Solar ‘101’ – 2020 Edition – A Beginner’s Guide To Solar

Soula for beginners or solar 101 2020 edition. This video will tell you everything you need to know about solar before you go and get quotes. My name is Finn peacock and I’m. The founder of solar quotes this one-on-one video is the distillation of everything I’ve learned about solar since starting solar quotes 11 years ago.

So let’s get started. The first thing you need to know is the three main components that make up a solar power system number one is the panel’s, which can be either mono, crystalline, poly, crystalline or a hybrid of the two known as cast mono.

It doesn’t matter. If you get mono, if you get poly, if you get cast mono panels, what matters is that you buy a good brand that will last 25 plus years installed on your roof. Now there are good budget brands and there are good premium brands that are also known owned panels that are rebadged junk.

They’re unlikely to last more than three to five years on an Australian roof. Please avoid installing as no-name panels at all costs. You can choose to install a budget, think kia, regular, think, toyota or premium say BMW solar panel brand.

You generally get what you pay for now. You probably don’t, know a good panel brand from a lemon, and why should you so here’s, a handy chart of some of the most popular solar panel brands in Australia and where they rank based on the relative price, the Solar wholesalers are selling them for now, this list is not exhaustive and if you’re, not sure about a brand shoot me an email, but this chart represents probably 90 % of what’s being quoted for in 2020, in Australia and The brands on this chart are more or less a safe bet.

The second main components of a solar power system is the inverter which can be either a string inverter around the size of a small briefcase or micro inverters, which are approximately the size of a small paperback book.

A string inverter is installed on the wall. Solar panels connect into it. A micro inverter goes on the back of each solar panel. Now there’s, also a third option, power optimizers and they’re kind of a hybrid between the two.

Now, if you do go with a string, inverter which sits on the wall, make sure that the wall it’s mounted on, does not get direct. Sunlight choose a shaded spot, a cool garage or ask him installer to put a simple shade over the inverter.

This is because direct intense ozzie sunlights shortens the lifespan of inverters. It cooks them from the inside out. Now the job of the inverter is to convert the DC electricity solar panels produce into 230 volt AC electricity, which is what everything in your home uses.

The inverter is the component most likely to fail in a solar power system in the first 10 to 15 years. This is because they work really hard all day and, yes, they do wear out. So, even if you’re on a limited budget, I’d, recommend considering a premium end.

Inverter, here’s, a rundown of the popular inverter brands in Australia right now and where they sit in terms of price again, this list is not exhaustive that any reputable installer has about a 95 % chance of quoting you one of these brands.

The third main components of a solar power installation is the racking. This is what your solar panels are mounted on and what connects them securely to your roof. There are a wide variety of racking brands out there.

This chart shows brands that we’re. Familiar with and where they sit on price, the difference between a budget and brand and a premium end brand is around $ 100 per kilowatt of solar panels installed.

The second thing you need to know is really important: how much electricity you use in your home and when you use it, when solar electricity is generated by your panels, it will first be used by the appliances in your home with any surplus energy export it to The grid your electricity retailer will pay you a small amount for each kilowatt hour that your system exports to the grid.

Now it’s better to use the solar power generated by your system than to export it. That’s because self-consumed electricity’s, saves you about 30 cents. A kilowatt-hour is you don’t have to buy that energy from the grid exported electricity and a feed-in tariff.

Now that can vary between 7 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour, depending on your electricity retailer, so it rarely does pay to shop around. This means that self consumed solar energy is typically 2 to 3 times more valuable than exported solar energy.

Australian households that use a lot of electricity during the day or can set their appliances to run on timers are a natural fit for solar panels. These guys can see very short paybacks between two and a half to five years 20 to 25 percent return.

If you are not at home during the day, hello, nine to fivers, you’ll, typically consume, say: 20 % of an appropriately sized solar power system. That’ll push the simple payback out 6 to 8 years, but bear in mind that’s, still a 12 to 15 percent return on your investment now avoid any solar energy company that calculates your Solar System, payback based on a hundred Percent self consumption – practically no one – has a hundred percent self consumption.

