Know The Right Size – What Size Solar Battery Do I Need?

Know The Right Size – What Size Solar Battery Do I Need?

Have you gone solar? You’ll never regret making this on-trend and transformative decision, as it not only represents a massive step towards a sustainable and ‘green’ lifestyle but will also drive down or slash your power bills just as they are soaring. But now that you’ve tapped into solar energy’s potential, considering solar battery storage is the logical step to take it to the next level. Integrating a solar battery in Brisbane allows you to store rather than waste excess solar energy you generate during the day – meaning you can enjoy continuous and reliable ‘free’ solar energy at night or when the grid goes down. But are you asking yourself: What size solar battery do I need?

What size solar battery do I need for my house?

They say that size doesn’t matter, but that’s definitely not true when it comes to solar battery size. Now, when discussing solar battery sizes, we’re not talking about its physical dimensions but its storage capacity and power output. Too big, and you’re only wasting money and even compromising solar power’s overall efficiency. And too small that you won’t be able to store enough solar power for your household’s needs, leaving you just about as reliant on the grid as you were in the first place.

Why a solar battery sizes chart isn’t enough?

Just planning to use one of those free online solar battery size calculator apps you’ve seen? While they may give you a decent idea to estimate your solar battery needs, they merely use generalised assumptions and standard formulas. And few of them factor in your specific consumption, the unique solar potential of your location, your daily usage fluctuations, and the efficiencies of different solar panel types.

Remember, a mismatch between the right solar battery sizes for you and the actual product you purchase takes away from the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your solar setup. The solution?

Try our detailed guide to correct solar battery sizes

Try our exclusive and thorough step-by-step approach to helping you answer the question: What size solar battery do I need?

1. Check your daily energy usage

First, we’ll need to figure out how much your household is using energy every day – on average. Helpfully, you should find the figure in kilowatt-hours (kWh) on your power bill, but also pay close attention to identifying patterns and peak usage periods.

2. Assess your solar panel output

Now, we’ll need to figure out how much of that daily usage is already taken care of by your solar panel setup’s average daily energy output. And the answer doesn’t just depend on the panels, but also on where you are and the amount of sunlight they are exposed to at different times throughout the year.

3. Evaluate peak demand times

Observe that at certain times – let’s say evenings when everyone’s home – your household energy demand tends to peak. It’s therefore critical to not just have a basic capacity overview, but whether your solar battery is capable of meeting peak rather than overall energy demand – especially in non-sunshine periods.

4. Calculate battery capacity needs

With your consumption and output data, you’ll now need to estimate the required storage capacity of your battery – usually in kWh. This step means:

  • Breaking down usage over different times of the day
  • Subtracting consumed solar energy from total consumption
  • Factoring in days of low solar production (ie. the need for surplus energy)
  • Bearing in mind inverter energy losses
  • Estimating future power usage changes
  • Striking a balance between excess capacity & inefficiency.

5. Don’t forget about depth of discharge (DoD)

Once you calculate solar battery size roughly, don’t forget about the DoD – the concept that these batteries vary in terms of how thoroughly they can be depleted of energy. So once you hone in on a product, see how high or low the DoD factor is.

6. Don’t overlook battery quality

One of the differences between high-quality solar batteries and lower-quality ones is how much heat they lose during charging and discharging. Sometimes, a cheap solar battery may seem to have enough usable energy – and then you find that it’s pretty inefficient.

7. Is your solar panel going to work?

You can get a very good idea of solar battery capacity, only to discover that it’s not compatible with your existing solar system – or compliant with local rules.

Are you getting a good idea of what size battery you need for your house? If you thought our step-by-step process was straightforward, don’t forget that each step involves complex calculations and personalised considerations – and even more layers of data analysis and a deep understanding of solar energy systems.

Ask our experts about solar battery size

So while getting a very good idea about the required battery size is beneficial, you’ll need a solar electrician to make your calculations personalised and perfect. Remember, solar power is a major and long-term investment – so why not ask the friendly solar specialists at Solar Repair Service for help?

We offer personalised consultations, detailed energy assessments and tailor-made solutions to ensure your solar battery is perfectly sized for your needs and is always in tip-top shape. By using Solar Repair Service, you’re gaining a partner dedicated to maximising your solar investment – so get in touch today.

Unmasking Solar Mysteries: How Do Inverters Work In Your Home?

Unmasking Solar Mysteries: How Do Inverters Work In Your Home?

We live in an era marked by the ominous challenges of climate change and skyrocketing energy costs. But there’s good news: there’s never been a better time to make the big leap by transitioning your home to solar energy. Now, just about every homeowner understands that turning that free and abundant energy from the sun in the sky into clean and green usable electricity requires solar panels. But you may be surprised how often our Queensland solar electricians hear the questions: “What is a solar inverter?” and “how do inverters work”?

What is a solar inverter?

So let’s dive right in because without a solar inverter, those panels on your roof will still do all the hard work of capturing that delicious sunlight and turning it into electricity – but it will be useless for your household appliances and systems. Why’s that? Because the electricity those panels will make is direct current (DC) – and what our homes require is alternating current (AC). To keep it simple, the sun’s rays hit the photovoltaic cells and trigger a direct flow of electrons – DC power. It then needs to be fed into something that turns that simple DC power into electricity that can change direction (AC) – and for that, we need the solar panel inverter.

