From the category archives:

Useful solar tools and resources

Should you oversize your solar array / undersize your inverter?

February 3, 2017
Thumbnail image for Should you oversize your solar array / undersize your inverter?

After numerous questions about the relationship between solar panel power and inverter power, I decided to put together this blog post. Now logically, if you have (say) 3,000 Watts of solar panels on your roof, you would expect that a 3000 Watt inverter would be the perfect match, right? Not necessarily! There are a number of […]

Read the full article →

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

November 28, 2016
Thumbnail image for Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

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 […]

Read the full article →

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

November 24, 2016
Thumbnail image for Solar panel cleaning: Why, how & how often? (Q&A with Lime Solar Cleaning)

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 […]

Read the full article →

Solar Choice’s Solar Calculator Resource Library

October 4, 2016
Thumbnail image for Solar Choice’s Solar Calculator Resource Library

Over the years, Solar Choice has developed a range of interactive solar and battery storage-related calculator tools. This resource library acts as a homepage for these calculators, to make it easier to identify and access the calculator that best suits your needs. Please keep in mind that all calculator outputs are indicative only. Recommend on […]

Read the full article →

Levelised cost of storage: A better way to compare battery value

September 21, 2016
Thumbnail image for Levelised cost of storage: A better way to compare battery value

When it comes to choosing batteries for home or commercial battery storage, it can be difficult to sift through the multitude of options to find the IDEAL battery for your application. The options range from different operating voltages, amp-hour (Ah) storage capacities, sizes, weights, brands and – to make things even more complicated – different […]

Read the full article →

Finally, a win-win solar solution for renters & landlords from Aussie startup Matter

September 15, 2016
Thumbnail image for Finally, a win-win solar solution for renters & landlords from Aussie startup Matter

Aussie technology company Matter has developed a platform to make it possible for renters and landlords alike to benefit from rooftop solar. They’ve done this by removing one of the biggest hurdles that has made solar inaccessible to renters – the fact that their landlords have virtually no incentive to install a system on a […]

Read the full article →

ResiLinked: A free online platform to track solar system maintenance, safety and more

August 18, 2016
Thumbnail image for ResiLinked: A free online platform to track solar system maintenance, safety and more

ResiLinked is a free online platform for home owners and managers to keep track of maintenance and connect with service providers. ResiLinked is particularly useful for homes with (or looking for) rooftop solar PV systems, allowing them to instantly check their system’s safety status (a ‘Solar Safety Registry’) and to be automatically notified when the […]

Read the full article →

What is a “Tier 1” solar panel? Tier 2 or 3?

July 27, 2016
Thumbnail image for What is a “Tier 1” solar panel? Tier 2 or 3?

When purchasing a solar system, the quality of the components to be used is frequently a key consideration. However, differentiating one brand from another may not be so simple, especially in the case of solar panels, of which there are hundreds of brands on the Australian market. The terms ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, and ‘Tier […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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

June 8, 2016
Thumbnail image for Are you voting for solar this election? Check the Solar Scorecard

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 […]

Read the full article →

Seven habits of smart solar shoppers

May 19, 2016
Thumbnail image for Seven habits of smart solar shoppers

Going solar is still a no-nonsense investment options for homes across Australia, with payback periods as short as 2-3 years in the right circumstances. This is due in great part to the fact that Australia is home to some of the lowest residential solar system installation prices in the world – making solar panels relatively low-risk […]

Read the full article →

Introducing a (free) tool that allows solar homes to meaningfully compare retail electricity plans

May 12, 2016
Thumbnail image for Introducing a (free) tool that allows solar homes to meaningfully compare retail electricity plans

Solar PV system owners – generally speaking – do not like their electricity retailers. Maybe it’s just the sense of independence they get from generating a portion of their own electricity, but it also has to do with the feeling that they are not treated fairly – especially when it comes to the low, voluntary […]

Read the full article →

What is the annual cost of running your air conditioner? Oil heater? SESM can give you a good idea

April 5, 2016
Thumbnail image for What is the annual cost of running your air conditioner? Oil heater? SESM can give you a good idea