Those companies are being dishonest in order to get your sale. The third thing you need to know is how many panels to buy my advice on this has changed considerably in the last few years. This is because prices for solar, installs have fallen considerably.

Electricity prices have risen and feed-in tariffs. What you paid for for exporting excess electricity have also risen. The only limitations now are your budget. What your roof can properly fit and the amount your DNS P.

That’s. Your distributed network service provider, your local electricity network, what they’ll, allow you to install for most homes the absolute minimum you should consider is 6.6 kilowatts of panels.

That’s about 22 panels. With a 5 kilowatt inverter, the biggest regret I hear from solar power owners is that they didn’t factor in how winter and overcast days would limit their savings. They wish they’d, installed more panels when they had the chance, because it’s, expensive and complicated to add panels after the install, while adding panels to the initial quote can be surprisingly cheap.

The fourth thing you need to know about is the solar rebate, the famous Australian federal solar rebate, technically known as the STC scheme acts as a point of sale discount of the final cost of a solar installation.

Now all the prices you see advertised will already include this discount. The subsidy is worth about $ 600 per kilowatts of solar panels installed, but this will vary slightly depending on where you live, so, for example, a six kilowatt system that tracks around 3600 dollars in rebates.

Anyone can claim the rebate, even if you’ve already bought solar before the only restrictions on claiming the rebate are one. Your system must be less than 100 kilowatts and that’s, bloody big to you, get it installed and designed by a Clean Energy Council accredited professional 3.

You use panels and inverters that are approved for use in Australia by the Clean Energy Council, and you need to know that the federal solar rebate is slowly being phased out. It will reduce by about one tenth of today’s value every January until it goes to zero in 2031.

The fifth thing you need to know is the difference between the solar rebates and the solar feed-in tariff. I mentioned earlier that the solar feed-in tariff is how much you are paid for the solar electricity.

You export into the grid between 2009 and 2012 people signed up to really generous feed-in tariffs. It paid them anywhere between 30 cents, a kilowatt hour and 66 cents. A kilowatt hour he’s. Generous tariffs were designed to kick-start the solar industry when solar systems were much much more expensive.

Solar systems have reduced in price by around 80 % in Australia since 2008, and feed-in tariffs have reduced to to around 7 to 20 cents, depending on your electricity retailer. This reduction in feed-in tariffs is why you see so many people screaming solar power.

Isn’t worth it anymore. The rebates been massively reduced, there can using the rebate with the feed-in tariff, the federal rebate is still alive and kicking, and it isn’t being reduced significantly anytime soon, and we’ve run the numbers and even with these lower feed-in Tariffs, it’s, really not difficult to get a five year payback on your solar system.

The sick thing you need to know is the basics of roof direction and angle for optimal solar placement. First, let’s. Discuss panel direction, north-facing solar panels will peak in their power production around midday and give you the most energy overall throughout the year east facing panels will peak in the morning and give you about 15 percent less energy throughout the year west facing panels will peak in The late afternoon and again give you about 15 percent less energy, but this means a working household.

Can self consume more solar energy with east and west facing panels because they give more energy before and after school or work that’ll, accelerate your systems payback. Sadly, I’ve, spoken to more than one homeowner, with a big east or west roof right for solar that thinks it’s, just not worth it, because their panels can’t face north.

It used to be true in ten twelve years ago that if you couldn’t install panels on a North facing roof, then solar, wasn’t worth it, but now the price of solar has dropped so much. You can get a fantastic return on your investment from east facing panels west facing panels, combination of north east and west, how you can even make money with south facing solar panels, although that would be a last resort.

Now let’s. Discuss panel angle, the ideal panel angle to maximize the energy produced over the whole year is simply within a few degrees of the latitude of your location. Here’s, a chart showing the latitude of each capital city.

So for my house in Adelaide, the perfect solar panel angle is about 35 degrees from horizontal. If you’re, not able to install your panels at the perfect angle, don’t worry the panel’s in my own installation.

Are at 15 degrees from horizontal, and I only lose about 4 percent in annual energy production compared to the perfect angle so generally, unless your roof is flat. The ideal angle to mount your solar panels at is whatever angle your roofs being built at.

