solar panels perth australia image
 

Solar4Ever Pricing Guide- 2018

Solar Panels (Inverters and Installation further down)

The most popular Tier 1 brands and models available in Australia at the moment are:

Canadian Solar 275W ($200 each but $22 after deducting the "rebate")
Canadian Solar 285W ($205 each but $22 after deducting the "rebate")

GCL 275W ($190 each but $13 after deducting the "rebate")

Jinko 275W ($202 each but $21 after deducting the "rebate")

Talesun 275W ($184 each but $7 after deducting the "rebate")

Longi 290W ($212 each but $25 after deducting the "rebate")

Longi 300W ($228 each but $35 after deducting the "rebate")

Q.Cells Power 270W ($208 each but $34 after deducting the "rebate")

Q.Cells Plus 280W ($230 each but $50 after deducting the "rebate")

Q.Cells Peak 300W ($258 each but $64 after deducting the "rebate")

The above popular "mainstream" 60 cell panels are physically the same size. This means that those with a significantly higher output (e.g. Longi and Q.Cells Peak) are more efficient. Efficiency means getting more power out of the same roof area, but if you had a 6kW install of one, against a 6kW of any other, the total output would be the same. To the list you could add Trina, REC and about ten or so other Tier 1 brands who are all remarkably similar.

Canadian Solar 330W ($230 each but $17 after deducting the "rebate")

The above panel is 31cm longer than the 60 cell panels and has 72 cells. For 6.6kW of panels, you only need 20 of these larger panels, compared to 23 or 24 of the first group. This reduces installation costs by several hundred dollars. However, the larger size of the panels, often prohibits a professional and safe installation (e.g. roof cap and edge overhangs), so we only quote them where appropriate.

LG X 300W ($317 each but $124 after deducting the "rebate")

LG Neon2 330W ($392 each but $180 after deducting the "rebate")

LG NeonR 360W ($487 each but $255 after deducting the "rebate")

The LG panels are a big step up from all of the previously listed 'mainstream' panels in terms of price. The LG NeonR is a 360W (with a 365W on the way) that occupies the same roof area as a 275W mainstream panel. This means 18 x NeonR 360W panels will go where 24 x 275W Canadian etc fit. If space is really tight on your roof, consider LG. SunPower also have a range of super-space efficient panels at even higher prices. We can quote them if you want.

Not Tier 1?
Tier 1 is simply a rank of the manufacturer's financial status and manufacturing capacity. You can get perfectly good Tier 2 panels, it just means that the manufacturer hasn't become large enough to make it to the next level. Amerisolar are a typical example. They started in the USA in 1993, but only make 8% of the panels there now, 60% in China, the rest in South Korea and Thailand. The 275W panels cost $169 each which after rebate means you get paid to take them at negative $8 each cost, and they have a better than average warranty (12 year defect, 30 year performance). The risk is very small going this way, but really, isn't it just a bit safer to buy a Tier 1 for $20 a panel more? We think so, but if you need to save $400 or so on your 6kW install, then we are perfectly happy to supply them.

Panel warranty
All panels come with a 25 year performance warranty. Some sales reps try and make the panels they are flogging sound better by pushing this, but they ALL have it and it basically means that if the cells inside the panel degrade by more than about 0.5-0.8% a year then they will give you a replacement panel. Very hard to prove. The warranty that really matters is the defect warranty. This covers all the usual panel defects like hot spots, salt water corrosion, snail trails (not real snails, just ugly streaks that look like snail slime) as well as damage caused by high winds (flexing), micro cracks and more. 10 years defect warranty is usual, 12 years is better (Q.Cells, LG X and Neon2 range Amerisolar and a few others) and 25 years for LG Neon R.

Panel Comparison

Shade, warranty, efficiency etc

We discuss it here in much more detail.

Solar Inverters

The bulk of solar inverters installed are single phase, string inverters up to 5kVA in size.

These are mostly, not surprisingly, the cheapest ones. Chinese brands like Zeversolar, Delta, Goodwe, Sungrow and Growatt pretty much rule the roost in this lower cost area. A 5kVA of any of these is going to cost around $1200. All much of a muchness. We have our favourite (Goodwe) because the built in WIFI reporting is FAR better than the others (some don't even have WIFI).

The next category moving up has only three companies

Fronius, Huawei and SMA.

