From the category archives:

Solar System Products

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

May 21, 2018
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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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Solar Analytics energy monitoring system reviewed

May 17, 2018
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I’ve had Solar Analytics installed on my home now for about 3 months. Since that time I’ve referred to and shared screenshots of their app & web portal on numerous occasions – but it’s about time I wrote a proper review! How did I get Solar Analytics? I should note that Solar Analytics provided & […]

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Achieving grid stability with smart technologies

May 16, 2018

The problems currently facing the efficiency and stability of the gird are multilayered, and grid-scale energy storage technologies are helping to deliver solutions, according to Gianpaolo Giuliani, Global Sales Director, Energy Storage for GE Energy. Gianpaolo Giuliani has been with General Electric Company (GE) for almost 19 years and at the end of 2013 he […]

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The impressive numbers behind the Tesla ‘big battery’ in SA

May 15, 2018

The 100MW big battery installed by Tesla in South Australia has taken a 55 per cent share in the state’s frequency and ancillary services market, and lowered prices in that market by 90 per cent, new data has shown. The stunning numbers on the economics of Australia’s first large-scale battery were presented by McKinsey and […]

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Sanjeev Gupta talks energy storage

May 14, 2018

As solar and energy storage technologies become more competitive, they will revolutionise how energy is consumed globally, especially in Australia, says businessman Sanjeev Gupta, who has cemented his place as a champion of renewables in Australia following recent investments in the energy sector. Sanjeev Gupta is the Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance, majority shareholder of SIMEC ZEN […]

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NSW solar feed-in tariff rates to drop from 1 July 2018: What does it all mean?

May 9, 2018
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NSW’s regulator IPART has released its draft report for its recommendations for the state’s benchmark solar feed-in tariff range, to come into effect from 1 July 2018. The recommended ‘flat’ or ‘anytime’ feed-in rate will drop significantly from the current 11-15c/kWh down to 7.5c/kWh. Meanwhile, loosely following suit with Victoria, IPART has also made recommendations […]

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Where Australia sits on the energy storage global stage

May 8, 2018

The need, and potential, for energy storage technologies in Australia is high, and the country is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing these storage solutions, according to Jon Norman, President and COO of Hydrostor. Jon Norman is a professional engineer with nearly 20 years experience in the power industry, environmental sector, management […]

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Major free showcase of energy storage technologies

May 8, 2018

More than 60 leading companies in the Australian and global energy storage industry will come together at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition (AES 2018) on 23-24 May to explore the innovative energy storage technologies currently in the market and look at what’s next for the sector. The exhibition will be held at the […]

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Hybrid & ‘battery-ready’ solar systems: What’s the go?

April 26, 2018

As more and more Australian households investigate (and install) solar battery storage, the more we get questions about battery-ready or hybrid solar & battery storage systems. What is a hybrid/battery-ready solar system – and is one right for your home? Important note: This article focuses on grid-connected solar systems, but some of the technologies discussed […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – April 2018

April 23, 2018
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This month’s data saw changes only in the larger two size categories that we track (i.e. 11-15kWh and 16-20kWh), where average prices actually increased slightly, due partially to the addition of high-end products from sonnen. For the time being our ‘Are We There Yet?’ Meter continues to track only battery prices in the best case scenarios […]

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AC vs DC battery storage explained

April 22, 2018

As interest in solar battery storage grows, so does the number of people with questions about their many options. At some point, energy storage system shoppers may find themselves having to decide between AC battery storage or DC battery storage. (N.B. These two approaches are more accurately referred to as AC-coupled battery storage and DC-coupled […]

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The biggest barrier to microgrids

April 13, 2018

The establishment of viable business cases for different applications is the main barrier to the continued uptake of microgrids in Australia, according to Greg Allen, Executive General Manager, Carnegie Clean Energy.  Mr Allen has 20 years experience in engineering, specifically in business development and operational experience in the industrial plant and equipment, and solar industries. At Carnegie Clean Energy […]

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Tour the Hornsdale Power Reserve (AKA Tesla’s ‘Big Battery’) at energy storage conference

April 4, 2018
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South Australia is leading the way in renewable and energy storage with the state investing in major energy projects. The Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition 2018 is giving attendees the chance to see these projects up close through exclusive tours to sites, including Tesla’s ‘Big Battery’. The Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition 2018, […]

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Over 20,000 battery storage systems installed in Aus in 2017: SunWiz

March 29, 2018
Battery market 2017

After an extended period of research, SunWiz has released its much-anticipated Australian Battery Market Report for 2018. As Australia’s leading provider of solar market research, SunWiz’s position of a trusted independent market analyst means top companies trust us and have shared their information and unique insights. This report provides unprecedented transparency into what is otherwise an […]

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Time of use vs flat rate electricity tariffs with solar & batteries

March 28, 2018
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If you’re connected to the grid and own your home, you pay for electricity. In most places, in Australia, there are basically two types of tariffs: Flat rate tariffs (aka ‘peak only’ tariffs), where you pay a fixed amount for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy that your home draws from the grid, or Time of use […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – March 2018

