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Solar Choice Staff

Solar Choice manages tender for 1.77MW solar installation at Charles Sturt Uni

December 8, 2016
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Charles Sturt University is to install one of the largest rooftop solar installations in Australia for its campus in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Solar Choice managed the competitive tender for the project, which will have a peak capacity of 1.77 megawatts (MW) and will meet roughly 20% of CSU’s energy demand annually. The system will be more […]

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Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard in QLD

December 7, 2016
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Solar Choice has managed the tender for a 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard, an avocado farm outside of Toowoomba, Queensland. The orchard’s manager first approached Solar Choice in May 2016 looking for assistance with their large quarterly energy bills. Following the initial conversation with the manager, the land owner promptly called to introduce himself. He was […]

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CSIRO: Wind and Solar to provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050

December 6, 2016
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A major new study by the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia says wind and solar will provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050, and the system will be cheaper for all customers. The study found that a decarbonised energy grid by 2050, with half of generation produced and stored locally, will save billions in […]

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1kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, returns

December 1, 2016
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Should you install a 1 kilowatt (kW) solar system for your home? These days, 1kW solar system installations are relatively rare, as larger systems frequently offer better value for money at only a modestly higher price. The smallest size of system that Solar Choice keeps track of in our monthly Solar PV Price Index articles […]

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What’s a partial off-grid solar-plus-storage system?

November 30, 2016
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Going partially off the grid is a smart alternative for homes who want to become completely energy self-sufficient. A partial off-grid solar system is one that runs a few essential electrical loads – for example, the refrigerator, lights and television – on a separate electrical circuit that has no physical connection to the grid mains. […]

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Blockchain network disruption soon to arrive – with Australian company at forefront

November 29, 2016
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An Australian start-up has been named as a global leader in the development of “blockchain” technology in a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The BNEF report named Perth-based company Power Ledger as one of the companies leading development of the technology, which it says has the potential to “rapidly disrupt” the energy market status […]

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Power vs energy in home battery storage systems

November 29, 2016
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Different battery storage products have different specifications and capabilities, making them better or less well-suited for various applications. In this article we’ll talk about ‘power batteries’ vs ‘energy batteries’ – two terms that are sometimes used to describe battery products. Power batteries Power is a term generally used describe instantaneous electrical output. You can think […]

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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

November 28, 2016
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Solar panel cleaning: Why, how & how often? (Q&A with Lime Solar Cleaning)

November 24, 2016
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Should you clean your solar panels? If the answer is ‘yes’, then how often should you clean your solar panels – and what’s the best way to clean them? These are questions that many solar system owners have asked themselves. Solar Choice recently had the opportunity to catch up with Leanne Masters of Lime Solar Cleaning […]

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Can you go off the grid with a 10kW solar system plus battery storage?

November 22, 2016
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We previously wrote an article about the feasibility of an Australian home going off-grid with a 3kW solar system – quite a small system size for such an ambitious endeavour. In this article, we’ll look at the case for going off-grid with a 10kW solar system – the unofficial upper limit for residential solar system […]

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Commercial solar power in Melbourne & VIC

November 21, 2016
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Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Melbourne and across the rest of Victoria. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Melbourne and other parts of the state. What are the benefits of commercial solar power in Victoria? Solar power is a great way for Victoria […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

November 18, 2016
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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Commercial solar power in Brisbane & Queensland

November 17, 2016
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Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Brisbane and across the rest of Queensland. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Brisbane and Queensland. Benefits of commercial solar power in Brisbane & Queensland Solar power is one of the best ways for Queensland businesses […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index: November 2016

November 16, 2016
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The average price of a commercial solar PV system dropped very slightly between October and November 2016 (from about $1.26 per watt to about $1.25/W) according to figures from the Solar Choice installer network database. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – November 2016

November 15, 2016
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Average solar PV system prices for Australia’s capital cities changed little between October and November of 2016, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. Currently, the average price for a solar PV system in Australia sits at about $1.63 per watt. Average solar PV system prices for November 2016 Prices in the table below […]

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BYD’s B-Box: Battery storage from the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer

November 14, 2016
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BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, and has a long history in the production of batteries for a range of other applications as well. The company’s signature battery bank product is the B-Box, which is set to rival competitors on both price and quality. This article takes a look at BYD’s B-Box […]

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Solar and battery energy storage in Perth, WA

November 11, 2016
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Approximately 25-30% of the homes in the Perth area have solar PV systems on their roofs according to the APVI – many of these households are interested in installing a battery storage system as well. This article takes a look at the basics of battery storage for residential solar systems in and around Perth, WA. […]

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Battery storage: Retrofit or new build with solar?