Have you ever thought about how much energy your AC unit or oil heater will use over the course of a year – or how much this energy will cost you? While sticker prices are the first (and sometimes only) thing that shoppers look at, the savvy electricity user will think about long-term savings in the form of […]

Read the full article →

Solar Support Plus – Taking PV system warranties to the next level

March 23, 2016

Solar panels have a standard expected lifespan of 25 years and inverters should last 5-10 years; both products have product warranties whose durations reflect this. In the unfortunate event that a solar system owner needs to file a warranty claim for a faulty panel or inverter, however, the system may produce less or no energy […]

Read the full article →

Solar power and single-phase vs 3-phase power connections

February 18, 2016
Thumbnail image for Solar power and single-phase vs 3-phase power connections

Depending on where you live, your home may be fed by single-phase or 3-phase electrical connection. What relevance does this have for your solar PV installation?  3-phase and single-phase power Both single-phase and 3-phase electricity are used to transmit and distribute electricity. Depending on where you live and how much electricity you consume, your home will […]

Read the full article →

Monitoring Aussie solar output with updated APVI PV map

April 23, 2015
APVI Map

The contribution of Australia’s 1.3 million rooftop solar systems can now be monitored in real time, with the launch of an updated solar mapping service by the Australian PV Institute. The newly enhanced version of APVI’s Live Solar PV Map – a tool originally developed in the lead-up to the Queensland election to track the […]

Read the full article →

Sun MonitOZ’s hardware-free solar performance monitoring app launches in Australia

November 20, 2014
Thumbnail image for Sun MonitOZ’s hardware-free solar performance monitoring app launches in Australia

Sun MonitOZ, a hardware-free solar system performance monitoring app, has officially launched in Australia after its beta-testing phase. The web app, accessible via a computer or any mobile device, allows users to easily determine if their system is performing as well as it should be and–if not–to quickly troubleshoot problems. Australian homes and businesses switch on […]

Read the full article →

APVI adds PV system output estimator to suite of solar maps

July 31, 2014
Thumbnail image for APVI adds PV system output estimator to suite of solar maps

Australian households will now be able to estimate their rooftop’s potential for solar PV before installing a system, thanks to a new online modelling tool created by the Australian PV Institute. The free, 3D mapping program launched last week by APVI, will allow rooftop solar customers in Australia’s capital cities to weigh up the energy […]

Read the full article →

Solar Mapper: Visualising your roof–and your savings–with solar

March 27, 2014
Thumbnail image for Solar Mapper: Visualising your roof–and your savings–with solar

Anyone who has considered installing a rooftop solar system has wondered to themselves how many panels their roof could handle and what sort of power a system of that size would produce. Solar Mapper is company that has developed an online application designed to make it easy to answer these questions without no technical knowledge […]

Read the full article →

Online solar mapping tools that help you unleash your inner solar potential

March 26, 2014
Thumbnail image for Online solar mapping tools that help you unleash your inner solar potential

You’ve heard the good news stories from your neighbours. You’ve seen solar popping up on rooftops in your suburb. It must make sense, you say to your-self. But what’s your solar potential? Technology and computing power is making this question increasingly easy to answer and today, there are a myriad of solar mapping tools available […]

Read the full article →

EU research project provides free, by-the-minute solar radiation data

March 3, 2014
Thumbnail image for EU research project provides free, by-the-minute solar radiation data

Given the erratic nature of weather, is it really possible to predict exactly when, where and how strongly the sun shines? A group of European researchers seems to think so. A new EU-funded research project, MACC II, is now providing up to minute-by-minute solar radiation data with a 3-5 km spatial resolution for any location […]

Read the full article →

Green Homes Australia: Building clean, energy-efficient homes at affordable prices

December 12, 2013
Thumbnail image for Green Homes Australia: Building clean, energy-efficient homes at affordable prices

The buildings best-suited for installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system are those buildings that have been designed & constructed to use energy in the most efficient way possible–from an environmental point of view ,renewable energy and sustainable building design go hand-in-hand. Green Homes Australia was founded in 2006 with the intention of propagating the ethos […]

