Residential Solar Panels

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Residential Solar Panels

Postby pman92 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:44 pm

Hi guys,
We live in a recently built house in central victoria.

I had a guy door knock today, he said he was the director of a company called solar spirit and was in the area, offering to sign us up to install a solar system.

He said the company has been installing solar for 10 years. They use a Bosch BPT-S 3-4.6 inverter and Canadian Solar panel's.

He said there is a goverment rebate for $2000 that will be no longer available after december 30. All the information I can find says it is still running until June 30 2019.

They claim they will look at our electricity bill, and decide how many panels to install. $0 upfront, we will pay it off over 4 years, "essentially the saving from electricity costs going to them until we own the panels" as he said.

We are interested in getting solar but I haven't done much research about it and don't want to jump on the first salesman at the door without doing research.

What is the quality of the bosch Inverter and canadian panels?
Whats a typical price to pay for solar?
Who to avoid, who is good?

Interested to hear anyones experience

Thanks in advance
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby 0081 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:30 pm

I had solar system installed coming up to 3 years ago with True Value solar 5.75kw of panels with a 5kw inverter

I was a bit worried about using them after reading reviews online however the panels used were the same brand and model that was on offer from other companys I got quotes from including AGL

The inverter is a GoodWee inverter, there was not a lot of reviews about the inverter but pretty much all of them where good. They offered a Bosh inverter for single phase but as i had 3 phase they offered GoodWee

I spoke with the installer a few times and he sounded like he knew what he was doing and I jumped on the roof after the install and everything looked good as did the conduit work around the inverter and the switch board.

I paid for the system on a 2 year interest free package that was on offer but it did have a monthly account fee
The system has been running well and should pay for its self next year not including the account fee.

A smart meter was installed when the solar went on and on my last bill it sounded like we will be moving to time of use billing, I'm with Origin so ill have to see what my next bill comes in at.

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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby vlad01 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:36 pm

We got 6 KW of panels for true average of 4-5Kw of output on a 5kw inverter. We also got a heat pump hot water service timed with peak solar production.

Bills used to be as of 2015 about $500 per quarter but now is more around 80 buck mark on average. With the change from 5c feed in rate to 15ish we get money most months from them.

Would hate to know how much a bill would be at 2018 rates lol


Our inverter is Fronius and the panels are China or Taiwanese but there is good quality ones and shit ones. Ours were more on the high end makes. Really been solid and output has not changed much if anything in the last 3 years. Another 2-3 years and at least the solar parts will be paid themselves off. Not the best return as we got in much earlier when the parts were about 50-80% more expensive than they are now.


It's def worth getting at least a grid connected system today and with rebate it's a much better deal. Off grid still has a long way to go before batteries are cheap enough that they actually have a pay back time. Currently batteries are so expensive the payback for a moderate sized home is more than 20 years, they don't even last that long as far as I know.

However a small non Li-Ion type storage just to tie over the night usage can be had for a few k unlike the couple 10s of k the Tesla power walls and equiv tend to cost. This allows you to maximize your production utilization so you don't buy in from the grid unnecessarily. Imho the price of the tech is not quite there yet. Give t another few years for 5-10kw/h batteries to get to a few k.

Full off grid for under 10k would be the bomb.
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby brindo » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:07 pm

I’m not sure on the rebates or STCs on offer right now but if you have the money and the roof space try to get approval for 6 kwatts of panels and a 5 kwatt inverter.

6 kwatts usually equals 24 panels. Would you have enough roof space facing north for that? And would your roof trusses handle the additional weight? And make sure you can get approval for export as there seems to be a lot of installs only being approved as nil export only. If you can’t export, it may not be worth you the expense.

I have an SMA inverter with Sapphire panels on MSS racking. Hasn’t given me any trouble, just wish I had a wifi capable inverter so I could keep an eye on what it’s producing. On a good day you should be up around the 40 kwatts. We don’t have any interest free loans or anything, just paid around $4500 all up after STCs.

Hot water accounts for around 1/3 of our power consumption, so look at your options there too.

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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby vlad01 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:43 pm

yeah highly recommend a heat pump type hot water. around 4kw of heat transfer for 1.3kw of power input and since it's electric and often have built in timers it's perfect to go along with a PV system.

I have ours timed for 9am to 5pm to allow the peak solar and air temps to capture the most heat into the water for the least cost which is free 95% of the time. Heat pumps liek high ambient temps since they take the heat out of the air and push it into the water. No good trying to heat with them at night during winter lol
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby pman92 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:18 am

Thanks for the info guy's.

He came back yesterday and best offer is $9500, $0 upfront on a payment plan, for a 5kw system with 18 panel's fully installed.

Still sounds expensive to me.

And considering he was originally offering a 3kw system for the same price, and all the stuff he has said that sounds like bullsh*t I'm not very keen.

What are thoughts on that price?
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby vlad01 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:22 pm

yeah thats's way expensive. Ours was 9K for 24 panels and 5kw fronius inverter in 2015, same system should be about 5k now
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby 0081 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:56 pm

Sounds expensive mine was arpund the 5k mark

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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby antus » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:39 pm

Yeah 6kw for 3-4k on gumtree now
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Re: Residential Solar Panels

Postby brindo » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:14 am

That $9500 would be before you get the STCs back. Might only be around the $5000 or less after that. So yes it could be a little too expensive, but there can be other factors that make an installation cost more. Is it a 2 story house or single story? Tiled roof? Or is the roof facing east west and they are using brackets to incline to the north?

But if its a straight forward install, then you should be able to get 24 panels for the same price.

Do you have a north facing shed roof to install the solar on? Can be way easier if you have decent sized cable running to it.

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