What size solar panel array do you need for your home? And if you’re considering battery storage, what size battery bank would be most appropriate? This article includes tables that provide an at-a-glance guide, as well as links to more comprehensive calculators.

rooftop solarSolar system sizing table (no batteries)

If you’re considering solar panels for your home, you’ll get the most value from them by directly ‘self-consuming‘ the energy that they produce during the daylight hours. The simple reason for this is that using the solar yourself allows you to avoid purchasing expensive energy from the grid instead of earning only a small credit for sending it into the grid. This is a crucial fact about going solar in Australia today. Read the full article →

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Dropping solar and wind costs means renewable exports could replace gas and coal

April 26, 2017
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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency set to announce that hydrogen projects will become one of its new investment priorities in the coming year, just as the country is being urged to maintain its status as a major energy exporter. The government is being told that “green fuel” exports – powered by wind and solar – […]

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Deutsche Bank predicts continued growth for global solar market

April 24, 2017
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Global investment group Deutsche Bank has predicted continued growth for the global solar market, bumping up its 2017 estimate for total demand to 82GW, from a previous forecast of 74GW. In its latest quarterly report, published at the end of last week, Deutsche named further reductions in the costs of PV technology, as well as […]

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“Mobile solar” plants to challenge diesel for use in mines, construction sites

April 20, 2017
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Australian developed “mobile solar” technology will be tested at the 1MW scale in New South Wales, after winning a new grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The modular, mobile solar power solution was developed by the Australian arm of UK-based builder Laing O’Rourke, initially as a way to cut diesel fuel costs at the […]

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Find the best solar power deals in Perth, WA

April 19, 2017
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Perth, WA is one of the best places in the country to install a solar power system. Like most of Australia, in Perth retail electricity rates are rising, and solar installation prices have fallen significantly over the past few years, thanks in part to the financial subsidies available through the federal government. How much does a […]

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage?

April 18, 2017
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2017, we decided we would endeavour to shed a bit more light on payback period differences between each capital city. Which cities have the best conditions for home solar battery storage? We’ve ranked them below (with an explanation of […]

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Microinverters: Are they right for your solar system?

April 18, 2017
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As the name suggests, microinverters are small inverters for use in solar PV systems, usually installed at a ratio of one per solar panel. By contrast, most solar PV systems in Australia have a single, centralised inverter called a string inverter. What are the advantages of having a solar PV system that uses microinverters instead of […]

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Alternative monitoring solution for Enecsys owners who are left in the dark

April 18, 2017
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With the end of microinverter manufacturer Enecsys in early 2015, so ended the company’s online monitoring platform, leaving Enecsys system owners without any way to monitor their system’s output data. Two years on, there is now an alternative monitoring solution that gives Enecsys owners an overview of the performance of their solar panels: EnecsysOutput.com EnecsysOutput is an online […]

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Coalition governments holding back renewable energy

April 18, 2017
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New South Wales might be Australia’s only mainland state or territory with a Coalition government and energy minister, but that hasn’t stopped it from having high renewables and emissions reduction ambitions of its own. Its Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan – unveiled as part of the NSW 2050 zero emissions target last October – openly […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for April 2017

April 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices increased slightly between March and April, according to data from the Solar Choice installer network. The rise – up to $1.23/W from $1.21/W – follows several months of steady decreases. 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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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

April 11, 2017
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Sydney is a great place for solar power, and roughly 10-15% of Sydney area homes have solar panels installed on their roofs. This article is 5-point guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how Solar Choice can help you compare quotes. 5 good reasons to go solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – April 2017

April 10, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for April 2017 have crept to a fresh low of $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) – slightly lower than March‘s average of $1.58/W but in keeping with the (very) gradual decline that we’ve been witnessing since the beginning of 2017. Average prices for 3kW, 4kW and 5kW solar systems also hit […]

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Victoria beats South Australia tender with 100+ proposals

April 7, 2017

Victoria’s battery storage tender has attracted some 110 proposals, outstripping even the extraordinary response to the rival tender in South Australia. Officials confirmed the tender numbers last week, with more than two-thirds of the proposals being considered “credible”. The call for expressions of interest was for a 20MW/80MWh battery storage array to be built in western […]

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How much can you really save with ‘selective export’ of solar & battery energy?

