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Grid Connected Solar Systems in the ACT?

By 54-11 - 18 May 2009 12

I’m considering having a Solar PV system installed before the government’s $8,000 rebate expires on 30 June.  There are a number of spruikers doing their thing in Canberra at the moment, including Nu Energy.  This mob will install Chinese-made panels for free, with them taking the rebate and the RECs.

Other companies offering deals are Solar Shop and Solarco Canberra.

Does anyone know anything about these businesses, had dealings with them, have worked for them, or otherwise have knowledge of how they do things? 

Thanks.

What’s Your opinion?


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12 Responses to
Grid Connected Solar Systems in the ACT?
54-11 12:02 pm 19 May 09

Thank you, smiffy. This is the sort of info I’m looking for. I’m actually thinking about get a quote from Solar Shop, so this gives me some confidence. Cheers.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 9:59 am 19 May 09

Smiffy – what sort of lifetime do they predict for the panels? Does efficiency change much during the panels’ lifetime?

smiffy 11:30 pm 18 May 09

had a system installed by solar shop
http://www.solarshop.com.au
absolutely brilliant service
they came out to my house, measured the azemuth angle and inclination angle of my roof and told me exactly what the system produces every month of the year and every hour of the day.
had a small problem with the inverter and it was fixed pronto
used japanese panels and german inverters. nothing chinese
solar shop panels are thin film. work better in shade and hot conditions. like summer
for what it’s worth, highly reccommend them
smiffy

ChrisinTurner 9:21 pm 18 May 09

Talk to the SEE-CHANGE people who have done all the hard work in selecting a bulk supplier http://www.see-change.org.au/res/File/SEE%20Change%20Bulk%20Buy%20Round%202%20Proposal%20Outline%20-%20v2(2)-1.pdf

Pickle 9:16 pm 18 May 09

You could try http://www.solartec.com.au/
disclosure: he is a friend of a friend who I have only met the once, he seems a decent chap committed to the concept and has been operating in the Canberra area for quite a few years.

Felix the Cat 8:29 pm 18 May 09

I looked into this (the NU Energy deal) and decided it wasn’t worth my while. The deal is you have to pay a $2500 “deposit” that is refundable when the Govt rebate comes through, less any extra installation costs incurred (eg install on tile roof is extra). I’m thinking it could be several months before they come around and do it, at the info session they had the other week there was quite a substantial pile of deposit cheques and application forms on the desk. All this just for maybe up to $500 per annum in reduced power costs and a warm and fuzzy feeling inside for saving the planet. The solar panels only have an estimated lifespan of around 10 years so then you have to do it all again (may or may not be cheaper then).

I did also hear about a guy on another forum signed up with NU Energy and waited a few months and they hadn’t come yet to install his system so he was trying to get a refund from them.

GregW 6:58 pm 18 May 09

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster said :

A bit like those newfangled “environmentally friendly” lightbulbs. If one of them breaks they release mercury vapour and you need a full-scale Hazmat operation to clean up the mess and decontaminate the area.

I love the thought of you shivering away outside waiting for a Hazmat crew because you were too lazy to do some basic research before coming to that conclusion. Suggest you do it now.

monomania 5:42 pm 18 May 09

You get what you pay for. Pay nothing, get problems.

I don’t blame people for taking up this opportunity to install solar PV and possibly make some money as long as they:

1.  Realise that the rest of us are paying for it through our electricity bills and

2.  Don’t try and tell us that you are doing something for the environment.

Only a complete fool would pay more than $800 to save each tonne of carbon dioxide as will occur with these “free” systems but of course since the rest of us are paying we are the fools.

Even larger systems installed by community groups like GCC cells save carbon dioxide at a cost of over $500/tonne

A Noisy Noise Annoys 5:06 pm 18 May 09

peterh said :

how do the companies that are manufacturing these panels prevent damage like hail? If I was going to get panels installed on my roof, i would want to ensure that they aren’t going to be smashed after the first severe weather event.

A bit like those newfangled “environmentally friendly” lightbulbs. If one of them breaks they release mercury vapour and you need a full-scale Hazmat operation to clean up the mess and decontaminate the area.

Danman 3:07 pm 18 May 09

how do the companies that are manufacturing these panels prevent damage like hail? If I was going to get panels installed on my roof, i would want to ensure that they aren’t going to be smashed after the first severe weather event.

Reminds me of when I was a duty officer for a certain government agency.

Got a call out at night because a solar hot water panel had ruptured.

Got on the roof of said building, no gantry (OH+S requirement), middle of winter with ice on the roof due to ruptured solar panel. No rigging points for harnesses (Possible OH+S issue, not sure) but when I made my way to the panel in question, after having the water shut down, there was a sticker on the panel that clearly stated “Not for use below 5 degrees Celsius”.

In Canberra…. Please… talk about trying to skimp…

I was thinking about solar Photovoltaic connection to the grid….But the cost prohibitive nature of PV cells has put it off for the time being… I would strongly suggest that cost definetly = quality in this case….Dont skimp on basic utilities.

peterh 2:41 pm 18 May 09

how do the companies that are manufacturing these panels prevent damage like hail? If I was going to get panels installed on my roof, i would want to ensure that they aren’t going to be smashed after the first severe weather event.

Gungahlin Al 1:59 pm 18 May 09

GCC are currently in discussions with Pure Solar (formerly Green Frog Solar) about PV for the Palmserston Community Centre, which we manage.

I’d suggest some care with these ‘installed for free’ deals. How good are the panels? What is their rated performance? What is their actual likely performance given prevailing conditions? What is the warranty? What is the rating of the inverter? Is their any spare capacity in the inverter or will it be functioning at its limit?

Usual due diligence stuff…

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