From the category archives:

Solar System Products

Sizing residential solar & battery systems: A quick guide

April 26, 2017
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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. Solar system sizing table (no batteries) If you’re considering solar panels for your […]

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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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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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‘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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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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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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Can I add more panels to my existing solar system?

March 16, 2017
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Some of the most common questions we receive at Solar Choice are about adding solar panels to an existing solar PV system. This article takes a look at the situations in which you might want to add panels, and what you need to bear in mind before making a decision. Possible reasons for adding more panels […]

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New smart meter from carbonTRACK to benefit households, bolster grid resilience

March 16, 2017
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Australian home energy management system developer carbonTRACK has announced the launch of an ‘intelligent smart meter’ that promises to benefit households, electricity retailers and grid operators alike. For end users, the units will deliver all the benefits of the company’s EMS, and can take the place of the standard meters usually installed with residential solar PV systems. The company […]

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Aquion Energy files for chapter 11 bankruptcy

March 9, 2017
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US ‘saltwater’ battery manufacturer Aquion Energy has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a press release issued by the company overnight. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sometimes referred to as ‘reorganisation’ bankruptcy, gives the company protection from creditors while it endeavours to restructure itself and sell off its remaining assets. The company may continue operating if […]

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Backup power with home solar battery storage: What are your options?

March 8, 2017
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Home battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and one of the most in-demand features is backup power, which provides electricity to a home even when the grid is down. In this article we take a look at the main approaches to battery storage that you’ll come across as you shop around for a […]

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An overview of battery storage system specifications: How to read a battery spec sheet

March 6, 2017
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Talking about home battery storage can be confusing, and if you’re confused you’re unlikely to feel confident about making a big investment like a home battery bank. There are quite a few different terms & specifications that you’ll hear when shopping around for battery products. We’ve gathered them all here in attempt to bring some clarity to […]

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WINAICO solar panels in Australia

March 3, 2017
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WINAICO Solar is a high-end solar PV panel manufacturer that puts an emphasis on the quality and reliability of its products. The WINAICO module range includes models for residential, commercial, and BIPV applications. WINAICO Solar Panels: Top-shelf components and guaranteed yields WINAICO says that it is set apart from other panel manufacturers in primarily two ways: […]

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Electricity demand tariffs in Australia – How to handle them

March 3, 2017
Demand tariff charges

If you hear the words ‘Demand Tariffs’ and start scratching your head, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll examine what demand tariffs are and how to deal with them. Supply charges, usage charges and – now – demand charges? Normally, there are two components to an energy bill: fixed ‘supply’ charges (usually […]

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Is home solar battery storage worth it in 2017?

March 2, 2017
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2017? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. Battery storage & payback periods in Australia Batteries are in high demand thanks to the promise of […]

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Believe the Hype: Australia’s Battery Market set to skyrocket

March 1, 2017
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For quite some time I’d dismissed the hype about the attractiveness of installing grid-connected batteries in Australia. Yes, everyone loves the idea of energy independence, and would love to give the middle finger to the electricity retailers who buy excess solar power at a fifth of the price they themselves charge. But I thought there would […]

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Batteries with benefits: How Reposit Power customers are maximising battery value

February 27, 2017
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Reposit Power is an Australian battery technology company whose name has become synonymous with battery storage value maximisation. The company’s software does two important things for homes with battery storage systems: it makes sure that batteries are always charged in the most cost-effective way possible (whether that be solar or off-peak grid electricity), and it […]

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The heat wave sent spot market prices soaring: What does it mean for solar?

February 13, 2017
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Wholesale electricity prices on Australia’s eastern seaboard went through the roof this past weekend as homes as businesses pumped their air conditioners in an attempt to stave off the brutal and unprecedented summer heat. What are the implications of high spot prices for solar PV systems large and small in Australia? High temperatures –> high […]

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Looking beyond solar feed-in tariffs: How to pick an electricity retailer

February 8, 2017

When solar system owners shop around for an electricity retailer, the first thing they tend to look at is the solar feed-in tariff rate that the retailer offers. The fact is, however, that solar feed-in tariffs are no longer as important as they once were – so what else should solar system owners look for in […]

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Tesla’s Powerwall 2 in Australia: Advice for shoppers

February 7, 2017
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Tesla leapfrogged its competitors last year with the announcement of its new generation of battery storage product: Powerwall 2. Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is a more powerful and sophisticated version of the company’s original Powerwall, which itself set a benchmark in Australia for both battery storage pricing and performance. It’s on sale for roughly the same […]

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CATCH Power – A solar diverter made for the Aussie market

February 6, 2017
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CATCH Power is an Australian company who say they have crafted a solar diverter perfectly tailored to Australian market conditions. By March this year, the company will offer four different versions of its device, all of whose settings can be adjusted to optimise savings – and two of which connect to the internet and allow the user […]

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Sizing inverters to optimise solar panel system efficiency

February 6, 2017
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The efficiency of the inverter drives the efficiency of a solar panel system because inverters convert Direct Current (DC) (as produced by the solar panels), into Alternating Current (AC) (as used by the electric grid). This leads many to wonder what effect over-sizing or under-sizing an inverter will have on overall system efficiency. This entry […]

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Solar battery storage in Melbourne, Vic: Compare prices & installers

February 5, 2017
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As prices fall, a growing number of Melbourne households are becoming interested in installing battery storage for solar energy. It is now possible to compare battery storage installers and prices in Melbourne by requesting a Battery Storage Quote Comparison from Solar Choice. What else do Melbourne homeowners need to consider before deciding on an installer and […]

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Zhongli Talesun’s solar panels in Australia

February 4, 2017
Zhongli Talesun logo

Zhongli Talesun is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, with a 28 year history in the solar industry. The company offers solar modules for a range of applications in the Australian market, including a module with a 30-year performance warranty, a lightweight module and a ‘zero potential-induced degradation’ module. Talesun solar […]

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Should you oversize your solar array / undersize your inverter?

February 3, 2017
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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 […]

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A comparison of home energy management systems in Australia

January 26, 2017
EMS

Solar PV systems are already commonplace and affordable in Australia, and battery storage is getting there quickly as well. Increasingly, Australia’s solar homes are looking for ways to maximise the value that solar & storage are able to deliver. Home energy management systems (sometimes referred to as EMSs or HEMS) are fast becoming a popular […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

January 20, 2017
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Lots of Solar Choice customers ask about battery storage for solar power, but not many have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. How much energy independence […]

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Solar battery storage in Canberra, ACT

January 7, 2017
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Battery storage for residential solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Australia – including in Canberra, ACT. If you’re a Canberra resident looking to install a battery storage system for your home, what are the main things that you need to consider? Solar Choice has developed a number of large-scale solar projects in the ACT, […]

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

December 5, 2016
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Australians households are fairly solar-savvy lot. With a solar panel for every human being in the country, Australia is a world leader in solar uptake, and there’s tons of information online about how to shop for solar (Solar Choice is one case in point). It wouldn’t take anyone too long to learn to talk meaningfully in […]

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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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