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Thread: Solar really worth the $ ?

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    Member knight2001dts's Avatar
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    Default Solar really worth the $ ?

    G'day.....

    I'm currently looking seriously at a 6kW solar setup with either a standard inverter or new micro-inverters (one per panel which helps with shading dropout).

    Costs are between 14-18K depending upon the option taken.

    Given that I'm going to have to redraw the cost of the system from the home loan and average power bills are around $300.00 - 400.00 qtr ($1200-1600 yr), it's going to take around 10-12 years to break even (not taking into account POSSIBLE profits from feed-in).

    I say POSSIBLE, because at present there is a 1:1 rate which is subject to change of policy at any time, as are peak and off-peak rates as discussed here in another thread.

    I'm starting to think that I'd be better off putting the $14-18K into a high interest account and using the interest to pay the power bills instead??!??

    At least that way, if things change (system prices (which have already nearly halved in recent years!, rates, panel power output, technology etc)I still have the $14-18K there to dip a toe in later.....or not.....my choice.

    .....not to mention the interest saved by not having the extra payments to make on the home loan to pay off the system.

    hmmmmm.......


    what do others think about this idea?

    I'm undecided and could easily be swayed either way....



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    Junior Member Alert-Me's Avatar
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    1. It is very unlikely you'd ever be able to borrow money from a home loan at an interest rate BELOW even the best high interest deposit account. Banks are very good at arranging that part of your 'financial management'.

    2. The estimate in 2011 was that power bills would double by 2015-16 -

    I feel this is a bit alarmist but increases of up to 50% are on the cards so you could be paying $450 - $600 per Qtr. by 2015-16 or $1,800 - $2,400 per annum. This would reduce your payback period by several years.

    3. Prices for solar systems currently are probably based on an exchange rate above $1.05 and may increase slightly given we are now trading at $0.98.

    4. The expected lifetime for solar panels is estimated at 20 - 25 years (at at least 80 - 85% output) and inverters at about 10 years + depending on build quality. So you get 10+ years where it's free.

    5. Solar PV systems will increasingly be valued by prospective home buyers which will provide a Return on Investment down the track. There are also moves afoot to grade houses for energy efficiency which are now already in place in Europe and will impact both sales and rental prices.

    All-in-all I think investing in a solar PV system now is a good idea and yes they will possibly get cheaper but given the carnage that is happening to solar PV manufacturers worldwide with wide spread bankruptcies they may not continue to drop as precipitously as they have been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knight2001dts View Post
    G'day.....

    I'm currently looking seriously at a 6kW solar setup with either a standard inverter or new micro-inverters (one per panel which helps with shading dropout).

    Costs are between 14-18K depending upon the option taken.
    Some great advice already from "Alert Me" , but some things you haven't addressed in your post are what type of 6Kw system are your talking about ? what brand of panels and inverter ? this is very important when considering this as an investment especially if pay special attention to Alert Me's last paragraph "but given the carnage that is happening to solar PV manufacturers worldwide with wide spread bankruptcies

    Whirlpool is full of disaster cases of rubbish panels and crap inverters that have failed and warranties / guarantee's that are not worth the paper they are written on , this is only going to get much much worse over the next few years as all these cheap yun jung dimsim systems self destruct.
    Borrowing and then spending money just to break even is a waste of time , your investment needs to be a high quality one that once paid off is going to actually save you money not require another investment.

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    Member knight2001dts's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys......

    Yeah - hopefully the long term part of the system is long term - I was just looking at the pay itself off cost first.

    Panels spec'd are c-sun 250W and the inverters (both standard type and micro-inverters) are aurora brand.

    There is a bit of shading on my roof and the micro-inverters "sound" like a good idea - still doing the homework on their actual performance in the real world (any experiences here??)

    On the financial side of things, the $ will be coming from the extra I've already paid back into the home loan, which can be used for anything I choose, and paid back at the home-loan rate.......not at a shark-rate

    CHEERS!

    Knight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by knight2001dts View Post
    Panels spec'd are c-sun 250W .
    They have only been around since 2004 , they are basically just another cheap panel , the website is one of those pre-made solar websites where all that changes is the names etc.
    Before you spend a cent you should really do some research into panels and whatever you do, do not listen to what some salesman tells you about good or bad panels., there isn't a sales out there that doesn't sell the best!.

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    Thanks all for sharing nice advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey View Post
    Whirlpool is full of disaster cases of rubbish panels and crap inverters that have failed and warranties / guarantee's that are not worth the paper they are written on , this is only going to get much much worse over the next few years as all these cheap yun jung dimsim systems self destruct.
    Borrowing and then spending money just to break even is a waste of time , your investment needs to be a high quality one that once paid off is going to actually save you money not require another investment.
    Simple get a quality installer who deals with quality panels and inverters.

    what do you expect when you book for Joe's backyard jobs to be done or mate of mate's of mates

    Chieflets
    Last edited by Chieflets; 14-07-12 at 02:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chieflets View Post
    Simple get a quality installer who deals with quality panels and inverters.

    Chieflets
    The installer isn't really the problem it's the supplier , finding a good one that sells good quality equipment that will still be in business for at least 2 more years let alone be around to honour any warranty is the problem.
    Like I said head over to whirlpool there are already loads of people with panels and inverters with no one to contact to honour warranty or service issues.
    We haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg yet!

