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#31 Tolmij

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 06:52 PM

Our installer told us at the current price of 98 cents per day to provide us electricity, the price will jump to 1.30 per day from the electric companies in the coming months. Will wait and see


The current Premier want to join them all together, no competition means very high prices.
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#32 Top_Cat

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 07:11 PM

I'm considering solar, so I'm resurrecting this thread.

 

Firstly, house fires and protection of firies.   There is an isolation switch at the panels (Aust requirement), but these have been found to cause some fires and Aust is the only country which requires these.  I can't imagine a firey getting up on the roof to turn off the isolation switch while the house is burning down.- useless and pointless.  They all have an isolation switch at the inverter but that would still leave the wiring from the panels live until the panels melt.

 

After discounts, you're probably paying over 20c per kWhr for electricity consumed, except for off-peak hot water.  The return-to-the-grid rate is a whisker over 6c per kWhr.  So, while some return might be good, don't count on making any sort of a profit.

 

The rating for the system is the average during the year for good sunlight.  Allowing for latitude, this gets converted to 'effective hours' per day.  For Melbourne, that is 3.6 Hrs.  So if you put in a 3KW system, you'll generate 10.8 kWhrs.  If there's no-one home during the day, you'll use a little of that on refrigeration but the bulk goes to the grid @ 6c.  In the evening, you'll draw it back @ 20c.  If you're home during the day, you can run appliances such as washing machines, driers, aircon, etc. at sunny times and use little electricity from the grid.  One consultant tried to tell me I could save half my electricity usage that way, but I'm somewhat sceptical of that.

 

The payback time, based on their guesstimates of my daytime usage , is around 5 years.  But that could change considerably with rising electricity costs which have been increasing at over 10%pa.

 

Rapid advances are being made in battery technology which, in some years to come, could make it viable to power one's house from a huge UPS.  But at present, batteries are too expensive.  Hybrid inverters, to which batteries can be connected at a later date are available, but they're expensive and unproven.  In any case, they may not meet the requirements that new battery technology might require for charging.  Just compare the different requirements for charging lead acid, gel and lithium batteries.  Count on needing a new inverter for batteries.

 

At this stage, all I've done is a little research and got some quotes.

 

Now, all you experts can tell me all the other stuff I need to know.  About solar electricity.

What are your chances of being upright when it's paid for itself?


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#33 OldBogey

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 09:56 PM

Our installer told us at the current price of 98 cents per day to provide us electricity, the price will jump to 1.30 per day from the electric companies in the coming months. Will wait and see


Mine's gone up from $1.21 to $1.34.
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#34 OldBogey

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Posted 26 April 2015 - 10:01 PM

What are your chances of being upright when it's paid for itself?


Five years. I hope so, plus another five for profit.

And still playing golf. That's the plan.
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#35 Tolmij

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:28 AM

Five years. I hope so, plus another five for profit.
And still playing golf. That's the plan.


I think it's pathetic when people think you stop planning for the future just because you are older. I have the next 20 years planned out and it includes solar power :P
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#36 drgazgiz

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 10:46 AM

Consider a micro-inverter system. Less fire risk (and may actually be less expensive) as they don't need DC wiring in conduit all way back to the switchboard. They are quicker to install, not much more expensive overall now and much better system monitoring. The best micros are Enphase, they'd be the only ones I'd consider.

 

The system size to get depends on your usage. With only a low 6.2c/kWh FIT in Victoria now, you just need to replace expensive 9-5 grid usage with solar, and/or transfer some night time usage (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine) to the daytime. So you need to work out your 9-5 daily usage and the amount you can transfer.

 

For most households 2-3kW systems will be fine, anything over that may be over-sized and a capital cost waste, unless you are going to offset things like aircon in summer. You won't escape the daily service charge no matter what you put in.

 

The best orientation is due north, but for summer usage like aircon, think about a west-facing orientation that supplies a reasonable amount of power until into the early evening. With variable pricing under smart meters, the peak is now 4-8pm, so that's when power will be most expensive.

 

I have a 5kW system that I use to power the house, swimming pool filter, swimming pool solar heating and a 1kW garden watering pressure pump. Daily output varies from 3kWh on foggy winter days to 30+kWh in December. On a good day at the monent (late April) it will produce 21kWh. My quarterly bill is now about $150-200, without solar it would be $800-$900.

 

Think also about energy reduction like LED lights, energy efficient appliances, double glazing etc. I downsized a pool solar heating pump from 750W to 300W with an actual increase in heating efficiency. Saves about 2-3kWh per day in summer.   