November 10, 2016
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If you’re considering installing battery storage for your grid-connected home, you probably find yourself in one of two situations: You’ve already got a solar PV system on your roof and want to add batteries to it (possibly with the addition of a few more solar panels), or You don’t have solar yet, so you’re going to install both […]

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Solar battery storage in Sydney: Compare prices & options

November 9, 2016
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Solar battery storage is becoming an increasingly attractive and viable option for homes in Sydney, NSW. Fortunately, you can now compare battery storage options & prices from solar installers in Sydney with Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Quote Comparisons. What else do you need to know to make a decision about energy storage in Sydney? Getting […]

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Commercial solar power in Sydney & NSW

November 8, 2016
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Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Sydney and across the rest of New South Wales. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Sydney, as well as the rest of NSW. What are the benefits of commercial solar power in NSW? Solar power is […]

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‘No more energy bills’ with solar? Buyer beware

November 3, 2016
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“Eliminate your energy bills!” is a phrase – frequently used in solar sales pitches – that Australian consumers should greet with a high degree of scepticism. If someone is making a promise that sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Let’s shed a bit of light on these claims so that you’ll know […]

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Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0: Double the capacity at the same price

November 1, 2016
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Not to be outdone, Tesla has leaped ahead of its competitors with the launch of the next generation of its home battery bank. At 13.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh), the Tesla Powerwall 2.0 will have roughly twice the energy storage capacity of its predecessor (6.4kWh) but will cost roughly the same amount to have installed. Installations for […]

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Why even partial shading is bad for solar power systems

November 1, 2016
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Solar panels work best when there is no shade cast upon them. In fact, a shadow cast on even just part of one solar panel in your solar array can potentially compromise the output of the whole system. What are some strategies for dealing with potential shading of solar arrays? (This article was originally published […]

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Are you a home battery storage early adopter?

October 26, 2016
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The age of grid-connected home battery storage is upon us. While battery price points aren’t yet low enough for us to start seeing mass uptake, they are low enough to be attractive for a disparate group of people lumped into the category of ‘early adopters’. Early adopters of home battery storage systems may come from […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index: October 2016

October 26, 2016
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Average commercial solar system prices for all sizes that we track (10kW, 30kW, 50kW and 100kW) held stable at the $1.28/W low seen in September, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as […]

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LG Chem’s range of battery storage banks in Australia

October 25, 2016
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LG Chem is one of the clear leaders in Australia’s burgeoning home battery storage market. The company’s RESU lithium battery made a big splash when it was introduced last year as an affordable, high-quality competitor with Telsa’s much vaunted Powerwall. LG Chem has not rested on its laurels, however, having already introduced the next generation of […]

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At what point will home battery storage become a ‘no brainer’ investment?

October 24, 2016
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Home battery storage prices are coming down, bringing this increasingly sought-after technology closer to mass affordability. Early adopters are already getting their batteries installed around the country, and it’s only a matter of time before more solar homes begin following suit. How much further do battery storage prices need to drop before they make pure financial […]

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US solar prices set for sharp decline

October 24, 2016
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Sharp declines in US solar module and inverter prices could spark a “final ‘gold rush’” in America’s PV markets, a Deutsche Bank report has predicted. The US solar market report, published on Wednesday, predicts solar module prices will drop to $US0.35c/W in Q4 2016, having already fallen already by one-third in Q3, down from $US0.60c/W […]

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Choosing the best battery size for your energy consumption habits

October 18, 2016
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Each household uses different amounts of electricity in different patterns throughout the day. Understanding consumption patterns can help in determining the best solar system and battery bank size for a home. In this article we take a look a few examples of how system size interacts with consumption patterns. Home consumption patterns: A rough guide Household electricity […]

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JinkoSolar introduces modules with ‘next generation’ power optimisation

October 17, 2016
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Panel manufacturer JinkoSolar claims to have solved the issue of partial shading of solar panels with its new line of JinkoMX modules, which use an advanced power optimisation technology called a ‘cell string optimiser’ by Maxim instead of conventional bypass diodes. Partial shading and the problem of the ‘weakest link’ With conventional solar PV systems […]

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Are flow batteries the future of home energy storage? Q&A with Redflow’s Simon Hackett

October 17, 2016
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Redflow’s ZCell is one of the most is one of the most in-demand battery storage products on the Australian market; it also stands out for being one of the only ‘flow batteries‘ currently available. Solar Choice had the opportunity to catch up with Redflow CEO Simon Hackett about the role of flow batteries (and the […]

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