Solar Solutions

Avoid this Obvious Solar Mistake

Solar power provides homeowners with a fabulous source of electrical energy. Nowhere is this truer than on the Sunshine Coast, where we enjoy beautiful sunny conditions for most of the year along with a fantastic natural environment. 

This article discusses optimising your solar solution – in particular, ensuring your high-use appliances are using solar energy and not power from the grid. If you’re making this mistake, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Let’s check it out.  

Not Maximising Your Usage of Solar Production

One of the primary goals of solar installations is to ensure that you are making the most of your solar power. For solar systems (with no battery), that means using power as much as possible during the day – when the sun is shining.

We install a range of solar battery solutions, including Enphase

To maximise the benefit of your solar system, it is important to adjust your energy consumption where possible to ensure that you are using the energy you produce, rather than purchasing from your energy retailer.

Examples:

  • Run swimming pools between the house of 10am-3pm
  • Use household appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers if you must) during the day where possible

One of the largest users of power in the home is the hot water system – electric hot water systems account for approximately a quarter of your electricity bill. [SRC: energyrating.gov.au ]

To make the most of your solar, it’s essential to make sure your hot water system is heating during the day, and using solar power. If it’s heating at night, it will not be using your solar energy (unless you have a battery) and will be drawing power from the grid, causing unnecessary costs.

Part of our service is to optimise electrical configurations.. while this might sound obvious to you, but we have seen quite a few homes where this problem is happening. If you’re going to the effort of collecting solar energy, it only makes sense to maximise it!

Monitor your Energy Supply and Demand

The Solution – Install a Timer

The solution is to install a timer on your hot water system that will ensure it only operates during peak solar collection times (during the middle of the day). Having a solar system in place is a significant step, but it’s only one part of the solution. The other part is optimising your home to make the most of solar power.

Get Assistance

If you don’t know when your hot water system is heating or need help organising a timer for your hot water system, or would like further information about optimising your home or business, please contact our team.


Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

Battery Solutions

Battery Ready Solar

Home battery storage solutions enable the storage of electricity and are an essential step towards become less dependant on the electrical power grid. In this article, we take a look at the main considerations involved in organising a battery for your solar system. If you’re interested in a solar solution on the Sunshine Coast, contact us to learn more about a high-quality solution by a local company you can trust.

Battery Evolution

Batteries are a relatively recent addition to the uptake of rooftop solar in Australia. While battery storage has always been useful, bringing products to the market that are affordable, efficient and safe, as well as being sufficiently small, has taken some time. Battery technology is now moving ahead in leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to the research and development in this area by electric vehicle manufacturers in recent years. Now there are every-superior residential battery storage options emerging as options for Australian consumers.

Battery Benefits

Batteries have two key benefits:

  1. Ability to store electricity
  2. Ability to become less dependant on the power grid.

Solar & Battery Compatibility Issues

Not all solar systems are compatible with all batteries. Depending on the age of your solar system, an upgrade to the system may be recommended prior to fitting a battery. Also, if you install a solar system with the intention of connecting a storage battery in the future, you need to ensure battery compatibility is part of the initial assessment. Discuss your situation with our team – we can let you know the options, and find a solution that will work for you.

Do I Need a Battery?

You can have solar power without a battery. In this case, solar energy is collected and sent to the power grid, with your electricity at home also coming from the power grid. The need for a battery depends on your energy objectives. With a battery, you can store electricity to the extent it is collected by your own solar panels, so you will be less dependant on the power grid for electricity.

Future-Proofing Your Solar

There is more to a solar installation than meets the eye. We’re here to help make the process smoother for you. In addition to battery compatibility, we also help fine-tune your solar to take into account other essentials such as array size, adaptability, energy management systems, timers and EV charging capability. For a complete, future-proofed solar solution with long-term support, contact our team today.


Enquire About a Battery Solution

If you’re interested in learning more about a solar solution or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

EV Charging Solutions

zappi EV Charging Solution

One of the biggest changes in our lifetime is happening now with the addition of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to the market, providing a competitive alternative to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles for the first time. With this shift comes the ability of individuals to charge their own car, and like all things with technology, there is more than one way to get it done. In this article we take a look at the technological options and concepts to be aware of when assessing a home charger for your electric vehicle. 