March 26, 2018
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With another month of minimal changes to battery pricing in our database, we’ve used the opportunity to again alter the presentation of our ‘Our We There Yet’ Meter to focus on the situations where batteries are looking most attractive, as most of the figures for other situations are still out of the ballpark. In particular, […]

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Solar-powered lawn care (Solartopia #13)

March 21, 2018
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And here’s a quick blog article to talk about a cool thing you can do with a solar system on your roof: Mow your grass (and trim your edges) with the sun. We recently upgraded our clunked-out push mower with a $20 second-hand plug-in electric Ozito mower (the lady who sold it to us on […]

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Groundbreaking new energy storage solution: The rise of silicon thermal

March 20, 2018
Dr Kevin Moriarty

Silicon thermal energy storage systems are more compact than batteries and have the lowest levelised cost compared to any other form of storage, according to Dr Kevin Moriarty, Executive Chairman at 1414 Degrees. Dr Moriarty has more than 40 years experience in mining and oil exploration and development before he saw an opportunity to move […]

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My house is net energy positive – for now (Solartopia #12)

March 20, 2018
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I’ve now had two energy monitoring systems fully functioning for a few weeks, and it’s fascinating to see what my 4.4kWh solar system is capable of. It’s also interesting to learn just how little energy my home uses (about 10-14kWh/day) compared to the 15-25kWh averages I always hear about. (Meanwhile EnergyMadeEasy tells me that the […]

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New SA government to scale back Tesla VPP plans, introduce battery incentive

March 19, 2018
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The newly elected South Australia premier, the Liberal Steven Marshall, has made his first promise – his government intends to scale back the Tesla plan for the world’s biggest “virtual power plant” that would install batteries in low income households for no cost. The Tesla plan – which aims to install 5kW of solar and […]

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Powershop to pay battery owners under new Grid Impact plan. What’s the go?

March 15, 2018

Electricity retailer Powershop and battery control technology developer Reposit Power have come together to offer a first-of-kind product to battery storage system owners in Australia. Anyone with a (Reposit-equipped) battery storage system living in New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland can sign up for the program (called Grid Impact) to become part of a massive, […]

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Germany’s VARTA enters Australia battery market

March 14, 2018
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German battery storage maker VARTA has become the latest company to enter Australia’s burgeoning battery storage market, attracted by the huge penetration of rooftop solar and the growing shift towards “aggregated” storage. The Bavarian based VARTA claims to have a market share of 10-12 per cent in its principal markets – Germany, Austria and Switzerland […]

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Solar Analytics is in! (Solartopia #11)

February 28, 2018
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Solar Analytics Santa (AKA Nigel Morris) arrived on his sleigh (AKA his all-electric Zero motorcycle) on Tuesday to install the Solar Analytics unit that’s been sitting on my desk for a few months now. All electric – so I didn’t even notice he had arrived til he knocked on the door. We set the stopwatch […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – February 2018

February 26, 2018
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This month we’ve changed up the style of the graphs that we use for our ‘Are We There Yet?’ Meter, and altered them to focus only on the ‘low’ end of the price spectrum. We’ve done this mainly for clarity’s sake but also because average payback periods for batteries are still very long for system […]

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Battery storage: Are Australian households about to charge into market?

February 24, 2018
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The combination of economics, a crucial state political battle, a move to local manufacturing, and soaring grid prices, could finally deliver Australia’s much forecast boom in residential battery storage. According to a recent analysis by Bruce Mountain, a leading Australian energy analyst who heads CME, the combination of a 5kW rooftop solar system and a […]

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‘Reposit First’ monitoring system is here! (Solartopia #10)

February 15, 2018
Reposit First real time

I am very happy to announce that I’ve finally got the first of three energy management/monitoring systems for my home up and fully functioning. Reposit Power have sent one of their ‘Reposit First’ units my way; it was professionally installed in about 2 hours on Monday this week. (Although my carbonTRACK system is fully installed, […]

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Home battery storage uptake tripled in 2017 in Australia

February 15, 2018
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As rooftop solar continues to boom in Australia, a new report suggests household battery storage could soon follow suit, with uptake predicted to have tripled in 2017, and costs of the key technology expected to halve in less than seven years. The report, published by the Climate Council on Thursday, puts estimates on home battery […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2018

February 14, 2018
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Average solar system prices (on ‘primary’ offerings) have slipped slightly upwards since the beginning of the year, coming in at around $1.40/W – as opposed to about $1.30/W in December – due primarily to increased prices in Hobart & Melbourne. Average pricing for ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ systems, meanwhile, has dropped to $1.49/W and $1.80/W, respectively. Average solar […]

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How does maximum power point tracking (MPPT) work?

February 13, 2018
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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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9 things you should know if you’re considering home battery-storage

February 8, 2018
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For several years now, home solar battery storage has been a hot topic in Australia, and 2018 looks set to be the best year yet for batteries. If you’re actively considering battery storage for your own house, we’ve compiled a list of 8 things that will put you well on your way towards making the […]

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How do lithium batteries work? [Animated Infogaphic]

February 8, 2018
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Lithium has become the chemistry type of choice for grid-connect home solar battery storage in Australia (although lead acid still rules the off-grid space – for now). There are actually several different types of lithium batteries that are commercially available now, but the main two are lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate […]

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