How do solar inverters work?

And what is a solar inverter? It looks like a compact, bow-like device, often mounted near your property’s main electrical panel, either indoors or outdoors. And how does an inverter work? Let’s keep it super-simple and as non-technical as humanly possible – and explain it step-by-step for you.

1. A ray of light

Imagine a ray of sunlight, travelling millions of kilometres from the sun to the solar panel on your roof. It hits the panel, the photovoltaic cell absorbs it, and it excites electrons – creating direct current (DC) electricity.

2. Conversion initiation

This DC electricity travels through wiring from the solar panel to wherever your solar inverter is located. Think of that inverter as a translator, taking the foreign DC language and converting it into the AC language that your household appliances speak.

3. The inverter’s inner workings

Inside the inverter, there’s a set of electronic components that work together including transformers, inductors and capacitors. They collaborate beautifully to change the characteristics of the electricity.

4. Pulse width modulation

One of the most critical processes occurring in the inverter is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). By using electronic switches, it turns the DC on and off rapidly, triggering a series of pulses. The length and spacing of these pulses almost perfectly mimics the wave-like pattern of AC electricity.

5. Creating the AC wave

These pulses are then smoothed out and refined by the inverter’s filters, resulting in a sine wave – the exact shape of standard, fully-useable AC electricity.

6. Final check & adjustment

Your inverter will then check the voltage and frequency of the power it’s converting to make sure it matches what’s going on in the electrical grid and your home – which is what your appliances and household systems require to work.

7. Powering your home

That DC power has become AC electricity, which is what your home needs. The newly-created AC power then flows into your home’s electrical panel – and is ready to be used by your TV, fridge, lights and anything else that would otherwise require mains grid power.

Your solar inverter journey: What’s next?

As you can tell, the solar inverter is critical for transforming the raw potential of free and abundant sunlight into usable power for your home. At Solar Repair Service, we provide comprehensive repair and maintenance services for all leading brands of solar systems, solar panels, and solar inverters across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich & beyond. Got an inverter issue or question or any other solar-related need? Give Solar Repair Service a call today to keep that green, free energy flowing seamlessly.

Solar Feed In Tariff QLD: Create The Ultimate Solar ‘Super Incentive’

Solar Feed In Tariff QLD: Create The Ultimate Solar ‘Super Incentive’

As Queensland rapidly transitions to clean, green and sustainable renewable energy, there’s one word that summarises the key to that success: incentives. After all, it’s incentives that turn a solar naysayer into an avid consumer of solar panels for their home, and encourage businesses to invest in solar technologies with financial, environmental and long-term benefits. For the consumer, one clear incentive that gets a lot of attention is our local solar feed in tariff QLD – but there’s another incentive that works hand-in-hand.

For many people, while the QLD solar feed in tariff and the installation of solar batteries are two such incentives, it’s always surprising to learn that not too many Queenslanders understand that they have a symbiotic relationship.

Feed in tariff QLD – What is it?

The simplest explanation is that the QLD feed in tariff allows solar-equipped homes producing excess solar energy to ‘feed’ it back into the grid for a financial benefit. In fact, if you get it right, the feed-in tariff can provide a steady extra income stream for solar panel owners, meaning it doesn’t just make those power bills smaller, but eliminates them entirely – and then turns solar power into a profitable venture!

For the number boffins, here’s the breakdown about the solar feed in tariff QLD:

  • It’s a standard rate of just over 10c per kilowatt-hour
  • With an additional time-varying rate of over 16c per kWh for eligible systems during peak periods.

How does it work hand-in-hand with solar batteries?

Separately, most solar power users these days understand very well that another key incentive is the increasing availability of solar battery installation. Basically, what it means is that you never waste a drop of that free solar energy because rather than losing it you can store it for when the sun isn’t shining. That way, even in the dead of night, you can be using free solar energy rather than paying for regular electricity from the grid.

The ultimate solar super-incentive

But how do the feed-in tariff and solar battery installation work hand-in-glove to create a true super-incentive? It’s all about unlocking solar synergies and amplifying the rewards. Let’s explain.

1. Maximised self-consumption

Slash and eliminate your reliance on grid electricity by storing excess energy for later use, increasing self-consumption to the max.

2. Increased financial returns

By combining the feed-in tariff with solar batteries, homeowners can not only earn income by exporting surplus energy to the grid but also further optimise their financial returns by using stored energy during peak tariff periods.

3. Energy independence

With solar batteries, you ramp up your energy independence by relying less on the grid and harnessing safely stored solar energy to meet power needs even during outages or at night.

4. Enhanced grid stability

Solar batteries contribute to the stability of the power grid we all rely upon by reducing the intermittency of solar energy generation and balancing electricity supply with demand.

5. Reduced carbon footprint

Combining the feed-in tariff with solar batteries promotes renewable energy adoption, slashing your carbon footprint even more extremely by minimising reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity.

6. Long-term cost savings

Just imagine making money, rather than spending money, on your energy needs! That’s a long-term saving on power bills, making solar power a powerfully attractive option from a purely financial point of view.