The 7th thing you need to know is the typical payback period for a solar system, a well-designed solar system as a typical payback period of around 4 to 7 years in Australia. Now this can vary depending on how much solar and injure yourself consume and how high your feed-in tariff is.

But when you get quotes for solar, the Installer should do a payback analysis for you to estimate your payback period. Then you can simply read through that analysis and decide if that payback makes it worthwhile for you to spend your money on solar.

The 8th thing you need to know is what price ranges you can expect to pay for quality solar and why quotes, can vary widely in price at the time of filming approximate prices for good quality, solar systems in Australia, so that’s good tier 1 panels and a quality string inverter, including full installation, as shown on the screen, now click the link in the description to see the most up-to-date prices now to be clear, the upper end of these price ranges for top end systems.

You’re. Talking, probably LG or Sun power panels with full panel level, optimization or micro inverters installed by a solar craftsman, also note that these prices include the discount from the solar rebates.

However, for those of you in Victoria, those prices do not include the state level rebate offered by the Victorian Government. If you want to downgrade to a reputable budget inverter, that would be the brands on the left-hand side of the inverter chart.

I showed you earlier. You may be able to save around $ 800 on the lower end of those price ranges. Now costs can increase if you need an electricity, switchboard upgrade or any other electrical work that makes your home suitable for solar power or if the design of your home makes the system installation really difficult.

Like my house, it’s made of straw. It was really hard to install solar on installing batteries will at least double the price of the system, now really cheap solar energy systems that are much cheaper than cost you more in the long run from repairs and lost output.

I tell my friends to avoid these systems. It breaks my heart, see solar panels going into landfill after only three to five years. The ninth thing you need to know is whether batteries are worth it to use an example, one of the most famous batteries in the world, the tesla powerwall.

This costs around fifteen thousand dollars to install and will save you absolute best case, a thousand dollars a year. That means it will take you at least fifteen years before you’ve, broken even on your initial investment, let alone profited from it and it’s.

Anyone’s, guess as to how long the power wall will live past. Its 10-year warranty, now you don’t need a nobel prize in economics to realize that, with those numbers, batteries just aren’t worth it at current prices.

Now there’s, lots of reasons to buy a battery money. Isn’t everything I get that I bought a battery because I’m, a tech geek that loves to play with the latest technology and as someone the media regularly asks about these things.

I thought I should at least own a battery. If I’m going to talk about them, but for the vast majority of homeowners, economic payback is their number-one priority and who can blame them one day? Batteries will make lots of sense and when that day comes, they can easily be added to any existing solar system use a method called AC coupling.

Now just a note about state level, battery rebates in Victoria, South Australia and the AC T, there are state government battery subsidies that can take 30 % or more of the total cost of buying a battery.

If you get a really good deal on a battery, these additional rebates can take them from being too expensive to worth. Considering the tenth and final thing you need to know it’s all about how to finance your solar system.

Now, most Australians actually buy solar power systems with cash. If you’re debt-free enough cash, looking for a place to go, then investing in a solar system is worth serious consideration. A solar installation currently generates a tax free, reliable return at the time of filming is far higher than bank interest rate or government bonds.

However, some of us don’t have the luxury of easy access to thousands of dollars. Many solar installers offer no interest finance and if that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it almost certainly is.

If you see a deal that claims no interest, your BS detector should be going off. All finance has a cost. The no interest deals often charge the Installer a fee of 20 to 25 percent on top of the cash price and guess what that cost is passed on to you now don’t misunderstand me: plenty of reputable solar installers, not just the rip-off merchants, Offer no interest finance because many customers demand it these days, but in my experience you can get a much better deal by shopping around for a low-interest finance provider and avoiding the easy signup.

No interest deals. So there you have it. The 2020 edition of my solar 101 guide – you now have all the knowledge you need to buy a good quality solar system with confidence. The safest way I know to buy solar is to get quotes for comparison from reputable pre-vetted installers, which is exactly what my website Solar quotes can do for you.

Just visit solar quotes. Comm dot. Are you pop your postcode into the top right box, hit the big red button and I’ll, do my absolute best to match you with up to three pre-vetted installers who can give you quotes for high quality systems thanks for watching [, Music ]? You