Why are some Solar Systems cheaper than others

Why are some Solar Systems cheaper than others.

Inifinity Energy Solutions is keen to assist you choose The Best Solar System for your Home. There’s a lot of buzz about solar energy – and we welcome it with open arms.  So we answer the question most asked of us Why are some Solar Systems cheaper than others. The clever systems derive clean, pure energy from the sun, combating greenhouse gas emissions. But before you buy, we want you to be armed with all the information so you can make the right choice for both you and the environment. To put it simply, we know we will serve your needs energy saving needs better than the systems that are currently being promoted on TV.

Firstly what should we expect from putting solar panels on our roof?

Households are paying between $100 to $200 more for electricity than what could be considered reasonable, according to The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

So lets understand how solar panels work

We all know the panels sit on our roof, collect the suns rays and make electricity for our house. But how? Here is how Wikipedia explains it:

Direct current (DCelectricity is what solar panels produce and what batteries hold in storage, while alternating current (ACelectricity is the type used on the grid and in most household devices

Then what happens to the energy collected by our solar panels?

A device called an inverter is required to convert the DC electricity from solar panels into appliance-friendly energy.

What does it matter what type of inverter I have?

To put it simply the type of inverter you have makes the world of difference to the cost of installation but more importantly how efficient, that is how well your solar panels work regardless of the weather. It is also makes a huge difference in the medium to long term on your ability to collect and convert the suns rays.

Imagine if your system has one inverter and it breaks down, which the cheaper ones do after only a few years, then your entire solar system fails, it simply stops working.

On the other hand if you install the Enphase Microinverter system which Infinity Energy Solution recommends, then you have an inverter under each and every one of your solar panels. Even better they come with a monitoring systems that informs Infinity Energy Solutions if one is malfunctioning.

Lets say a tree has grown a leafy branch which is shading one of your panels a digital alert is sent to Infinity Energy Solutions that one of your panels is not functioning to its potential and we inform your of the problem.

A massive advantage of a micro inverter under each solar panel is that it produces its own power even when the sun is shining on some panels and not others. That does not happen when you have simply one inverter at the side of your house.

What you need to know about Micro Inverters vs a Single Inverter.

Infinity Energy Solutions recommends investing in Enphase micro inverters

(one inverter under each panel) for the following reasons.

1) Modularity

Expandability of the system can be done at any time if your needs change and more solar generation is needed you can simply add more Enphase micro inverters and more panels to increase the size of your system.

2) Mismatch

When solar panels are made they have individual electrical characteristics due to imperfect manufacturing tolerances when using Enphase micro inverters this is no longer an issue. This means if a panel is broken or faulty in the future any solar panel can be installed in its place no need to match the exact same output characteristics of the existing panels in the system.

3) Redundancy

If one micro inverter fails you only loose solar generation in that one panel not the whole system, and because the system is connected to Enphase My Enlighten software Infinity Energy Solutions will be made aware of this fault strait away and action will be taken to come and investigate what is wrong with the system even before you know yourself that there is a problem. There is a 10 year warranty on Enphase micro inverter system. Even then they are only $200 to purchase outside of warranty.

4)Orientation

Enphase micro inverters and panels can be installed on any roof orientation as each micro inverter produces its own power even when the sun is shining on some panels and not others.

The solar panels with individual mirco inverters will still produce what it can given the individual irradiation on each panel may be different on different roof positions.

5) Larger yield.

As Enphase micro inverters start producing power earlier in the day and stop producing power later in the afternoon therefore giving you a larger solar collection window which means more power production and more money being saved on your electricity bill.

6) Safety

When safety counts the choice is clear no dangerous high DC voltages running along your roof and through your home as the Enphase DC voltage never exceeds 60 volts DC and have no potential high voltage ark hazard because the DC voltage has been inverted to safe 240 volts AC power on the roof.

7)Price differential

An Enphase solar system is undoubtedly the market leader but are 20% to 30% more expensive than a DC ( that is one singular inverter at the side of your house) system but I’m sure after reading the points listed it is more of a worthwhile investment than your traditional DC solar system.

8) Battery ready

All Enphase solar systems are battery ready at no extra cost. Simply order the batteries you need for your level of storage and Infinity Energy Solutions instantly connect it to your solar system

 

A Single Inverter System

Also known as a DC system and means the energy collected from the suns rays travels along your roof and down the sideof your house to the single inverter system.

1)Expandability

This is a problem with a DC system as you can only load the inverter up to the size of the inverter and no more, if you ever needed to upsize your system you will need to upsize your inverter or add a complete new additional system.

2) Mismatch

With a DC system if you have a broken or faulty panel and it requires replacing you must find a panel with the exact individual electrical characteristics. With the way solar technology is advancing ,more imported panels arriving in Australia and with even larger size panels being produced this will be a problem when trying to find the exact same panel to replace into your DC string system. This could require you to change all of the panels so that they all have the same output and characteristics.

3) Redundancy

If your inverter has a fault the whole system produces zero solar power, it simply stops functioning and you will usually only find this out when the system has not been working for a week or a month or worse when you receive your next bill and see a huge amount payable because your solar system has not been working. Usually a single inverter system does not have the ability to be able to tell you or your installer digitally when there is an issue. The general cost of a new 5.0 kilowatt solar inverter can be between $800.00 to $2000.00 to buy.

4) Orientation

In a DC system all of your solar panels need to be connected in the same orientation and that they are combined to produce the right voltage at the same time to fire up your inverter which means you can’t just put your solar panels on all different facing roofs unless they are all individual strings or by the use of optimisers.

5) Yeild

The DC solar collection window is not as large as the system starts producing power later in the morning and finishes making power earlier in the afternoon therefore not producing as much solar power output and not saving you as much money.

6) Safety

A DC system is not as safe as there is a lot of high voltage DC electricity working its way accross the roof typically 600 volts to 1000 volts DC this comes with a potential hazard to you and your family including ark faulting and fire.

7) Battery ready.

Not all DC systems are battery ready they generally need a specific inverter and special wiring in order to interface with the batteries properly and this is a costly exercise.