7. Sustainable energy transition

When you find synergies in solar incentives, we collectively accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy future, driving increased solar power adoption and powering the global effort against climate change.

Create your solar super incentive today!

Supercharge your solar incentives with the help of Solar Repair Service – a local and leading team of solar repair specialists and solar battery installers across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast & beyond. Are you ready to unlock the full potential of solar power by leveraging the powerful synergy between the feed in tariff QLD and solar battery installation? Contact Solar Repair Service to explore how you can maximise your savings, gain energy independence, and have a positive environmental impact through smart expert solar solutions.

Why Is My Electric Bill So High With Solar Panels?

Why Is My Electric Bill So High With Solar Panels?

Are you getting slammed with enormous power bill hikes at present? You’re definitely not alone – because industry experts admitted at the recent Energy & Climate Summit that your electricity will cost about 35% more this year compared to 2022. The good news, however, is that simply by switching to solar power, you can expect your bills to then drop by somewhere in the range of 50-70% on average – although some get that bill all the way to $0 or even start to actually make money with their solar thanks to a feed-in tariff. So if all that’s true, which it is, then why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?

Huge electricity bill with solar panels?

So you installed that solar system because you wanted to embrace sustainable energy and slash those electricity bills, right? If you’re perplexed about what’s gone wrong, it could be:

1. Wrong solar system size

If the capacity of your solar system is overwhelmed by your household’s energy consumption needs, not enough ‘free’ energy will be produced – and so your appliances will have to revert to normal, expensive grid electricity. And if this grid electricity is being used in peak usage times, it will cost even more.

2. Altered lifestyle

When a household makes the solar switch, one common phenomenon is that – knowingly or not – the people who live there suddenly start to use more electricity than ever because of the perception the electric bill after solar panels is so low. But just because the energy is free doesn’t mean it’s limitless – and once it has all run out, you’re back to grid electricity on top of those more power-hungry new habits.

3. Solar system faults

Has your power bill surge coincided with an error message or warning light on the inverter? What about the panels – do they look degraded, scratched or dirty? Have you had the wiring checked for faults that could have led to energy transfer inefficiency? Could connections be loose, cables damaged, or junction boxes faulty? If it’s been a while since you had some professional solar maintenance or at least a solar inspection done, get on it now.

4. Shading & orientation

Even if your solar system is technically functioning perfectly, changes in the way the panels get their sunlight – some new shade, or an outdated panel orientation – can cause quite dramatically lower performance. Even the tilt angle of your panels could just need a tweak, which is something an experienced solar electrician knows all about.

5. Seasonal/weather/climate variations

It won’t be a surprise to learn that your panels do a lot better generating plenty of free energy in the sunny summer compared to a particularly grim winter season. But even several unseasonable cloudy days can make a big difference too, not only in terms of what your system is capable of producing but also regarding your expectations for what a particular power bill will say at the end of the billing period.

Sluggish solar: Why is my electric bill so high?

Are you struggling with surprisingly high solar power bills? The experienced, fully-licensed and always-friendly solar specialist team here at Solar Repair Service really can help with:

  • System inspections: We’ll conduct a thorough solar system inspection, audit and assessment to get to the bottom of any issues affecting performance & efficiency. That includes checking the panels, inverters, wiring and other components.
  • Maintenance & cleaning: Your solar system is low maintenance – but that doesn’t mean it needs no regular professional maintenance and cleaning at all!
  • Performance monitoring: All across Brisbane, Sunshine Coast & beyond, Solar Repair Service can set up or assist with your solar monitoring systems to track energy production and consumption. It will help you identify deviations in performance and pick up issues in a timely way.
  • Troubleshooting & repairs: With our eagle eyes and industry-leading tools, we’ll diagnose the problem and implement the necessary repairs or replacements in a jiffy.
  • Upgrades & optimisation: Once we understand how your solar system works and verify everything’s working optimally, we can recommend and implement upgrades or optimisations to enhance energy production and boost your savings. From extra panels to an upgraded inverter or implementation of energy storage solutions like batteries, we’ll tailor your setup to your household’s exact needs and goals.
  • Energy efficiency knowledge: No one understands the local solar game like the experts at Solar Repair Service, and we’re more than happy to suggest energy-saving habits, recommend efficient appliances, provide energy optimisation insights, and keep you up to date with the latest incentives, rebates and regulations.

Give us a call today at Solar Repair Service

Just want to maximise the financial benefits of solar energy as soon as possible? With all the bells & whistles like fully-guaranteed workmanship, upfront pricing, and coverage of all solar technology brands and systems Brisbane & Sunshine Coast-wide, the friendly team at Solar Repair Service can help today.

Solar Panels Not Working? Check These 8 Things

Solar Panels Not Working? Check These 8 Things

Sure, the solar panels on your roof are producing free energy from the sun to slash your power bills. But let’s face it: it cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars – and you want the full benefit. Are you worried your solar panels are not working properly? If your hunch is right, your expensive panels won’t be producing the energy output and efficiency they’re supposed to – which means your power bills won’t be as small as they can be!

Worse still, even a single solar panel not working right can cause unexpected system shutdowns – and no power at all. And if your problems with solar panels are left unchecked for long enough, they’ll just continue to worsen over time until the repair bill is either huge or you need to replace the entire system from top to bottom.

