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Solar Choice Staff

Electricity price inflation: What it means for going solar

July 19, 2016

Grid electricity prices fluctuate over time – and usually they increase. This has important implications for anyone considering going solar. This article covers the basics of what you need to know about electricity price inflation to help you make a more well-informed decision about going solar. Why do grid electricity prices increase? The retail electricity prices […]

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Which retailer is offering the best electricity plan for solar customers in Sydney (July 2016)

July 18, 2016

Getting a higher feed-in tariff from your electricity retailer looks great on paper, but it does not necessarily mean that you will save more money on your electricity bills. We’ve taken a look at a spread of retail electricity plans for solar customers in the Sydney area in order to determine who is actually offering the […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – July 2016

July 13, 2016
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Average residential solar system prices dipped down to $1.63/W this month – on par with the low seen in April this year and close to the all-time low of $1.59/W seen in December of 2015. The price drop occurred across all system sizes. Interestingly, system price ‘highs’ have not come down much, low-end prices of […]

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SunMate: Save more money by using the sun when you’re not home

July 12, 2016
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The AWS SunMate is a device that takes your excess solar energy and pumps it into your hot water tank, potentially saving you more money than solar panels alone. The SunMate’s developers, Australian Wind and Solar, say that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to maximise a solar PV system’s value – and […]

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Compare solar power systems in Adelaide, SA

July 11, 2016
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Adelaide, SA is a great place for solar power – and did you know that 30-40% of homes in the Adelaide area have solar panels installed on their roofs? With the cost of solar power at historic lows and electricity rates higher than ever, more and more Adelaide homes and businesses are making the move […]

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Let’s talk about ‘energy throughput’: Should it replace battery ‘cycle life’?

July 7, 2016
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Australians households are fairly solar savvy lot. With panels on one in every ten Aussie roofs, Australia is a world leader in solar uptake, and there’s tons of information online about how to shop for solar (we are one case in point). It wouldn’t take anyone too long to learn to talk meaningfully in terms […]

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How much can a hot water diverter shorten payback for your solar PV system?

July 6, 2016
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Solar PV systems are still an excellent investment in Australia, even as feed-in tariffs have fallen across the country. Installing a hot water diverter – a device that automatically sends excess solar energy into your hot water tank – can make this good investment option an even better one. We’ve crunched some numbers to determine […]

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Battery chemistry types for home energy storage

July 6, 2016
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Home battery storage is the next frontier for home energy, but Australians consumers are still in the process of learning about their options. What are the main battery chemistry types that are currently available in Australia? Nearly one in every ten homes in Australia has a solar PV system on their roof, and Australian solar […]

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Aquion introduces newest battery line: A 24 volt ‘drop in replacement’ for lead-acid batteries

July 5, 2016
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Pennsylvania-based ‘saltwater battery’ manufacturer Aquion Energy has introduced a new product line for off-grid, autonomous operation with solar panels. The Aspen 24S comes in the same casing as the company’s other S-Line units, but delivers 24V as opposed to 48V, lending to greater system design flexibility and making it a straightforward replacement option for lead-acid […]

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Now approaching the solar minimum: What it means for rooftop PV

July 5, 2016
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Our sun has ‘lost its spots’, according to a headline in the science/technology section of the Sydney Morning Herald last week. Rather counter-intuitively, a decline in the number of dark spots on the sun is actually a sign of decreased activity. The gist of the piece is that the number of these spots (‘sunspots’) and their associated solar flares […]

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Ampetus’ Energy Pod presents cost-effective battery storage option

July 4, 2016
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Melbourne’s Ampetus Energy has introduced a plug-and-play battery storage system that could prove to be popular with homes that wish to affordably increase their energy independence. The unit, called the “Energy Pod”, comes with a lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4)  battery that can store up to 14.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy – one of the highest figures […]

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Advice for shopping for the Tesla Powerwall in Australia

July 4, 2016
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Tesla’s Powerwall is the most sought-after home battery storage device in Australia, thanks in great part to its association with American electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and its visionary chief Elon Musk. The Powerwall not only represents ‘a piece of Tesla’ – containing the same type of batteries as those inside the company’s high-end sports […]

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East or West orientation for solar panels

July 3, 2016
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Determining the orientation and tilt angle of your solar power generation system is one of the most important considerations in designing your solar power system. As we have mentioned before, in the southern hemisphere, due North is usually the best orientation for panels. But not everyone has a perfectly oriented roof. When your two best options […]

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How AllGrid energy is reducing energy costs for remote communities and beyond

June 16, 2016
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AllGrid Energy made a big splash last year after it announced a home battery storage product – the WattGrid – which the company claimed would rival Tesla’s much vaunted Powerwall. The company has gone from strength to strength since then, carving out a niche for itself in providing affordable electricity to Indigenous communities in remote parts of […]

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Power vs energy in home battery storage systems

June 16, 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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Commercial Solar PV Price Index: June 2016

June 15, 2016
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Average commercial solar system prices have remained virtually unchanged for the past six months, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database, sitting at around $1.33 per watt of installed capacity. 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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Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2016

June 15, 2016
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Average solar PV system installation prices in Australia’s capital cities increased very slightly between May and June to approach $1.68 per watt. With the exception of 10kW systems, prices were lowest in Perth and highest in Hobart – in keeping with the long-term trend. Average solar PV system prices for June 2016 Prices in the table below […]

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1 out of every 12 panels in Australia is a Trina panel (Q&A with Trina Solar)

June 14, 2016

Trina Solar is the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, and one of the biggest players in the Australian market. The company prides itself on its record for success and its constant efforts to offer quality products at competitive price points. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Trina to talk about developments […]

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NSW IPART suggests slightly higher solar feed-in tariff rates for 2016-17 (and we all laugh)

June 9, 2016
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The Independent Regulatory & Pricing Tribunal (IPART) has issued its final determination with regard to solar feed-in rates for the 2016-2017 financial year, suggesting a slight increase over last year’s thanks mainly to rising wholesale electricity prices. IPART is the NSW body charged with setting regulated electricity prices and the benchmark range for solar feed-in rates, among […]

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On grid or off-grid? Some advice for a Solar Choice customer

June 8, 2016
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We were recently in touch with a customer who was deliberating between whether to have his new-build home connected to the grid, or to go off-grid with a solar-plus-storage system. Located in regional Queensland, the customer’s home had no existing grid connection was over half a kilometre away from the nearest distribution lines. With that […]

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Are you voting for solar this election? Check the Solar Scorecard

June 8, 2016
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Solar advocacy group Solar Citizens have launched their Solar Scorecard tool for the 2016 election. The Solar Scorecard allows anyone to find out how the candidates in their local electorate stand on solar simply by entering their post code. It also give users insight into how much solar is installed around them – and how […]

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