The concept of a solar is a relatively simple thing, the sun shines, we collect the energy and we convert it into D.C power – Simple! Of course, as simple as the concept is, the industry has gone and made it very complicated with all sorts of different technologies, fancy words and price points.
There are some great products out there that can help you secure predictable electricity costs for years to come but there are just as many products out there that can have the opposite effect and we wouldn’t recommend.
So, before you rush out and try to purchase the biggest system for the smallest cost, there are a few things you should really know before making an informed decision.
Determining the size of the solar system you need depends on several variables and personal preferences. For example, do you want to go off-grid, hybrid or do you just want to reduce your energy bill as much as possible? There may be factors beyond your control, eg. lack of roof area or shading issues. All of these factors and more need to be considered when you’re trying to estimate the optimal system size for your home. Simply trying to find the biggest system at the cheapest price is a recipe for disaster.
It’s all well and good to say that a 5kW solar system will produce enough energy to power your home, but you may not have enough roof space for a system of this size. Solar panels come in different shapes and sizes. As a guide, you’ll need 4 x 250W panels for every 1kW of your solar system. If you’re looking at a 5kW system, that’s 20 solar panels with a capacity of 250W.
The standard dimensions of a 250W solar panel are 1.70m x 1.00. This means that you’re going to need around 1.7m2 for every panel you want to install. In the case of a 5kW system, you’ll need 34m2 of roof space in order to house your solar system.
If your roof space is limited it’s worth considering more efficient, high wattage panels such as LG Neon’s or Sunpower. There are many panels on the market that offer higher wattages but most of the time the cells are not as efficient, therefore, they require a larger surface area.
The system size you are quoted will normally be determined based on average annual solar radiation data. If you are relying on your system to deliver a certain amount of power during cooler months, you need to be aware of this. For example, you’ll need a bigger system if you’re preparing to go off grid or Hybrid (grid connected with battery backup).
The size of your solar system may be inconsequential depending on your living habits and when you use your electricity. Your solar panels will only generate power during the day, if your household consumes very little power during daylight hours, then the power you generate will be fed back to the grid. You’ll only receive a punitive amount for this power. So you may decide that it’s not cost-effective to have a system with the capacity to cover your needs if you’re not actually using the power that your system generates. Things might look a lot different with a virtual battery bank from Diamond Energy. It might make sense to feedback a certain amount of surplus energy when you get 20 cents instead of the usual 6 cents feed-in tariff. Scroll down to find out more about Diamond’s Virtual Battery.
Solar storage does provide a solution to this problem. If you’re not using your power during the day, but you still want to go solar, you could store your solar power using a solar battery or using a virtual battery for a certain period until real batteries become more affordable.
Personal preference and choosing a system to suit your lifestyle habits has a major influence on the system size you should select. You need to ask yourself, how much electricity do I want to power from solar energy, how independent do I want to be from the grid, will I use more power in the future, what if I want to get batteries or expand my system size?
If you are planning on installing an off-grid system, your solar power system will need to generate enough electricity to power your entire home, even during the cooler months with shorter daylight hours. You will need a larger system, in combination with battery storage, than if you were connected to the grid. You can calculate your off grid solar needs using an off-grid solar calculator. One off grid product that we use is the Alpha ESS Solution. One of their calculators to evaluate the required PV and battery system capacity based on your location, your quarterly electricity bill, targeted self-sufficiency rate and self-consumption rate, and estimated energy usage allocation can be found here.
If you have the option to stay connected to the grid, you can choose a system size that will maximize your solar production and financial savings. The optimal size will depend on your use of electricity during daylight hours, and whether or not adding a battery to your system is financially viable; as well as your daily electricity usage and the cost per kWh you pay for electricity.
So the cost of your solar system is an important factor in selecting the right solar system. Make sure the price is justifiable and you understand all the different payment options. You don’t have to pay for a solar system cash upfront. Cash makes sense if you have a lot of spare money but don’t let the lack of cash stop you from buying a quality solar system. Simply buying the biggest system for the cheapest price is usually a recipe for disaster.
We only offer high-performance, quality, inverters. We will only recommend and install reliable products and can custom design a solar system that will maximise your return on investment. We have one of the largest product ranges in the country, ensuring that we provide the right inverter for your specific needs.
SK-SU300 / SK-SU3700 / SK-SU5000
The ‘E’ version of X-Hybrid has a built-in Emergency Power Supply (EPS) function that enables the user to run off their batteries and PV array in the event of a power cut.