Have you got a hunch that you’re dealing with solar panel faults?:

  • System not producing the energy or performance you’re used to?
  • Can you see visible signs of panel damage, cracks, rust or discolouration?
  • Monitoring system giving you abnormal or inconsistent readings?
  • Error messages on the inverter?
  • Hearing strange solar system noises?
  • Entire system shutting down or not starting up properly?
  • Circuit breakers tripping?

How to check if my solar panels are working properly?

Do you suspect you’re dealing with one (or more) of the most common solar panel problems? When your expensive system is letting you down, it’s not only disruptive, stressful & worrying – you could soon be dealing with huge power bills, even bigger repair bills, or even total system failure.

Just want to know once-and-for-all if that solar panel is working or not? Try our step-by-step at-home diagnostic guide:

1. Check the monitoring software

Most solar power systems include performance monitoring software that may give error messages or alerts that will indicate if a solar panel is working or not. Better still, you can track system performance over time to check for day-to-day energy production consistency and get early signs of potential problems.

2. Check the inverter

Problems with solar energy are quite often not due to the actual panels. In fact, studies have shown that about 80% of all solar problems are actually traced to the inverter. But even if the inverter isn’t faulty, that may be where you see error messages or fault codes.

3. Check the solar panels

Diagnosing solar panels not working can be as easy as simply looking at them. Over time, you’ll see signs of wear & tear, the odd minor crack, visible corrosion or rusting and even obviously loose connections.

4. Check for debris

Sometimes, a solar panel not working properly can be as simple as it being affected by typical roof debris like bird droppings or tree branches. Or, perhaps something is shading or obstructing your panels, blocking the powerful sunlight from having its correct photovoltaic effect.

5. Test the output

To ensure your panels are generating the power they should, as well as the efficiency of the connections and wiring, do the following:

  • Power it down
  • Check the wiring for damage, corrosion & connections
  • Take photos of any issues to show a professional
  • Tighten loose connections & clean corroded components
  • Power back on and check for enhanced performance.

6. Inspect the mounting hardware

To work properly, your panels need to be properly and securely mounted in a variety of ways – whether on the roof or the ground. Performance issues can arise if the orientation or angle of the panels is not right, while loose mountings can cause vibration and movement in the wind that chips away at the connections or damage the panels themselves.

7. Check the battery

Does your solar system include battery storage? If so, it needs to be charged and discharged in the correct way.

8. Get them inspected & cleaned

Struggling to understand why your solar panels are not working properly? It could be as simple as the need for a thorough professional clean with the best tools, techniques and products – or maybe it just needs some sophisticated diagnostic gear and a skilled PV technician to diagnose the issue.

Need some help? Call Solar Repair Service

Solar panel not working right? It’s absolutely critical to have your panels, inverter, battery and entire solar power system regularly inspected, maintained, cleaned, serviced and repaired when necessary by a qualified solar panel technician. And here at Solar Repair Service, we do it all! Swift diagnosis, compliant solar repairs and expert solar maintenance and solar panel cleaning are literally all we do (and more!) all across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and beyond.

To catch problems early and provide 5-Star treatment for your expensive solar panels, inverter and system, give the friendly team at Solar Repair Service a call today.

The 2 (or 3!) Types Of Solar Panels In Australia

The 2 (or 3!) Types Of Solar Panels In Australia

Are you looking into getting solar panels installed? You won’t regret it if you do, because it’s the best way to slash your power bills and carbon footprint, help the planet with clean, renewable energy, and boost your property’s value with a low-maintenance technology that should last you decades. But how much do you know about the different types of solar panels on the market?

When asked about the different types of solar panels that are available, many people will have a ready answer: “Photovoltaic panels, of course!” But a photovoltaic solar cell is simply the long way of saying ‘solar cell’ – referring to the technology that generates electricity when exposed to light, or photons.

So if all solar panels are photovoltaic, how many types of solar panels are there, precisely? The answer, when referring to the almost 3 million rooftop power systems installed across Australia today, is nice and simple:

  • Monocrystalline
  • Polycrystalline
  • Thin film.

Making things even simpler for the consumer, however, is that thin film panels – whilst a fundamentally positive idea for the future, are not very appropriate for the Australian rooftop. Sure, they’re cheap and light, but the current range is quite inefficient – around 12% or so. On top of that, the materials can be quite toxic which is not a great idea when the idea is to help the environment.

For Australia, then, the choice is clear: monocrystalline or polycristalline:

1. Monocrystalline

This is the original ‘tried and true’ solar panel option, packing the most efficiency punch at around 21%. What that means is that of the sunlight that hits the panel, around 20+% is effectively converted into useable electricity.

Monocrystalline panels, made of ultra-pure silicon, are the ones you see on most Aussie roofs, with the distinctive tile-like matrix of silver lines of wires separated by the white diamond shape doing the energy collecting.

2. Polycrystalline

So while monocrystalline are usually the highest performing panels out there, the way the crystals of pure silicone are sliced up results in some wasted space on the actual panel layout. And because polycrystalline panels make better use of the space, the efficiency is therefore neck-and-neck.

