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Solar4Ever Pricing Guide- 2018

Solar Panels (Inverters and Installation further down)


Polycrystalline panels (polys) are the cheapest, the least efficient and perform the worst as the outside temperature rises and when there is low light. That all sounds pretty bad, but in reality, it's only small percentages that separate the cheapest poly from the best mono or half-cell.

 

Monocrystalline panels (monos) perform slightly better than polys in heat and low light, are on average 2% more efficient and cost, on average about $25 to $40 a panel more than a regular poly but there are premium monos that cost $170 to $250 more per panel than a poly.

 

The latest trend is for half cell panels (sometimes called 'split cells' panels). REC didn't invent half-cell technology but they were certainly the first mainstream brand in Australia to release one (Twin Peak 2). Now everyone is making them. The cells inside the panels (usually 60, but can be 72) are cut in half to make 120 cells (or 144 in the case of a 72 cell panel). This, along with some cabling changes, make for a half-cell panel that runs cooler, and that means more power...even more than some of the most expensive monos. The winner in 2018 at the Intersolar expo in Munich was Q.Cells with their half-cell mono panel (DUO). It matches the more expensive LG panel for efficiency and performance in the heat and low light. The good news is that most half-cell panels (the poly version) cost no more than a couple of bucks more than a regular mono.

If you are interested in brand names, then Canadian Solar, Trina, Jinko, Longi and Q.Cells dominate the mainstream market with LG and SunPower owning the premium space. However, there are a plethora of other Tier 1 brands that may not be quite as well known, but make an equally good product.


Solar Inverters

To Hybrid, or not to hybrid, that is the question.

Hybrids have a direct battery storage connection built-in, non hybrids (the majority) don't.

Whilst everyone is in no doubt that financially speaking, batteries economics don't make a lot of sense yet, planning ahead and getting a hybrid now, makes sense.

If you don't buy a hybrid inverter you aren't locked out of connecting batteries later but it will end up costing quite a lot more and be less efficient  than the DC coupled hybrid. They all cost about $2,000.

Good single phase hybrids are available now from Huawei, Delta, Sungrow, Goodwe with Huawei being the best we've installed. In 2019 Fronius will release their single phase hybrid as will, no doubt, everyone else as it really is where the inverter market is heading.

If you are a battery sceptic, and frankly, there is no evidence at this time to say that the economics will ever line up (but things change VERY quickly in this industry and political landscape) then there are a bunch of cheaper single phase non hybrid inverters.

If you have three phase power then up until now, you haven't really had any hybrid options other than installing a couple of hybrid single phase inverters. That's just about to change with Huawei and Goodwe both releasing their 3 phase hybrids, we understand, at All Energy Expo in October with stock arriving before Christmas.. Fronius, who have a very expensive and limited 3 phase hybrid are releasing a new range in 2019.

There are also inverters that address other issues in the market-place, specifically shade. The main ones are Huawei, SolarEdge and Enphase, but there are also shade beating products that can be added to almost any solar panel, new or old and from any inverter, the main player being Tigo.

Installation prices

Solar4Ever Electrical Contractor's Licence EC 13371

 

Ball park install pricing...
Perth $100 a panel
Melbourne $130 a panel
Sydney $160 a panel
Add a few $100 for double storey, for three phase, for multiple roof splits.

Solar Batteries

For any battery system to work, you need to have the inverter/battery system smart meter. This measures your power use in real time and informs the inverter as to whether to store surplus solar power in the batteries, or release it for use in the house. These meters should not be confused with a non hybrid smart meter (e.g. Fronius) whose only purpose is to provide data about your consumption but is redundant when you install a battery system.
Meters typically costs between $150 and $400 and $150 to install in the switchboard and wire back to the inverter.


AC Coupled batteries

Enphase 1.2kWh inc wall mount bracket  $2560 each

SMA SunnyBoy Storage 2.5kWh   $2160

SMA SunnyBoy Storage 5kWh   $4060

Batteries only that need to connect to a hybrid inverter or DC to DC coupler

LG Chem 6.5kWh  $4440

LG Chem 9.8kWh  $6900

LG Chem 9.8kWh  $7100 (High voltage version)

Samsung/Sungrow 4.8kWh  $4270

GCL 5.6kWh $3820

 


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