Use the Sun’s energy to your advantage!
The solar industry is evolving at an extremely rapid pace with the removal of the ‘NSW 60c Feed in Tariff’, the price of solar panels dropping and the introduction of companies like LG and Tesla fighting for the “home energy storage / home battery” market. A lot of people have been rushing to buy solar power systems without really knowing what they want or need.
Unlike the previous grid connect scheme where you simply purchased a system, exported all of your energy to the grid and got paid a premium price for it, your usage needs to be carefully considered to allow you to self-consume as much solar energy as possible, as that is where you will get the best savings…
NCPW provide a quality range of home solar power systems, solar hot water as well as energy monitoring and management. We also stock a range of the smaller 12 volt panels, as well as high quality batteries, inverters, solar regulators, fuses and cable for the stand alone community as well as the boating / camping / caravan and RV market too!
The North Coast Power & Water store was originally established as a BP Solar shop back in 1990. We have been supplying solar power products to the Mid North Coast ever since!
We have long standing partnerships with our off-grid and grid connect accredited installers who together have over 35 years’ experience in the solar industry. Our sales staff and installers can provide packaged or custom designed solar systems. This gives you the peace of mind that your system will meet all of the relevant regulations, receive any applicable government incentives and give you many years of trouble free operation.
Which system is right for you? Choose your situation below:
Great for Grid Connected Solar!
If you, or a family member are home throughout the day and can use the solar power as it’s being generated, you will be in the best position to save money. You may be saving up to $0.30c/kWh (vs. only 0.06c/kWh for energy fed into the grid!)
A grid connected system without battery storage would be the most cost effective option for you and although it will not provide ALL of your energy usage, it will provide the quickest payback periods.
Here is an example graph showing the hourly usage of a family with a home office operating throughout the day and children at school.
As you can see, an appropriately sized solar power system will allow self-consumption of almost all solar energy produced and export very little back to the grid. This means power utilised throughout the day will be provided almost solely from the sun’s energy. Only the morning and evening power will be provided by the grid.
You will also notice that there is still is a large peak in the evening when everybody is home and using power (think lighting, cooking, TV’s, computers, heating and cooling etc.) which could be offset by installing battery storage…
Installing a battery storage system will allow further energy savings, but it will also increase the cost of the system.
With battery technology evolving at a rapid pace, you may opt to install a straight grid connect system now, but opt for more efficient panels to maximise roof space for future add-ons as battery pricing falls.
May Be Best With Batteries!
If you’re working 9-5 and home is dormant during this time, solar with self-consumption may not be possible for you.
If you really want to utilise solar, storing the generated energy in a battery may be your best option. You’ll generally peak in the morning before the solar starts generating and again late in the afternoon with little usage throughout the day.
By using battery storage, you can charge the batteries during the day and draw from them in the evening. Depending on your batteries, you may also have the ability to “top up” the battery on the cheaper, off-peak rates. This will cover your morning peak and allow the solar to provide for your evening peak.
Solar systems with battery storage have a longer payback period than traditional grid connected systems. So if pay-back is your primary reason for installing, this may not be for you. But if you’re chasing energy independence and lower ongoing power bills (or building a new home) the investment may be worthwhile!
Perfect for Grid Connect Solar!
This application is perfectly suited to solar! Generally, the power rates are higher for small to medium sized business. AND the majority of your usage is during the day, allowing you to self-consume much of your solar production…
Battery storage may not be an economical option as usage is low overnight. However, if you do have some 24 hour loads you want to try to eliminate, you may look at a small battery bank sized to run overnight loads (e.g. servers, fridges etc.)
An appropriate sized grid connect system that will match your usage can show some great savings. It represents the lowest cost / highest return application for grid connected solar power.
No Electricity Bills Here!… Sounds great, but is it?
Living off the grid is many peoples dream! And many people have been doing it for years with solar! But going off grid is not as simple as throwing some batteries on your home and cutting the cable to the Grid, it’s a lot more involved than that. If you know anyone who is currently living off the grid, or has lived off the grid – they generally are in one of two situations
- Have invested a large sum of money on a sizeable system that allows them to live relatively normal during sunny weather and off a backup generator during the rain (that we so often have here on the Coffs Coast!)
- Don’t mind living the simple life – a few LED Lights, small chest fridge, a small TV and a wood fire for the winter…
Ok, so when does off-grid actually make sense?
If you’ve purchased a block of land remotely and it is going to cost a large sum to get mains power connected, then it may make economic sense to install an off-grid system. But you must be realistic about your energy usage, Spending $30,000 on getting the mains power connected vs. spending $30,000 on a stand alone power system will have two very different outcomes.
- The grid connection will give you (relatively) stable power and the ability to use as much power as required, no matter the weather.
- A stand alone power system will give you more than enough power for lighting, water pump, TV’s etc. however you will most likely require a back-up / stand by generator as well to allow running of heavy loads like power tools and air conditioners etc.
If you already have the grid connected to your home, there is generally no economic reason to go off-grid! You can install grid connected batteries and virtually eliminate your bill, but keep the grid there as a back-up… It’s much cheaper than buying a diesel generator – and quieter too!