#37 OldBogey

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 12:16 PM

I think it's pathetic when people think you stop planning for the future just because you are older. I have the next 20 years planned out and it includes solar power :P

 

If I don't make it to the profit side, that will be the least of my worries.


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#38 OldBogey

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:09 PM

Consider a micro-inverter system. Less fire risk (and may actually be less expensive) as they don't need DC wiring in conduit all way back to the switchboard. They are quicker to install, not much more expensive overall now and much better system monitoring. The best micros are Enphase, they'd be the only ones I'd consider.

 

The system size to get depends on your usage. With only a low 6.2c/kWh FIT in Victoria now, you just need to replace expensive 9-5 grid usage with solar, and/or transfer some night time usage (e.g. dishwasher, washing machine) to the daytime. So you need to work out your 9-5 daily usage and the amount you can transfer.

 

For most households 2-3kW systems will be fine, anything over that may be over-sized and a capital cost waste, unless you are going to offset things like aircon in summer. You won't escape the daily service charge no matter what you put in.

 

The best orientation is due north, but for summer usage like aircon, think about a west-facing orientation that supplies a reasonable amount of power until into the early evening. With variable pricing under smart meters, the peak is now 4-8pm, so that's when power will be most expensive.

 

I have a 5kW system that I use to power the house, swimming pool filter, swimming pool solar heating and a 1kW garden watering pressure pump. Daily output varies from 3kWh on foggy winter days to 30+kWh in December. On a good day at the monent (late April) it will produce 21kWh. My quarterly bill is now about $150-200, without solar it would be $800-$900.

 

Think also about energy reduction like LED lights, energy efficient appliances, double glazing etc. I downsized a pool solar heating pump from 750W to 300W with an actual increase in heating efficiency. Saves about 2-3kWh per day in summer.   

 

Thanks Publish.  Those Enphase micro-inverters cost more for just the inverter kit than the entire system using a regular inverter.


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#39 *Mouldy

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:14 PM

What's your annual usage costs (strip out daily service charges) OB ?

What is the upfront cost of the unit including installation ?

 

Assuming an ambitious 50% reduction in usage costs and a time value of money calculation using 4% it is easy to work out if it is cost effective.


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#40 OldBogey

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:27 PM

There are ROI calculators on the web, Mouldy.  After fiddling with variables, it looks like a payback period of 5 years or so.

One of the consultants suggested 70% utilisation, but I think 50% is ambitious enough.


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#41 *Mouldy

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

There are ROI calculators on the web, Mouldy.  After fiddling with variables, it looks like a payback period of 5 years or so.

One of the consultants suggested 70% utilisation, but I think 50% is ambitious enough.

Using my own calculator for me to get a 5 year payback the unit would have to cost $3200 or less which seems way under any useful size based on a 2013 Choice cost estimate for a 2Kw unit @ $4400.  That's based on $360 per qtr usage charges for 2 people in the home.  Not worth the trouble in my case.

 

I was involved in the early days of solar power in Australia with Beasley Solar Hot Water systems in the 80s.  The numbers didn't add up then and I suspect they still don't unless you have a family that eats electricity.  For one or two person homes it is an ethical choice and not a financial one.


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#42 OldBogey

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Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:19 PM

Mouldy, I'm looking at a 4.5kW system for $4K.  Currently paying $460 / quarter.

I could probably save more by just turning my computers off, but then I wouldn't be crapping on in here.  If I hung the washing out instead of just using the dryer (once a week), that would help.  Heck, I could just not wash my clothes at all and save more.  I could also leave the gas heating off (no fan then) and not use the aircon in summer.

 

I could save even more by not playing golf.

 

Or just turn my toes up and remove all expenses.


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#43 OldBogey

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:41 AM

It's been over 4 years and I'm yet to turn my toes up, still expending money on electricity.

My 4.5 KW system has been in since June 2015 and has generated 23 MWh.
The monitor says that I've planted 63.6 trees and carbon offset is 23 tons.

According to my September electricity bill, my average daily usage is 8.1 KWh, compared to an average 1 person household of 11.5 kWh.
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#44 CaNadiAn MiCk

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:52 AM

Mouldy, I'm looking at a 4.5kW system for $4K.  Currently paying $460 / quarter.

I could probably save more by just turning my computers off, but then I wouldn't be crapping on in here.  If I hung the washing out instead of just using the dryer (once a week), that would help.  Heck, I could just not wash my clothes at all and save more.  I could also leave the gas heating off (no fan then) and not use the aircon in summer.

 

I could save even more by not playing golf.

 

Or just turn my toes up and remove all expenses.

Leave your garage door open instead of closing?


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#45 OldBogey

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:29 PM

Leave your garage door open instead of closing?


Open to thieves? No thanks.
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