In addition, the ‘E’ series can be installed in a completely off-grid setting supplying power to essential appliances when no grid power is available.
The E version Hybrid is installed with a changeover switch that gives the end user complete control. When grid power is lost, the inverter goes into EPS mode ready for the customer to swtich over once they have prioritised which essential devices and appliances they wish to power. This manual control is essential as it ensures that non-essential heavy load devices can be switched off ensuring that users get the most of the stored energy at a time when they need it most.
SolaX inverters are equipped with built-in WiFi functionality that transmits data from the inverter to the X-Cloud for monitoring in real-time via smartphone apps or the web portal.
*Smart inverters only.
Energy storage system. Use energy, store it or feed it into the grid
The SolaX X-Hybrid inverter can be supplied with a number of battery storage options, including the ZTE Extra2000 and LG RESU 6.4 EX. All battery options are fully compatible with the X-Hybrid range and are designed to work in harmony with the inveter, which has an in-built charge controller and BMU (Battery Management Unit).
Many people who have invested in solar panels are left feeling disillusioned. They feel that their electricity retailer pays very little for the excess solar power they generate. Until now, there has been little homeowners could do.
Today millions of dollars are being spent on battery research and development. There is a need for a battery that can store the excess power that is generated by a household solar system so it can be used at another time. Here at SolarKraft we think that in most cases we’re about 2-3 years away from this becoming a reality for the average homeowner.
Remember when mobile phones were the size of a brick and HD TVs were thousands of dollars more than what they sell for today? It is the same thing. As time goes on the performance improves and the costs reduce. Current predictions are that the “EV lithium-ion battery packs will have fallen 77% between 2010 and 2018”**
Solar homeowners who want some of the advantages of a battery now, and don’t like waiting for the battery costs to come down – look no further, you can now get some of the advantages without the outlay. Introducing Diamond Energy’s “Virtual Battery” – WattBank.
SolarKraft is working with Diamond Energy. They have produced a ‘virtual battery.’ How exciting is that! The virtual battery allows customers to receive a higher feed-in credit for their exported solar energy up to a chosen WattBank Capacity in each week/month. The excess energy fed back to the grid will help to offset your supply charge and night time usage. Homeowners will have their electricity account credited 20cents for each kWh up to the chosen WattBank Capacity (for a 5.2KW system you will get a WattBank with 152KWH storage a month! This is by far the best offer. Some companies only offer 15kwh a week!). This credit will accumulate on their electricity account and will be able to offset other charges incurred.
*Terms and conditions apply
** Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit April 2016 Michael Liebreich
A Virtual Battery; Now that's clever!
The offer has been specially designed to:
• Help solar customers learn how to optimise and self-consume their solar production
• Understand how their lifestyle fits to solar and a battery capacity
• Ensure homeowners don’t miss out while battery costs remain high
• Get ready for the coming energy revolution of solar and batteries
They call us 'Solar Gurus'
Diamond Energy work closely with the Pure Power solar installers. They have the knowledge and the experience to assess your individual circumstances and guide you to the best outcome. Internally they are being called ‘solar gurus’ because they know all the technical aspects of choosing the right system for your needs.
By choosing a solar package through one of Diamond’s Pure Power solar installers, you can feel comfortable knowing you are getting:
We only offer high-performance, quality, Tier 1 solar products. We will only recommend and install reliable products and can custom design a solar system that will maximise your return on investment. We have one of the largest product ranges in the country, ensuring that we provide the right panels for your specific needs.
The Virtual Battery Bank from Diamond Energy is a great start but what do you do after when it’s time to replace your virtual battery with a real one? How do you capitalise on surplus energy and most importantly how do you effectively manage the entire process to ensure you’re getting the most from your solar? Here’s the answer:
Once you’ve harnessed the power of solar and joined the battery revolution – It’s time to make your investment even smarter. The brain power in your standard battery is limited, but with Reposit software, you can make it nothing short of genius. Reposit learns, adapts and predicts your energy usage so you’re getting the most from your solar. What’s more, you’ll save on your energy bills which means, on average, you’ll pay off your battery in half the time. Reposit even sells your power back to the grid when the prices are highest – earning you GridCredits™ and an even lower power bill.
Reposit’s advanced control and metering lowers the payback on your investment. Better still it allows your home to help balance a renewably-powered grid.