Read the full article →

How does your LGA fare for rooftop solar? Check out the APVI’s solar map

December 11, 2013
Thumbnail image for How does your LGA fare for rooftop solar? Check out the APVI’s solar map

The Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI, formerly APVA) has debuted an interactive solar PV status map on its recently re-launched website. The map, which uses data from the Clean Energy Regulator and whose development was in part funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), offers a glimpse at how solar PV capacity & penetration fare […]

Read the full article →

PVz: Analysing energy bills for sizing solar PV systems

December 4, 2013
Thumbnail image for PVz: Analysing energy bills for sizing solar PV systems

PVz is a tool designed by solar PV industry professionals to facilitate the process of analysing electricity usage in order to choose a solar system size most appropriate for the client. The spreadsheet-based program makes it easy to see when and how much electricity is used throughout the day. It is compatible with any major […]

Read the full article →

The Australian Solar Council

August 23, 2013
Thumbnail image for The Australian Solar Council

The Australian Solar Council is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation devoted to the advancement of solar power and complementary technologies in Australia. Its primary activities include the promotion of research, development, and adoption of solar energy through public advocacy and education. The organisation’s tagline is ‘the national voice of solar’, and it comments regularly on developments […]

Read the full article →

Australians overwhelmingly in support of distributed energy: APVA/CSIRO Study

July 25, 2013
Thumbnail image for Australians overwhelmingly in support of distributed energy: APVA/CSIRO Study

About 2/3 of the respondents in a study conducted by the Australian Photovoltaics Association (APVA) in conjunction with CSIRO expressed support for distributed energy solutions–solar PV panels, solar hot water, battery storage, plus 3 others. The study, which investigated perceptions of and willingness to participate in the distributed energy market, also revealed that most people […]

Read the full article →

The Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI)

July 9, 2013
Thumbnail image for The Australian Photovoltaic Institute (APVI)

The Australian Photovotaic Institute (APVI, formerly APVA) is Australia’s oldest PV industry body devoted to the development of the solar PV industry in Australia. The APVI’s activities include industry research and acting as the host of numerous PV-related networking and educational events. Additionally, the APVI acts as Australia’s liaison with the International Energy Agency (IEA) […]

Read the full article →

Solar Energy Map of Australia by the Guardian

June 27, 2013
Thumbnail image for Solar Energy Map of Australia by the Guardian

Pertinent news considering the upcoming Australian election, the Guardian UK has created an interactive map of solar power in Australia by federal electorate. The map is based on data from Australia’s solar industry consultancy Sunwiz and not-for-profit renewable energy campaigners 100% Renewable Energy. The map paints a fascinating picture of how much traction solar PV has gained […]

Read the full article →

Solar eCRM: Internet-based software for managing solar quotes, customers, and more

May 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for Solar eCRM: Internet-based software for managing solar quotes, customers, and more

Solar eCRM is an online customer relationship management (CRM) software platform designed specifically for solar installation companies. Solar eCRM has features that allow companies to manage leads, compose quotes for customers, process orders, ensure compliance with standards, and analyse data about their jobs–all from the one web-based portal. Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet […]

Read the full article →

10 ways Solar Choice saves solar customers money

May 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for 10 ways Solar Choice saves solar customers money

Since 2008, Solar Choice has helped over 105,000 Australians make an informed decision about going solar. By working with over a hundred solar system installation companies across Australia, Solar Choice brings transparency to the market, making it easier for customers to compare and choose an installer and system. Below are 10 ways that Solar Choice […]

Read the full article →

10 ways Solar Choice saves installers money

May 7, 2013
Thumbnail image for 10 ways Solar Choice saves installers money

Since 2008, Solar Choice has been working with solar system installation companies across the country to bring transparency to the Australian solar market and to take the hassle out of solar shopping for the customer. Below are 10 ways that Solar Choice helps solar installers save money on sales and administration. Recommend on Facebook Share […]

Read the full article →