Installing the right material for any
solar power installation is vital
to achieve the most efficient outcome.
A grid connected solar power system comprises three main groups of components – the solar panel array, the inverter and the installation hardware.
There are many different levels of panels on the market. We will only use premium panels so as to ensure greater outputs with greater reliability ensuring greater returns on your investment.
There are many very good premium panels available which we have access to including Canadian Solar, SunPower, LG, SolarWorld and Tindo to name a few.
Sometimes for either financial or availability aspects we use an alternative make of panel. If this is the case, then you can be assured that the panels chosen will only be a premium product.
The origin of manufacture is not so much of an issue as the quality control in place of manufacture, as shown by independent German tests. Some of the best panels available are manufactured in Indonesia and China.
Points to note when using premium panels:
Some of the characteristics leading to greater output:
- 3 – 5% positive output tolerance,
- ARC glass for an extra 2% energy gain,
- Cell and Module matching to give a further 2% power gain,
- Independently tested as amongst the best power output worldwide
- Improved performance in the heat of the Australian summer
Characteristics leading to longer life:
- True 25 year linear warranty,
- 10 year workmanship warranty,
- superior degradation resistance,
- Accredited salt mist resistance,
- High quality junction box on each panel
The inverters part in all of this is to convert the DC power generated by the Solar Panels into AC power that is suitable to be fed into the grid. Again, we have access to a large variety of inverters, however, predominantly use is the SMA, Power One, Growatt and at times the Schneider inverters.
These inverters are very compact without compromising on their robust quality to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Most inverters come with a 5 Year Warranty for all single Phase Inverters.
Replacing the wall-mounted string inverter are individual inverters for each panel. These give even higher daily outputs than the excellent string inverters as they ae able to monitor every individual panel. With these inverters we would expect an extra 5 – 15% output over the conventional format wall-mounted inverters. This is possible as the output from each individual panel is maximised.
Advantages with micro inverters include:
- Greater system output due to individual tracking of each panel,
- Monitors the performance of each and every panel,
- Shows up any degradation in performance quickly,
- 25 year warrantee with most micro inverters,
- Requires reliable internet connection for monitoring.
To name a couple of high quality micro inverters: Enphase Micro Inverters and APS.
So what is a Hybrid Solar Power System all about?
Hybrid, in short, is a grid-connect system that has its own power storage and uses this power when the panels are not producting and is ideal for situations where no one is home all day and power is used at night.
There is so much more equipment available nowadays for hybrid installations, particularly with the storage of electrcity (batteries) that are more powerful, longer lasting and more cost effective. Hybrid inverters are programmable to suit just about any situation.
Here some of the inverters that we can recommend and stand behind:
Selectronic with ABB, Goodwe and Enphase Micro Inverters
- Selectronic with ABB – very capable of being configured for almost any situation and most commonly used (but not restricted to) in larger or more complex installations.
- Web based monitoring is available amongst many other options.
The batteries can be of many different kinds. Lythium batteries like LG Chem and Enphase are our preferred option and there are several on the market. You might like to have a read of the article which give you a very good comparison between Lythium and Lead Acid Batteries here.
Our Railing System is genuine Radiant solar panel installation rail and is fully engineered for both CGI (Corrugated Iron), Trim Dek, Clip Lock (varies profiles) and Tiled Roofs. Rails are attached to the purlins of the CGI roof and the rafters of the Tiled Roof adding strength, durability and longevity to your Solar Panel System. The Panels are attached to the Rails as per Australian Standards and comply with all legislation covering Solar Panels and Electrical Installations. By using genuine solar railing adequate airflow between the roof and the underside of the panels is ensured. This assists temperature control of the panels and their efficiency.
The Radiant Railing System is engineered to be installed on just about every single roof (unlike many of the cheaper railing systems).
Maximum care is taken to ensure all penetrations into the roof space are sealed with attention to the life span of the system.
Benefits of Quality
Below is a simple comparison of a Quality Solar Power System vs an Economy Solar Power System
Quality Solar Power System – system is designed for maximum efficiency and effectiveness
– Inverter operates efficiently at up to an internal temperature of 55 degrees Celcius (ambient temperature around 40 degrees)
– Inverter derates over 55 degrees Celcius internal temperature
– High efficiency power conversion up to 98% even with small panel arrays
– Genuine long life panels
– High daily outputs from panels
– High quality panel mounting frames (longer life – less corrosion)
– Fully engineered panel mounting frames allows panels to be installed in “edge zone” (commonly the majority of the roof)
– Larger cables than is absolutely required by regulations to minimise energy loss
– Correct sealing of all roof penetrations
– Tiles ground to ensure tiles sit correctly
– Correct dis-similar metal isolation
– High quality other components for safety such as switches, enclusures, conduits etc
Economy Solar Power System – system designed for maximim profit and speed of installation
– Some Inverters operate up to an internal temperature of 45 degrees Celcius (ambient temperature around low 30s degrees)
– Some Inverters shut down over 45 degrees Celcius internal temperature
– Lower efficiency power conversion – requires full power from array
– Shorter life span of panels – damage by UV (sometimes as short as 6 months life)
– Low daily outputs from panels
– Some Dubious quality panel mounting frames
– Some Panel mounting frames are NOT engineered to be installed in “edge zone” (commonly the majority of the roof)
– Panel mounting frames Not installed to manufacturer’s recommendation to save on time and components
– Minimum cable sizes that is required by regulations to minimise cost
– Silicon sealing of roof penetrations to minimise cost – short life
– Tiles not ground therefore tiles sit incorrectly
– Lower quality, cheaper other components to minimise cost