Also called multicrystalline, this panel type is newer – but still made of silicone. Rather than simply slicing up single pure silicone crystals, however, the polycrystalline panel is not quite as pure because it’s case into blocks. Visibly, the white lines are therefore thinner and the characteristic white diamond shape is missing, and you can also see the actual crystals more distinctly.

So which solar panel type should you choose?

As you do your own research into the solar panel types Australia wide, here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of both the mono and poly-crystalline options:

Monocrystalline:

  • Work a little better in low-light
  • Marginally better-performing in heat
  • Expected to last marginally longer
  • Some prefer the look
  • Cost is slightly higher.

Polycrystalline:

  • Easier and cheaper to manufacture
  • Slightly lower cost
  • Slightly lower efficiency
  • Less wasted panel space
  • Some prefer the look!

Solar Repair Service can help you decide

Do you need help choosing between the different types of solar panels out there? At Solar Repair Service, we’ve serviced, maintained and repaired solar panels all across Brisbane, Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast for many years. So our CEC-qualified solar power electricians really know what they’re talking about! Why not get in touch today for a friendly chat?

How Long Do Solar Panels Last In Queensland?

How Long Do Solar Panels Last In Queensland?

You can’t ‘go green’ without them, but once you’re all set up with your new photovoltaic solar panels, you’ll be making clean, free energy for years upon years. But how many years, precisely? How long do solar panels last when mounted on roofs in the harsh conditions here in sunny, rainy & stormy Queensland?

Let’s face it, getting solar panels is a big investment – we’re talking thousands upon thousands of dollars, even when factoring in those rebates and incentives. The lifespan of solar panels, therefore, makes a huge difference when calculating just how long that price-tag will take to claw back in energy savings.

It’s an important question, and we at Solar Repair Service have broken down all the most common answers asked by people just like you:

1. How long do solar panels last in Australia?

Let’s get straight down to business: in terms of an average solar panel lifespan here in Queensland and Australia more broadly, you’re looking at a degradation rate of something between 0.5 and 1.5% per year. In real terms, you’re therefore looking at a couple of decades at least, and probably 30 years in the real world.

To ensure you’re nearer the 30-year+ range:

  • Pick a quality solar panel brand manufacturer
  • Get an experienced, reputable and fully-licensed installer to put the solar system in for you
  • Watch out for the common signs of accelerated degradation & problems.

2. What factors affect the lifespan of solar panels?

Longevity alone isn’t everything, because your solar panel setup also needs to perform reliably and at optimal efficiency to get all the cost-saving benefits. And it’s the harsh Queensland conditions that can hurt your panels the most:

  • Humidity: Queensland’s infamous humidity increases your panels’ chances of being affected by moisture that finds its way in. The good news is that the latest generation of solar panels sold on the Australian market are better at dealing with high humidity.
  • UV: It will come as no surprise to learn that the UV light radiating onto a Queensland roof is at supercharged levels. High-quality manufacturers, however, integrate clever UV-blocking technology on their panels – especially the ones destined for our bright Australian states.
  • Temperature fluctuations: As we all know here in Australia, the days can be particularly hot and the nights can be particularly cold, and sub-standard solar panels are less able to cope with all that expansion and contraction of the materials.
  • Wind: It’s hot, cold, bright and humid in Queensland – and also pretty darn windy! Over time, this sort of battering weakens the structural integrity of your array.

3. When should I replace the solar panels?

Although the typical solar panel lifespan is 20-30 years, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a lot more out of your particular system – especially if your routine and professional solar maintenance schedule is top-notch. At the same time, your panels may reach the end of their effective life much sooner than that.

So how long does a solar panel last before it really does need to be replaced? The magic number is about 80% efficiency, which means you will have lost at least 20% of the array’s ability to generate the power you expect because of degradation, micro cracks and other wear, tear and age-related issues.

We’ll help supercharge your solar panel lifespan

But here’s the good news: here at Solar Repair Service, we can keep your solar panels alive for longer by offering the full suite of solar power system repair, installation, professional panel cleaning and technical maintenance.

Our friendly solar electricians have decades of combined experience working on all types, brands and ages of solar power systems, and offer tailored advice all over Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay & beyond.

Get in touch with Solar Repair Service today!

Q&A: Can Solar Panels Be Recycled In Australia?

Q&A: Can Solar Panels Be Recycled In Australia?

By now, we’ve heard all of the benefits of switching to clean, green solar power. They’ll survive for decades on your roof with low maintenance, you’ll slash your power bills whilst helping in the fight against climate change and benefitting from various government incentive schemes, and you’ll ramp up your home’s value as the cherry on top. The naysayers, however, will often try to spoil the party by insisting that solar panels aren’t really ‘green’ at all as they can’t be recycled. So is that true? Can old solar panels be recycled, or not?

Answer: Yes, solar panels can be recycled

As with most things, though, there’s a little more to the story. For instance, if there is a downside to Australia’s incredible solar uptake rate at present, it’s that the end-of-life recycling phase is indeed struggling to keep up with demand. There are now well over 3 million Australian homes producing their own solar power, meaning the issue of recycling rather than dumping into landfill is now becoming a pressing one.