With Reposit, your battery will behave in a much more advanced way. It will charge from off-peak before cloudy days. It learns your daily energy patterns, and tunes your battery to reduce reliance on the grid. And of course it allows your battery to sell back when the grid is short of power.
Sleek design, wall-mounted unit for indoor or outdoor mounting. If 6.4kWh is not enough, you can install multiple units on the same inverter.
Energy Storage Capacity: 6.4 kWh
Compatible Inverter: SolarEdge
NEW Inverter: Sunny Boy Storage 2.5
Maximum Power Rating: 3.3 kW
If you’re short on space LG’s compact indoor unit is for you. Easy to install and expansion packs are available to add more storage.
LG Chem provides most optimal energy solution for the users using our state-of-the-art energy storage system with a long lifespan and a top-notch quality.
Maximum Power Rating: 3.2 kW
Diamond Energy and Reposit partnered up to offer our customers something very special:
There are times when the energy stored in your battery can deliver value to us and the grid.
With GridCredits100 we can initiate the purchase of your stored battery electricity and you will earn 100 cents/kWh* – helping you reduce your bill a bit more, just like a feed-in credit!
(i) Install a Reposit Box with your compatible battery;
(ii) Make sure you have an interval bi-directional meter; then
(iii) Inform SolarKraft and we will help you switch to Diamond Energy’s GridCredits100 terms.
Nick Pfitzner in NSW installed a Tesla battery solution with his new solar system, switched to Diamond Energy and is GridCredits100 ready – a real life example and a happy customer. You can find out more information about Nick’s experience
Who we are and what we do
Solarkraft is more of a movement than a company, SolarKraft is not just a vision of one particular individual, we are a team of professionals wanting to make a change. SolarKraft is Australia’s fastest growing solar power provider, combining state of the art technology with world-class customer service. We aren’t your average solar company, we are a group of green entrepreneurs on a mission to bring world-class solar power technology to Australia. We provide solar systems and renewable energy solutions to everyday homeowners looking to offset their electricity bill, to commercial scale off-grid stand-alone systems. Big or small, we have the solution to suit your power needs. The team at SolarKraft has made it their mission to bring power to the people; making sure that everyone, regardless of budget and preference, can reap the benefits of renewable energy.
How we do it and why
We offer a world class standard of service to all of our customers by utilising the latest technology and training to revolutionise the way that solar is being delivered. We partnered up with quality third parties who can provide scalable solutions. For instance, we scrutinised the current installation market and have found the best companies to partner with for install, finance, hardware and technology. We educate all of our stakeholders on our unique vision and force everyone to adhere to our highest standards of workmanship & customer service.
The founders were sick and tired of the current industry framework and the way companies were engaging in a race to the bottom with price wars resulting in massive amounts of substandard workmanship with no warranties or company stability…. So we decided to do something about it. Power to the people, Solarkraft’s tagline, is about making people more self-sufficient, not just in the literal sense, but also the in the empowerment sense. People shouldn’t be forced to pay exuberant prices for energy just because out-dated infrastructure and a lack of government foresight demands so. People shouldn’t have to make a choice between the environment and their back pocket just because limited options are available. We have built Solarkraft because we are passionate about changing the status quo with energy in Australia.
'Hand Krafted' Warranties for Peace of Mind
*All warranties are subject to products and specific solar packages. The above are the warranties for our ‘Future-Proof Package’.
We focus on high-performance, quality solar products and pride ourselves in outstanding workmanship. We will only recommend and install reliable, tested products that will maximise your return on investment and will give you peace of mind for years to come.
We want everything to go right on every solar energy installation. That’s why we only work with the best in the business.
We take care of every aspect of your project ourselves including design, permits, installation and customer care.
That means that you’ll only have one number to call if you have any questions before, during or after your solar power installation: 1300 985 363
You don’t have to pay for a solar system cash upfront. Cash makes sense if you have enough spare money but don’t let the lack of cash stop you from buying a quality solar system. Buying the biggest system for the cheapest price is usually a recipe for disaster.
With SolarKraft, finally, Australian’s have access to state of the art solar power technology, that doesn’t blow your budget. Our experienced consultants work closely with you – finding a package the perfectly suits your energy consumption needs, and most importantly, your financial situation. Our mission is to have a solar power system on every home, and to achieve that, we’ve created a range of affordable solutions for Australian’s from all walks of life.
The best bit is – you’ll earn your money back! With your power bill reducing close to zero (or even with a positive balance in some cases)* every quarter you’re earning a return on your investment in clean – renewable energy.