The Efficiency of EVs Vs ICEs

Electric vehicles operate energetically more efficiently than their internal combustion counterparts. “EVs convert over 77 per cent of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12 per cent – 30 per cent of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels,” [SRC: https://www.energycouncil.com.au/analysis/evs-are-they-really-more-efficient/

In addition to this greater efficiency, they don’t create emissions while being driven, and need substantially less maintenance than ICEs. However, the real benefits of EVs are achieved when they are powered by solar on the roof (rather than power from the grid). Power supplied by renewable energy enables vehicle operation without reliance on a fossil-fuelled power source. 

EV Charging Options

Meeting the Demand of an EV

The introduction of an electrical vehicle into your household will increase the demand for electricity in your home. That’s why a solar solution should be mapped to your energy objectives – a process we include in our free solar consultation and quote. In addition to getting set up the right way, our solutions also include modular options that can be extended in the future should your energy needs change. Certainly, a solar installation with an electric vehicle represents the ability to supercharge your return on investment for a solar installation.  

Smart and Dumb Charging

EV charging at home can be done with a ‘smart’ or a ‘dumb’ charger. Both get the job done, but they do it in different ways. Here’s the breakdown! A dumb charger is just a charger, nothing more. You plug your EV into the charger, and it charges the EV using the available power. It’s simple and effective. However, if you have solar power, one of the main goals is to maximise the use of your solar power. This is where a smart charger can help. Some chargers have the ability to measure your solar production, and your homes overall energy consumption, enabling charging purely off your excess solar energy generation. That almost equates to free charging of your car using entirely renewable energy.

Optimising EV Charging

If you’re interested in optimising your EV charging, Energex has compiled a list of helpful hints and tips which can you read about here.

The Shift to Smarter Homes

A home with an optimised solar solution is made up of many interrelated parts. Some of the components are more obvious than others. If you’re hoping to charge your electric vehicle using renewable energy, you need a solar configuration that is up to the task, and a smart EV charger to optimise your charging capability.


EV Charging Solutions

Talk to Noosa Electric Co for an EV charging solution for your home or business, in Noosa & surrounding suburbs. This includes charging options from the grid or from your own solar power, and different charging modes to make the most of renewable energy.

How AC Solar Works

How AC Solar Works

Solar solutions come in a range of different configurations. One important distinction to be aware of is the difference between AC solar and DC solar. We install both versions, and in our solar design process we help you to understand the benefits of these solutions for your own energy requirements. In this article, we take a look at the difference between these two approaches to solar.

Solar – A Broad Overview

In a typical residential solar installation, solar panels convert the sun’s energy into DC (Direct Current) electricity. However, before this electricity can be used in the home, it needs to be converted to AC (Alternating Current). It is the different way that this conversion process is approached that defines the difference between AC and DC solar systems.

How AC Solar Works

DC solar is arranged in a ‘series’ circuit – connected panel to panel, this circuit leads electricity as DC to a single inverter inside the home, where it is transformed into AC power.

AC Solar works in a different way. Each solar cell has a microinverter which converts DC to AC at the solar cell. This significant distinction opens up a wide range of benefits in safety and capability:

Benefits of AC Solar Solutions

1. Avoiding High Voltages on the Rooftop

In a DC Solar system, the series circuit can lead to high DC voltages on the rooftop. This is due to the fact that the solar cells are linked together in series. This can result in DC voltages of up to 600 (Residential) – 1000 (Commercial) Volts DC on the roof.

In the event of the circuit being compromised due to any number of reasons (rodents, environmental wear and tear, water ingress, etc) this can result in high voltages of DC current arcing which can cause injury and fire.

An AC solar system doesn’t need high DC voltages – its DC voltages never exceed 80 volts. This makes for a safer solution.

3. No Need for a DC Isolator Switch

The DC Isolator switch is one of the most common points of failure in a DC Solar system. The purpose of this switch is to separate the DC circuit from the rest of the house. Although the intention is to make the system safer, over time the failure of these switches and subsequent exposure to the environment is a leading cause of failure in DC solar systems.

In an AC solar solution, there is no need for a DC isolator switch because there is no high-voltage DC circuit. Microinverters transform DC to AC at each panel, and the AC voltage on the rooftop is much lower because it is operating on a per-panel basis, as opposed to the combined effect in a DC Solar series circuit.