And with a green industry that is central to Australia’s clean, green, sustainable future, recyclability is an absolute must. So if you do have concerns, we’ve heard all your most pressing questions about solar panel recycling and have all the answers right here:

Solar panels can be recycled: Our helpful Q&A

Q: How urgent is the problem?

A: Of course it’s urgent – but we also need to put it into context. For instance, although demand has been exponentially surging over the past decade, the vast bulk of those installations won’t be anywhere near the recycling phase for many, many years. The supply-demand market means that over the next decade or two, the recycling issue will steadily get solved.

Q: Sure, but can solar panels be recycled in Australia right now?

A: If you’d asked just a few years ago, the critics would have been correct to point out that solar panel recycling in Australia was pretty thin on the ground. But full-on, large scale solar panel recycling facilities are now starting to go fully operational, like the panel-crushing facility in Melbourne that went online late last year.

Q: How much of solar panels can be recycled?

A: Good question – and the answer is good news indeed. The Melbourne plant we mentioned above says the aim is that 100% of the solar PV modules and all related components – including inverters, mounting structures, optimisers and cables – will be able to be totally broken down and channelled into existing recycling streams. The best bit? The entire process is 100% chemical-free.

A similar operation will go online in South Australia shortly, and another Melbourne company has received full federal government backing to pioneer solar panel ‘upscaling’.

Q: How are solar panels recycled?

A: Another good question – and, again, one with a very satisfying answer. The great news is that solar panels are made almost completely out of glass, plastic and aluminium – three materials that are highly and easily recyclable. It gets a bit complex in that the materials need to be meticulously separated, but advanced machinery is making that process easier and easier.

Let’s improve solar panel sustainability – Together!

So can solar panels be recycled in Australia? The next time a naysayer tries to bring down the industry, you’re now armed with the key answers – thanks to the passionate team right here at Solar Repair Service!

The absolute best way to ensure your solar panel system is as sustainable as possible is by extending its life by keeping it in tip-top shape – which means regular inspections, solar panel maintenance, specialised solar panel cleaning and swift, affordable solar panel repairs.

Need help with any of that around Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Redland Bay and beyond? Hit us up here at Solar Repair Service and, together, we’ll help to keep the sustainability of solar panels heading onwards and upwards!

The Best Solar Panel Brands For Your Home

The Best Solar Panel Brands For Your Home

Think about all the appliances around your home – your TV, your fridge, your hot water system. Even off the top of your head, you probably know – and trust – the respective brand name. That’s because it’s the brand name that represents the quality, the reliability, the reputation, the price and the cool features that made you pick ‘Brand A’ over ‘Brand Z’ in the first place. And when it comes to the best solar panel brands Australia wide, it’s no different.

But while it’s likely you have some pre-established opinion about computer, shoe and smartphone brands, you might be drawing a blank when it comes to the solar panel brands that are making the biggest impression. That’s because while you buy shoes and even smartphones over and over, the good solar panel brands can be more elusive. Why’s that? Because it’s a relatively new market and because it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime purchases that never really get the traction that other brands need to achieve.

What are the best solar panel brands?

Nevertheless, if you’re jumping on the solar bandwagon to slash your power bills and your family’s carbon footprint, you’re going to need a trustworthy list of the solar panel brands Australia loves compiled by industry experts, Solar Repair Service. So without further ado … here it is!:

1. The best solar panel brands bar none

Price is always a major consideration with a major investment like solar panels, but if we remove that from the equation, what are the solar panel brands that the billionaires would put in?

At the top of the list must be LG, a South Korean brand that has stunned the market by indicating it will shortly discontinue its solar ambitions. Until now, LG’s N-type silicon cells were the toast of the industry, even though plenty of competitors are now catching up.

One of them is SunPower, an American brand known for producing the most efficient panels of all – and also best at coping with partial shade. Add an amazing 40-year replacement warranty on top, and these corrosion-resistant panels are always a premium choice.

Finally, the third ‘tier 1’ solar panel brand is REC, which come with a 25-year warranty. What sets REC apart from the rest of the field is the award-winning half-cut cell technology, which produces significantly more energy per panel.

2. The best value-for-money solar brands

If you’re like most people, though, you want to find that happy place between great quality and a great price – so here are our winners in that category:

Trina Solar: For solid value, combining reliability with affordability, this is without doubt one of the best Chinese solar brands. Over the past few years, their products have earned a reputation of achieving close to premium performance for a better price.

Jinko: Another good quality, well-priced solar brand with a strong Australian presence is Jinko, who have achieved 21.53% average efficiency. And those in the know, know that above 21% efficiency is an industry-leading achievement.

Longi: Next up, we have another Chinese brand but you can still definitely call Longi ‘tier 1’. Sure, the maximum warranty is 15 years but this is no industry straggler – in fact, it’s probably the biggest producer of monosilicon panels across the entire world, with a good customer service office in Australia.

Related Reading: Top 4 Solar Inverter Brands In Australia

Pick a solar panel brand with Solar Repair Service

But what about Q-Cell, Solarwatt, Hyundai, Solaria, Suntech, Risen, Opal … and plenty of other good solar brands that would look and work brilliantly on your roof? Because we’ve serviced so many solar systems over the years, no one knows more about the best solar panel brands Australia wide than Solar Repair Service. So if you want to know more and avoid the solar panel problems of inferior products get in touch with our friendly team today!