April 7, 2017
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Now that solar feed-in tariff rates are so low across the country, there’s little reason for a solar system owner to send their energy back into the grid, as they will almost always save more money by ‘self-consuming‘ their solar energy. This is one of the reasons that the popularity of battery storage systems has grown so […]

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Why the right solar trackers make bankable sense in Australia

April 5, 2017
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Australian developers, financiers and EPCs are increasingly choosing solar trackers over fixed-tilt racking for their large-scale projects because of the trackers’ superior energy yield (20-30% more than fixed tilt) as well as cost of ownership and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) advantages. Horizontal single-axis trackers (SATs) in particular have become the technology of choice. Funding […]

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Solar Analytics to launch “game changing” energy management system

April 3, 2017
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NSW energy technology company Solar Analytics is set to roll out a new and improved suite of smart home software and hardware aimed at helping consumers maxmise energy efficiency and slash bills. The company said on Thursday that it was in the final stages of pilot trials for new software services and is establishing key […]

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‘No more energy bills’ with solar? Buyer beware

April 3, 2017
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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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Victoria’s Hazelwood shuts down for good

April 1, 2017
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Victoria’s Hazelwood brown coal power station shut down the last of its 8 units at 4pm on Wednesday, the latest and the most powerful symbol of the vast and rapid change in our energy system. Just one day after Hazelwood closed, a new $1 billion solar PV and battery storage plant was being unveiled for […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for March 2017

March 31, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to decrease for the third month in a row, this month hitting a new all-time low of $1.21 per watt. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do not incorporate meter installation […]

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Adelaide City’s solar & energy storage incentives

March 29, 2017
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Since 1 July 2015, the City of Adelaide has been offering some of the most generous incentives for solar power in Australia – and the one of the only incentives for battery storage in the country. What are the rebates available under Adelaide’s Sustainable City Incentives Scheme? Please keep in mind that all of the incentives outlined […]

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GreenPower vs rooftop solar (vs both)

March 28, 2017
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GreenPower is an attractive option for Australian households who want to support renewable energy production. Is opting for GreenPower a better idea than installing rooftop solar? In this article we take a look at how both options support renewables uptake, and examine the pros and cons of opting for one, the other – or both. […]

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How does maximum power point tracking (MPPT) work?

March 27, 2017
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Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is a technology approach used in solar PV inverters to optimise power output in less-than-ideal sunlight conditions. Most modern inverters are equipped with at least one MPPT input. The below article – which originally appeared as a response by Bradley Detjen to a question on Quora.com – explains MPPT using the most […]

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East or west orientation for solar panels? What to do when north is not an option

March 27, 2017
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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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Victoria’s pricing regulator sees network value in rooftop solar

March 26, 2017

Victoria’s pricing regulator has recognised there is network value in rooftop solar, but says it is difficult to measure it without the development of a grid services market. Since being commissioned by the Victorian government to investigate a “fair value” of rooftop solar, the state’s Essential Services Commission has recognised benefits for climate change and […]

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SA Government looks for one hour of battery storage to be built

March 25, 2017
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The South Australian government is looking for only one hour of battery storage to be built from its up-coming tender, a stipulation that potentially rules out some technologies from applying. According to the expressions of interest documents, the tender calls for 100MW/100MWh of battery storage, effectively meaning 100MW of capacity with one hour storage – […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – March 2017

March 22, 2017
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Average residential solar PV system prices in Australia crept down to $1.58 per watt ($1.58/W) from $1.60 in February, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. Although so slight as to be inconsequential, the drop represents a new low, with $1.59/W (in Sept 2016 and Dec 2015) being the next lowest since we […]

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Whitsunday, Hamilton and Gannawarra Solar Farms move into construction

March 21, 2017
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It’s been an epic journey! As three large-scale solar farms (totalling 198 MW (DC)) now progress into construction, it’s timely for all of us here at Solar Choice to take a moment to reflect, to savour and to extend a mighty thank you to others who moved mountains over the past year to convert the […]

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Can you go solar with a south-facing roof in Australia?

March 21, 2017
South-facing roofs okay for solar?

Anyone who has looked into installing solar panels in Australia would have quickly learned that north is the best direction for solar panels. If north is not an option, northwest and northeast are generally the next best options, usually followed by due west and due east, depending on the circumstances. But what about south-facing roofs […]

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The ACT’s home battery storage incentive program

March 21, 2017
ACT NextGen battery storage

The ACT government’s Next Generation Energy Storage (NextGen) program is one of the most ambitious battery storage incentive schemes in Australia, aiming to subsidise the installation of batteries for roughly 5,000 homes and small businesses by 2020. How does the incentive work, and how will it benefit households in the Territory? How it works The […]

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Queensland government launches distributed energy trial to benefit most vulnerable customers

March 17, 2017
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Queensland’s Labor government has launched a distributed energy trial that aims to give the state’s most vulnerable electricity customers – as well as its half a million rental households – access to solar power. The three-pronged trial is part of the government’s plan to deliver up to 6MW of new solar PV on up to […]

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Is home solar battery storage a good match and your energy consumption habits?

March 16, 2017
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Each household uses different amounts of electricity in different patterns throughout the day. Some consumption patterns are more conducive to battery storage as an investment, and knowing your consumption habits can help you to decide on the best solar system and battery bank size for your home. In this article we take a look a few […]

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