    Some inverters haven't even lasted 12 months and already the 10 year warranties that were being sprouted are useless, long warranties are not what people should be looking for , it's company strength, time in the market and a world wide presence with offices in Australia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey View Post
    The installer isn't really the problem it's the supplier , finding a good one that sells good quality equipment that will still be in business for at least 2 more years let alone be around to honour any warranty is the problem.
    Like I said head over to whirlpool there are already loads of people with panels and inverters with no one to contact to honour warranty or service issues.
    We haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg yet!

    Some inverters haven't even lasted 12 months and already the 10 year warranties that were being sprouted are useless, long warranties are not what people should be looking for , it's company strength, time in the market and a world wide presence with offices in Australia.


    Solar Juice is the main supplier in AUstralia and the Biggest.

    Chieflets

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    If I was going to spend XXXX of $$$'s on a system, I want the use of that system 24/7 which none of these do presently.
    By 24/7 I mean at night and when the mains are interrupted for any reason for any amount longer than 30 minutes.
    Unless you go for some form of storage (Batteries) at best your getting on average is less than a 1/3rd of a 24 hour day generation.
    Presently the repayments are colouring the picture but once their gone, I wonder how many will see the benefit of expending that amount of money to install a system?
    I stand unequivicably behind everything I say , I just dont ever remember saying it !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chieflets View Post
    Solar Juice is the main supplier in AUstralia and the Biggest.

    Chieflets
    Main supplier of what in particular are referring to ?

    They are a wholesale importer and supplier , several of the companies they have dealt with are no longer in business , it doesn't matter how big they are they can't keep manufacturers afloat.

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    look at it from a poiint of veiw that if I can stop paying the utility $$$ then I'm in front

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    Quote Originally Posted by efab View Post
    look at it from a poiint of veiw that if I can stop paying the utility $$$ then I'm in front
    That doesn't make any sense at all , you can go hire a generator for $100 a day and not have to pay the utility $$$ but you are certainly not in front.

    You need a substantial system these days to avoid paying the utilities anything and it can take nearly 8 to 10 years just to break even on your investment so whether you are paying your installments to the utility or the bank it's a long time before you are in front.
    I am $1100 in credit to our provider but I am still not in front until the investment is paid for.

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    I know what you are saying, and it all depends on how you look at it.
    No different to buying a car, but in that case you never come out in front,
    you marry a rich person and wait for them to die same thing in the end.
    Buy your own home and it takes most people 15-20 years to pay off, look at it that way.

    I pay 900 every 60 days, so for me it would pay off quicker. however in saying that the supplier depending on where you are never looses. Many paid for the 100% green power here in WA and now they find that they still don't get the full benefits of green power.

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    Default Solar

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey View Post
    Main supplier of what in particular are referring to ?

    They are a wholesale importer and supplier , several of the companies they have dealt with are no longer in business , it doesn't matter how big they are they can't keep manufacturers afloat.
    Some of the mobs offer insurance on panels & inverters,taking how long the solar co lasts out of equation.Also some are offering interest free loans on sys & locked buyback price on extra elec you produce till 2025.Worked out with mine will have payed for itself in 5 years.

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    Hi.

    If you're looking at a monetary investment when looking at solar.
    Put your money in the bank mate.

    I have 4.2kw in 2 x systems on roof. They cover my Average $420 per quarter bill.
    Pretty much.
    Aurora 3.0 outd Inverter 13 x German Bosch 240w panels. and Latronics 1200 Inv with 6 x 175 Solarfun panels.
    Go Top quality Inv and mid range panels. You'll get reliability and longevity...

    The first 1kw was a freebie on the $8000 grant. Yrs ago. T'other 3.2 kw new. Cost me $9.600. No grant involved.
    Mys average usage. This bill $539. $440 to pay (was 26'5kw per day.
    Sytem putting in just that at moment. More in summer.
    That covers my Air cond heating washing machine tumble drier etc etc.
    Complete household running for two in Queensland. Using everything. as needed. Not economically. Heating kept at 24deg's all winter 24\7 and 18deg's all summer 24\7.
    NOT the pool heaters out the back.. They I don't count in..

    The way "I" look at my solar. is that it. Combined with my Evac Tubes water heater on roof.
    It Covers my Electricity bills. All yr.
    Any bonuses with extra output can stay in, towards Pool heating draw which is around $900 a yr.

    Total cost to me. $9.600 for solar and $3.200 for water heater.

    Paid cash. you can't take it with you. and at my age. 70.
    I definitely NOT looking at it as a long term investment.

    Just feels good. Knowing I'm doing my little bit for the planet. and Future owners of house will enjoy it too

    ANDDDDDdddddd. Stickin' it up the electricity providers\rip off merchants...

    Electric bills per kw may go up. But won't affect us no matter how high.
    Any Extra future consumption on my part.A few more panels will cover that. I'm cleared for 5.6kw.

    I'm waiting for the new Rotary Witches hat systems. No inverter to come on line. 1 CuM = 1kw. THey have prototypes running now. and I'm thinking of putting a bit in them through their investors link.
    5 of them would more than cover my pool heaters

    That's my look on solar after 30 odd yrs using it..

    Macka
    PS
    I've got some 31\29\25yr old panels here.
    SO they do last if you buy good quality.

    PPS.
    If you have any partial shading. Get a MULTI String Inverter.
    and split intput. then you won't lose as much.
    Last edited by macka17; 10-09-12 at 03:46 PM.

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