Everything To Know About Solar Electrical Safety

Everything To Know About Solar Electrical Safety

We hear all the time about how renewable energy such as solar is the clean, green future that awaits us all – and that we can already reap all of those benefits today. And it’s not just better for the planet, as solar power slashes your electricity bills, boosts your property’s value, ends your energy dependence, and is a low-to-no maintenance solution for the long term. What you hear quite a bit less about is solar electrical safety – for good reason. After all, when you buy a new car, how much will the salesperson talk about the risk of getting into a serious crash?

But at Solar Repair Service, we care about you – which means we need to talk openly and honestly about solar power system electrical safety. We don’t pretend that turning sun radiation into useable electricity is ‘magic’. We don’t hide that, like all electric energy generation systems, there is the risk of electrocution and arc faults that spark fires and even explosions. And hardly anyone emphasises 3 of the lesser known risks including:

1. Flood/Emergency

As 2022 has demonstrated to us so far with a vengeance, flooding is still a big deal in Australia. If you suspect or fear water damage may be on the horizon, always follow the manufacturer’s proper processes for inverter shutdown.

However, if water damage has already been done, don’t risk a shock and instead call the solar electricians at Solar Repair Service.

2. Roof safety

Solar installers and manufacturers often refer to the risk of falling off the roof. But a much bigger concern is actually electrical safety whilst working on the roof or in those roof cavities – because of all the electrical wiring and other powered features lurking up there.

If you’re tempted to go up or in there, pay particular attention to the live supply cables running from the panels to the inverter – as well as every other electrical feature. And don’t forget that even if you power down your solar system from the switchboard or the inverter, the main supply line will of course still be live, as will be the panels-to-inverter connections.

3. Recalls

Another thing to keep an eye out for is product recalls. A major culprit over the past few years has been faulty DC isolator switches, with plenty of systems subject to recalls – mainly due to the risk of overheating and fire.

Luckily, Australia’s federal ACCC has set up a product recall search service at https://www.productsafety.gov.au/recalls where you can search for your solar inverter brand and model and get instant information about its recall status.

Solar system electrical safety – What’s next?

What’s the real answer? It couldn’t be simpler: maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance.

Get your solar power system regularly looked at by true industry experts, and it could be good to go and super-safe for decades. With a bit of luck, your installer or the manufacturer has already laid out what your particular solar system servicing schedule is, but you can also give Solar Repair Service a call and our experienced and fully-licensed solar team will help you out.

Need a few maintenance tips?

  • Keep cooling vents clean & debris-free
  • Keep panels & switches secure, clean and defect-free
  • Check parts and wiring for deterioration, damage & corrosion
  • As well as panels & inverters, don’t neglect any battery storage system you may have in place.

A good plan for safety and reliability is to have regular scheduled solar panel cleaning and inspections.

Don’t forget about solar power system electrical safety

Yes, you need to worry about how good your installation was, what condition your panels and components are in, and if the weather or pests have compromised the long-term health of your entire solar panel system. That’s a lot to worry about, so why would you risk it by not putting your solar power maintenance needs in the hands of Solar Repair Service?

We repair any and all brands of solar systems, solar panels & solar inverters all across Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and beyond, so get in touch with Solar Repair Service today.

The 6 Key Questions About Solar Optimisers Answered

The 6 Key Questions About Solar Optimisers Answered

If you’re new to the world of solar power, first of all, we just want to say: “Welcome!” And now you have a choice: put all of your faith in your trustworthy solar energy professionals, or dig a little deeper. Scratch just the surface, and you’ll learn that there are actually four main parts to your solar energy system: the panels, the racking or mounting, the inverter and the battery storage. But there’s a fifth element that is less talked about and even less well understood: the solar panel optimisers.

The reason solar optimisers don’t get much air-time is because they’re basically an additional and optional feature – and we completely recognise that your solar energy system will still work without its help. But the key here is in the name itself: solar optimiser. The solar optimisers, in other words, ‘optimise’ the power that your individual panels produce.

If you’re wondering about the sort of optimisers solar specialists may be recommending to you, the sales pitch is definitely not hot air. That’s because if just one of your panels is in fact not working optimally, that lagging performance can – and usually will – bring down the performance of the system as a whole. Your panels are arranged in a ‘string’ – and we all know what happens if you affix multiple trinkets to an actual, real-life string and then take to it with a pair of scissors. In the world of solar energy, the solar panel optimiser’s job is to keep your panel ‘strings’ intact.

Do you have questions about solar panel optimisers?

We know you have more questions than that about how solar panel optimisers play their role in your new setup, so we’ve bundled them all up in these 6 questions that hopefully make everything crystal clear:

Q: Does my new system really need solar optimisers?

A: Technically, no. But without them, your ‘strings’ will only be as powerful as the single-most high-performing panel. With solar optimisers installed, however, the power of each individual panel will be individually optimised.

Q: Why would my panels not already be optimised?

A: Good question, because many people believe that new panels straight out of the box will already perform optimally. However, the problem could actually be as simple as one panel in the partial shade, or one being not quite as clean as the others.

