idea of just how much energy that actually equates to. You use this everyday Despite being small enough to
8th Sep 2016
Enphase AC Battery System
Anyone with a solar PV system will tell you, you can save money by timing your power consumption for the middle of the day, when your panels are most productive. Solar self-consumption allows you to take the electricity that your PV system has just produced and use it to power appliances in your home, like a dishwasher. This approach is fine if you are at home during the day, but what if the majority of your power consumption occurs in the evening? That is where battery storage comes in. And let’s just say, the benefits of including battery storage in your solar PV system go far beyond the
5th Sep 2016
Know your Li-ions
Choosing the right battery for your solar power system As an increasing number of Australian households are embracing solar power, we now have greater access to new and more efficient battery storage technology. But how do you work out which one best suits your needs? This guide offers an overview of past, present and future battery technologies, including our recommendations based on years of experience working with these systems. The end of an era – lead acid batteries We’ve come a long way since the days when lead acid batteries were the only option for storing solar electricity. You know
30th Aug 2016
Isolator Switch Recalls
A number of DC Isolator switches have been recalled by the Australian Government and if you’ve installed solar power it’s well worth checking your system is not affected. The DC Isolator switch is an essential solar power system component. It’s responsible for stopping voltage in times when your system needs to be worked on, as well as in emergencies or during blackouts. For solar inverters at a ground level, there will be two feeds connected to the unit for output and input – each of these will typically have an isolator. There are currently seven DC Isolator switches which have been recalled
19th Aug 2016
solar rebate ending
The Australian Government’s small-scale technology (STC) certificates scheme will begin phasing out from January 1, 2017. Though it’s not technically referred to as a ‘solar rebate’ the initiative effectively works like one and so we’ll call it that for the purposes of this article. Introduced in 2011 as part of the Australian Renewable Energy Target (RET), the solar rebate has helped encourage over one million Aussies install solar power, making the technology more affordable. Currently, most homeowners receive a discount of about $3,990 for a 5kW solar power system. Rather than being stopped
11th Aug 2016
What Can I Do To Reduce My Bills
The New South Wales Solar Bonus Scheme is a solar feed in tariff program paying homeowners either 20 or 60 cents per kilowatt hour for the power generated by their solar energy system. The scheme, which was designed to encourage solar power installation, closed to new participants in 2011 and applies to over 140,000 residents in NSW. Set to finish by the end of 2016, the Solar Bonus Scheme has provided its lucky recipients with fantastic financial benefits – but with its demise, these same homeowners may soon experience a shock. When the Solar Bonus Scheme ends, electricity bills will likely