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    Thread: Solar panels - should we?

    1. #11

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Jun 2008
      Pt Noarlunga
      436 times
      Yes I reckon you will make money on yours... :-)
      On another note our house has them when we bought it no idea what kind or how much we save from it lol
      Michelle, Phil, Nathan, and Libby. PR175 arrived Oct 2009

    2. #12

      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Aldinga Beach
      36 times
      If I can just avoid electricity bills I will be happy not worried about getting money back. Still waiting for the meter to be replaced and get switched on hope to be solar by the end of spring. X
      Adrian, (Photographer) Paula (Primary Teacher) Jake (2) and Rhys (arrived March 2013)
      Moving 10th July 2013.

    3. #13

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Oct 2009
      107 times
      I've just had a good quote from true value solar - anyone used them and got any comments?

      thanks for all your replies, they've been very helpful.

    4. #14

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Apr 2009
      Port Noarlunga, Adelaide, South Australia
      1899 times
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyke View Post
      We had solar fitted earlier this year - going very well on the 25.7c tarriff.

      Now producing up to 26KW per day in right conditions.
      Should have at least enough surplus to pay gas bill as well!

      Below is what I posted ..................

      We are in the first quarter of our new system.

      We moved late last year and really wanted a good system for our house.

      The criteria we used in choosing was as follows...........

      Do loads and loads of online research.

      Talk to those who have systems already.

      ​Get lots of quotes - I say more than 3 as the company's differ wildly in both equipment and in the way they sell

      You WILL pay somehow for those big feed in tariffs..!!

      We looked for a long established and local company using old fashioned sales techniques (Not "I'll have to ring my boss for a special price today only" crap)

      Biggest system we could afford.

      A system that produced enough so that we did not have to worry if we switched on aircon / heating.

      ​A system that would make us "neutral" and have no bills.

      A decent Inverter!!

      Medium price but high quality.

      After all this pondering ,several quotes (some were ludicrous!).,we settled upon a 5KW system, Sunny Boy (SMA) inverter,20 x 250 Watt panels upon the roof.

      This system would give an average of 18 to 23 KW on sunny days according to online research and speaking to a lot of salespeople.

      We chose a local company called Sola Edwards, based in the Lonsdale trading estate ( you can just see them off the Dyson Road.
      They have been going for years, local to us if I needed to get hold of anyone and a relaxed sales technique.


      The full system cost us $8600 , $500 of that was for the hire of a scaffolding tower as our place is 2 storey.

      It was a middle price from the quotes.

      Fitting day was amazing, we had that many people here it looked like the house was covered in ants!
      The system was fitted easily in one day.

      But then we had to wait for our meter to be changed - the older ones do not run backwards or account for the feed in.
      As we are on 3 phase this meant an extra cost (to SA Power Networks) of $630ish .
      It took 3 MONTHS for the meter to be changed!!!
      Just backlog as so many were going solar just before last Christmas.

      So March 10th saw our meter changed and the big switch on.
      The new meter shows what you are using and what you feed into the system.

      To be honest we were a little disappointed as on the best ,cloudless day we only saw 14KW produced.
      After a couple of weeks I called into Sola Edwards and mentioned this.
      Rich, the salesman did say that output was low for that system and he would get the technicians out to have a look.
      ​The technicians rang the same day and were onsite the next day.
      After some investigation it turned out to be a loose connection ! Which can happen to anyone.

      NOW we are talking!!
      Best day so far has produced 28KKW and even on a very cloudy day we have seen 9KW produced.
      It does look as if we are hitting above average with recent days averaging 25/26KW produced per day.

      Our usage is fairly low at 5 /6KW per day unless we turn on a power muncher such as the reverse cycle air con.

      Our water heating is gas and also the cook top.

      Looking at our meter now we are now only powering ourselves but putting an awful lot back into the system.
      We need 12 months to be able to really say how successful the system is but I am sure we will have no electric bills again!!
      If I am greedy , I'd say we could be well in credit !!

      Our site is North facing - no shade.

      Unsure of the payback time yet but feeling pretty confident it will only be a few years.


      ​Watch out for the TV aerial - it may have to be moved. The shade from them can cause production loss. Some panels will totally shut down if in partial shade - check this!!

      Ensure you have panels that will no shut down in partial shade.

      Watch out for the breather pipes from toilets / bathrooms casting shadows........ although not meeting building regs I've know people reduce the length to shorten shadowing.

      Phew!! Knackered after typing this.

      But happy looking at that sun shining today
      The feed in tarrifs do make things so complicated!

      It all depends upon usage and what tariff you have. If you have a high feed in tariff its best to limit energy use during the day as every kw of electricity is being fed back in to the system at a rate higher than you buy it for. If you have a low feed in tariff then the power generated still runs the house during the day and it's best to do all the high power consumption stuff like dishwasher, cooking, aircons, pool pumps, washing etc as you are using your own power and will pay a higher $kw rate to do the same when the sun goes down.

      I had 3 systems installed. All of them were 1.5 kw and my biggest regret was not having larger systems installed. In my own house my electricity bill has dropped considerably. We wish that we could add to the system but it's not allowed as the amount being fed back into the grid has exceeded their expectations...and budget!

      If I lived next door to Mr Tyke I could run an extension cable from his house!!!

      Guest75 and Toni like this.
      Adelaide Furnished Rentals. MIGRANT and HOLIDAY HOMES with unlimited internet in popular PORT NOARLUNGA. Walk to beaches, shops, stations. McLaren Vale 12, city 30 mins, beaches 2 mins away. Longer rentals (3 to 12 month) at discounted rates. Australian Business Number: 65261457068



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