Q: How does the individual solar optimiser really work?

A: Without getting technical, what solar optimisers do is detect sub-optimal panel performance and find a way to bypass that individual problem and prioritise the overall performance of each string. In even simpler terms, it means panel performing at 50% power will not result in the other panels all effectively being brought down to 50% too.

Q: Will solar optimisers always work optimally?

A: Another great question, because some may fear that adding additional features to your solar setup is just adding more things that can go wrong. Luckily, the solar panel optimiser – made from highly durable materials – is designed specifically to handle the extreme conditions of turning heat energy into free, useable power.

Q: Do solar panel optimisers make financial sense?

A: Sure, a solar optimiser per panel adds a few extra dollars to the overall cost of your system, but not suffering ongoing sub-optimal panel performance will more than pay you back over time.

Q: Who can install solar optimisers?

A: Your friendly solar electricians can quickly and inexpensively install your solar optimisers.

Ask Solar Repair Service about solar optimisers

If we’ve convinced you that solar panel optimisers may be well worth the investment, the only questions left to answer are about the details of the type, brand and features you require – which depends on the specifics of your solar system. At Solar Repair Service, we don’t just fix and service your solar setup, we’re fully qualified and highly experienced in all sorts of solar repairs, cleaning and more.

Need a quote for all of your solar panel optimisation needs in Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Redlands or Moreton Bay? Get in touch with Solar Repair Service today.

Top 4 Solar Inverter Brands In Australia

Top 4 Solar Inverter Brands In Australia

So you’re new to the world of solar, but you don’t know a lot about the technology and all of those solar panel and solar inverter brands. Firstly, reassure yourself that you’re making a brilliant decision. It’s not just the way forward for our country and our world, you’re about to slash your power bills, crank up your home’s value, and get a super low-maintenance way to deliver clean and sustainable power for your family – and perhaps even the rest of us via the electricity grid!

But now for the slightly trickier bit – wading through the growing, bustling and highly competitive Australian solar industry market. The good news is that all of that competition means a huge range of options and low prices. As a newcomer, though, how are you going to find out who makes and supplies the best solar inverters near you, complete with affordable prices and a reputation for reliability, durability and quality? What solar inverter brands are even available across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and beyond?

As the leading solar electricians in the area, with more experience than most of our peers in system installations, solar repairs, cleaning and maintenance, our friendly team at Solar Repair Service are perfectly placed to offer trustworthy advice about the best solar inverter brands available right here. And that sort of advice is crucial, given that up to 70% of all solar system failures are due to a failed inverter.

But first things first: what’s a solar inverter, anyway?

The panels aside, it’s the inverter that converts the direct current (DC) generated by the sunshine and your panels into the alternating current (AC) you need for your power points. With such an important role, it’s crucial you know a little about the best inverter for solar systems from a brand perspective.

So what are the stand-out best solar inverter brands near you? Let’s get stuck into it:

1. Fronius

fronius solar inverter repair

Let’s start with an Austrian brand (no, we didn’t spell Australian wrong!). If that puts you off though because you prefer Aussie-made, how about this: the brand has been around since World War II, so you could say they have an awful lot of experience – and that’s actually quite rare for the renewable energy sector. The first Fronius solar inverter was switched on in 1995, and now there’s an office in Victoria.

2. ABB

abb solar inverter brands

Another very impressive solar inverter brand knows exactly what it’s doing, across no less than four forward-looking global industries – electrification, automation, motion, and robotics. They’ve set as a mission the “transformation of society and industry” to make it more productive and sustainable, which is music to the ears of many. And if you thought Fronius’ history back to WW2 was impressive, consider ABB’s 130+ years heritage, culminating in well over 100,000 employees across 100 countries. A sure bet.

3. SMA

sma solar inverter brands

SMA solar inverters, on the other hand, is smaller – just 3,000 employees across 18 countries. But where SMA exceeds itself is in its dedication to innovation, which is actually sometimes easier for large companies at a more manageable scale. And this German company, with almost $2 billion in sales even in the covid-affected 2020, has been around for four decades – another safe bet. Need more convincing? SMA is currently the only solar company listed on the TecDAX – an index tracking the performance of Germany’s 30 biggest tech companies.

4. Sungrow

sungrow logo

While the credentials of the aforementioned 3 solar inverter brands may be impressive, Sungrow – a great brand name, by the way – makes a particularly bold claim. This German brand claims to be “the world’s most bankable inverter brand” after 24 years in the photovoltaic space. How does it justify this claim? Remembering that 1 gigawatt is 1000 megawatts, or a billion watts, Sungrow claims to have installed over 182 GW since 1997. Wow! It was achieved by putting together and building the biggest R&D team in inverter innovation in the entire solar industry – and launched the biggest inverter factory on planet earth in 2019.

Solar Repair Service knows all the best solar inverters

Spoiled for choice? We understand that newcomers to the solar industry may be fully on board with the concept, but a little out at sea when it comes to reliable and affordable solar inverter brands. So here at Solar Repair Service, we’d love to help! If you’re looking to get a solar setup up and running across Brisbane, Moreton Bay, the Sunshine Coast and beyond, there’s no one better in the business – so give our friendly team a call.

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