4. Performance in Partial Shading

In a DC solar installation the performance of the whole system depends on the performance of each individual cell. If a cell is shaded, this impacts the performance of the entire array, reducing the output. In an AC solar system, cells work separately from each other. Any shading only impacts the individual cell, not the entire system.

4. Centralised VS Decentralised Inversion

Another important distinction between AC and DC solar is the impact of a single vs multiple inversion points. In a DC solar system, the whole system relies on a single inverter to transform DC to AC. If this inverter fails, the whole system goes down. This single point of failure doesn’t exist in an AC solar solution. Here, the inversion happens at the panel with a microinverter. If it should fail, only a single panel is impacted – the rest of the system won’t be affected. This creates a more robust system that isn’t dependent on a single inverter.

5. Scalability

Scalability (the ability to change the size) of your solar installation is an important consideration. The installation that works for you now may not work for you in 5 years time. A case in point is electric vehicles. If you transition to an electric vehicle, the need to charge your car would change the profile of your energy usage requirement.

AC Solar Scalability

DC solar installations are inherently less scalable than AC solar installations. Adding additional solar panels is only possible as long as the single inverter can handle the additions. It may be necessary to upgrade your inverter to accommodate extra panels. In comparison, AC solar can be scaled as needed. Panels can be added, or removed, as required without compromising the rest of the process. This is achieved by microinverters transforming DC to AC at the cell rather than at a single inversion point.


Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

Enhanced Solar Scalability

Enphase Solar: Modular

Our solar range includes a variety of solutions for different homes and businesses. If scalability is important to your planning, (changing the size of your array in the future) one of our options includes the Enphase Microinverter Solar Solutions. A key benefit of these systems is the ease with which they can be adapted. New panels can be easily added in the future, enabling your solar system to keep up with your changing needs.

Microinverters: Converting at the Panel

The Need For Solar Scalability

We live in an era of change and adaptation. While it isn’t always easy to see what the future will bring, it can be certain that it will bring more change! For example, in 5 years time you may have an electric car, (or two) in the garage that need to be charged every day. That’s why factoring scalability into your installation is an important consideration.

How Is Solar Scaled Up?

To increase the power generated by your solar system, either more panels need to be added or existing panels need to be replaced with more efficient panels. This isn’t easily done with a traditional DC solar installation, where adding more panels to your system may require a new inverter to handle the additional power being collected.

Scaling With AC Solar

Enphase Microinverter Solar approaches solar in a different way. The inversion process is undertaken at each individual panel, rather than a central inverter. This means that more panels can be added to the system as required without jeopardising the ability of the system to handle the added power. Another advantage of AC Solar is the minimum panel requirement. DC systems require a minimum of 8 panels, whereas AC systems don’t have a minimum. The configuration can be scaled to suit your needs, however big or small they may be.


Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.

Improving Solar Performance

Enphase: Solar Efficiency & Performance

A key criteria of any solar installation should always be performance. Getting the most out of the way energy is collected and used is critical to reducing costs and attaining better outcomes. If you’re interesting in a high performing solar solution in the Noosa area, contact our team for a free consultation and quote today.

Solar Components

Our focus on safety leads us to working with high-quality components for our installations. By using high-quality components backed with warranties up to 25 years, we can confidently install solar solutions that are designed to provide excellent performance and reliability now and into the future.

Installation Suitability

Solar installations must be suitable for the specific premises. As part of our quotation process, we evaluate your premises and energy requirements to design a solar solution to take your home or business into the future.

Installation Approach

Our solar team are licensed, qualified and experienced – we’ll make sure your solar installation is approached in a professional manner. As with all aspects of our work, we will ensure your installation is compliant with industry practises. Achieving performance for you solar system begins with quality components, a suitable solution, and a proper installation process.

High-Performance Solar Sunrise Beach

Integration & Optimisation

In addition to the installation of a solar system, its imperative to integrate the system into your home and optimise the way you use your solar power. This aspect of the work is important to us because it is often overlooked – undertaking specific household tasks at certain times, or taking full advantage of home energy software and information are all available as part of our service.


Learn More About Solar Solutions

If you’re interested in learning more about solar solutions or getting a quote, please contact our team. We service Noosa and surrounding suburbs.