"Every dog has its day", so the saying goes. It was German SMA who ruled for over a decade until they moved manufacturing of the famous Sunny Boy to China at exactly the time Fronius released the excellent Austrian made Primo range and therefore fell back , and now, just this year, Huawei (pronounced WahWeh...you know the internet and mobile phone company) have arrived with a product that frankly, knocks spots off both of them. (More on that in a moment when we get into batteries and power optimisers)

Fronius Primo 5kVA single phase $2,090
Huawei FusionHome 5kW 5kVA single phase $1,748

SMA SunnyBoy 5kVA single phase $1,925

The final category, at the very top, has only two players
SolarEdge HD Wave and Huawei Fusion Home(again)

With SolarEdge you buy not just an inverter (e.g 5kVA is $1812) but you also have to buy a DC power optimiser for every single panel at $80 each. More on optimisers below and why they are so good when you get shade on some of your panels.

Huawei have optimisers too (also $80) but unlike SolarEdge who require you to put one on EVERY panel, shaded or not, Huawei let you select the panels you want to put optimisers on.

However, if you are a geek who needs to see reports on what each individual panel is producing then BOTH systems will have to have an optimiser on every panel. Huawei 5kVA inverter cost is $1,748

Connecting Batteries

Every solar sales person will describe their quoted inverter as being 'battery ready' and to an extent they are telling the truth, but it's not the whole truth. For example, if you want to connect batteries to the popular Fronius Primo, today, it will cost you $1,770 more than with the Huawei Fusion Home. Why? Because the Fronius (and everything else described on this page except Huawei) is not a hybrid inverter. Check the underneath of any of them (Google images) and you won't see a positive and negative battery connection input. There is no battery management software inside. It's just a regular inverter. A hybrid inverter (e.g. Huawei) has it all built-in.

That's why it costs $1,770 more to connect batteries to a Fronius. You have to spend $1,400 on a 3rd party DC to DC converter (e.g. Goodwe BP2500) + installation of this large additional box, or even more and connect an AC coupled battery system directly to your switchboard and ignore the inverter entirely. With the hybrid, you simply plug the battery in and off you go. The SolarEdge HD Wave has it's own battery interface unit, not a 3rd party one (called SESTI) but also costs $1,400.

Footnote: All of these systems will need a household power consumption meter installed to measure your power use and they all cost $150 - $200 but as that applies to everything, including the Huawei, we've ignored that fact until now.

Three phase

Putting inverters on 3 phase can be done in several ways.

If we take a 5kW inverter as an example, this can be done using 2 x 2.5kVA inverters

For example, an inexpensive basic choice would be 2 x Goodwe 2.5kW for $1450

If you want to connect batteries then consider joining the Huawei 3kVA and 2kVA single phase hybrid inverter together for $2,540

Otherwise Fronius have an excellent 3 phase 5kVA inverter (Symo) at $2,205 and a hybrid version of Symo (but only one MPPT tracker) at $3,590. SMA Tripower (still German made for the time being) is $2300

The pack of cheaper Chinese inverters as described above all have three phase models, typically costing about $1,800. All fine, but for a 3 phase install, we would suggest spending an extra few hundred dollars on a Fronius, Huawei or SMA is a good investment is peace of mind.

For those who scratch their heads trying to figure out how single phase inverters can be used successfully on 3 phase, please read this FAQ.

Installation prices

The rail that the panels sit on, plus the clamps that hold them to the rail and the brackets that fix to your roof typically work out about $30 per panel for a tile roof, and $25 for a tin roof.

The breakers, isolators DC, Earth and AC Electrical cable is usually about $600 for a single phase install of 5kW to 6kW of panels and $800 for 3 phase

The rest is labour, typically a two person team. Allow $75 per panel and you won't be too far out, although double storey or long drives out into the country can see that rise rapidly.

No installation is ever quite the same as any other, so individual quotes are needed, but by an large, if you put all your apenls on a single roof section on a tin roof, single phase, single storey, then your installation will be significantly lower than a house with panels dotted all over the place, on three phase and double storey.

 

For a quotation, please use the Contact form or
email info@solar4ever.com.au

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Solar Battery Storage systems
Price on application!

Li-Ion Batteries
Tesla Powerwall and Powerwall 2
GCL
LG Chem

SMA Sunny Boy Storage
Enphase B270 - 1200

 


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Telephone : (08) 6102 2527
Email: info@solar4ever.com.au