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Solar Panels

Hvr

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Got my first bill and the solar power saved $24. Not nearly as much as I thought but I knew I would have to hit the phone and engage with the power companies. Sadly, I found out that recent changes in Victoria mean that the really good deals have basically gone.

My present power company, Momentum did have a slightly better deal that would've given me another $10 off this month's bill. With no exit charges I changed to that. They have changed their plans recently but don't let you know there are cheaper plans unless you contact them and ask!

I then rang Origin and told them the specific plan I wanted that my friend is on and getting a very good deal. It's now closed to new customers and wont be renewed upon expiry. Their solar plans were explained to me and when using the data from my current bill it would still cost me more than the new Momentum plan I have just started.

Will start the process of going through MyEnergy site tomorrow to see if there is a better deal.

https://www.powercor.com.au/customers/myenergy/
 

ozfflyer

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Got my first bill and the solar power saved $24. Not nearly as much as I thought but I knew I would have to hit the phone and engage with the power companies. Sadly, I found out that recent changes in Victoria mean that the really good deals have basically gone.

My present power company, Momentum did have a slightly better deal that would've given me another $10 off this month's bill. With no exit charges I changed to that. They have changed their plans recently but don't let you know there are cheaper plans unless you contact them and ask!

I then rang Origin and told them the specific plan I wanted that my friend is on and getting a very good deal. It's now closed to new customers and wont be renewed upon expiry. Their solar plans were explained to me and when using the data from my current bill it would still cost me more than the new Momentum plan I have just started.

Will start the process of going through MyEnergy site tomorrow to see if there is a better deal.

myEnergy | Customers | CitiPower & Powercor
so chew power thru the day & lower your bill that way, if someone is at home, use things like air con, washing machines, dishwasher, oven etc. virtually free
 

Hvr

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so chew power thru the day & lower your bill that way,

That I do, and it was a recommended tactic by the solar installer. But I look with envy at my friend's bill which is in the range of $10-$20 per month.
 

Quickstatus

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I have no need to load shift on a sunny day or mostly sunny with few cloud day because On these days I solar generate all the electricity I would use in a 24hr period. What I don’t use while the sun shines I grid feed @ 12.5c/kWh (ex GST)

This means all my tariffs are discounted by the amount of the FiT

My net rates are (if my generation > = 24hr consumption, net of FiT, GST exclusive):
Peak tariff: 27.44c/kWh
Shoulder: 5.65 c/kWh
Off Peak: -0.30c/kWh

Because off peak tariff is negative it is better to not move off peak load to into the other tariffs.

Again this is only valid if my generation is equal to or exceeds my 24hr consumption. It’s working so far. In September I generated 1085 kWh and consumed 1067 kWh

I’m effectively 100% renewable but for the small detail of using the grid as a deaf to solar bank / battery
 
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Flying mermaid

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We are getting quite a lot of cloud but today was good. 55.36kwh generate. Self consumption was 16.81 with the rest to the grid. We imported 28.13 but that should be pretty much covered by export. Once we turn off the central heating, we will be covering even on a variable cloud cover day. Our peak generation in a few months will be about 85kwh per day.
 

Quickstatus

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I do fear that the FiT will be cut because the grid electricity demand between 0700 and 1700 is effectively hollowed out by renewables. Eventually the AEMO spot price for this period will be so low the retailers will have to cut the FiT (or raise the other tariffs). The lowest spot price today in NSW (during the solar period) was 6.9c/kWh at 1200 midday
 

moa999

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It is interesting..
Could we end up with so much solar that the day becomes off-peak, and the nights become expensive.
 

cove

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It is easier for a business which works sunlight hours to have the biggest success than a working couple who don’t work from home. It requires some changes of behavior like running heating or cooling, washing, drying, dishwasher use during sunlight hours.
We noticed that the saving from solar at our social housing projects is slower because the power use is higher when there is no sunlight.
At the combined office / warehouses we saved more than $2,000 a week over the whole year following going to solar and lots of LED lighting. The payback was less than 3 years so we are happy with that.
We did solar for tenants and subcontract manufacturers and they are all pleased we did that for them. Keeping a commercial tenant happy takes a bit of effort.
 

get me outta here

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In the almost exactly 10 years since I installed PVs the only bill I have received in that period was for $8 about a year ago. I rang up and demanded an explanation 😉. Looking at it, they said they would lower the bill. So I’ve gone back to $0 bills. I have received quite a lot of income in that period but have not added it up.
 

Quickstatus

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I dont think I will get zero bills. But the payback should be approx 5 years
 

Quickstatus

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It is interesting..
Could we end up with so much solar that the day becomes off-peak, and the nights become expensive.
The nadir is only at 1200-1300hrs , but on either side there is the peak of 0600-0800 and a massive peak at 1700-1900.

Possibilities are making the 1100-1300 period an off peak rate or remove the FiT for that and then raising a super peak tariff for 1700-2000. If this happens battery will be cheaper only because of that super peak tariff.

In the long run pumping hydro will be the game changer. Or another coal fired power station. The only reason there are peaking pricing at the morning and evening is the scarcity of dispatchable power at those times so generators can bid up the spot prices.
 

daft009

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I'm averaging $500 saving per quarter at my small factory unit.. Pay back of 4yrs, and maybe little extra add I paid them using RP to collect 2ppd 2yrs ago :D
 

amaroo

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Decent FIT makes us motivated to consume power in the dark hours - things like washing, dryer, pool pumps, etc.

We export >80% of what's generated @ 54.6c / KW ..... average generated per year is around 11,000KW. Haven't paid a cent for power since the install back in 2013, and have gotten use to a very good credit every qtr.

It's a pity the Gov limited the FIT to a 5kw inverter, but with the FIT good until July 2028 - it's all good. After that I'll supersize the system and switch the consumption back to daylight hours.
 

Quickstatus

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Got my first bill and the solar power saved $24
@Hvr
I am always wary of comparing one electric bill against the previous electric bill because of seasonal changes
While you may have saved $24 compared with the last bill, what would the electric bill be without solar panels?

A proper comparison requires drilling down into the comparative details such as
total consumption
consumption during each tariff period
and quarterly comparison can only be properly made with the previous years corresponding quarter. eg Apr-Jun should not be compared with Jul-Sep

Your solar system should also have some production and consumption data

@amaroo
Before supersizing your system, its a good idea to check the supply line voltage at various times in the season/year

To be able to Grid export large amounts of power you need relatively low voltages. High line voltages mean trouble and can cause the Inverter to cut out to prevent line overvoltage. The max line voltage for Ausgrid is 253V. If your line voltage is 250 there is not a lot of headroom to Grid Feed as you need a sufficient voltage difference between the inverter and the street pole to push power back to the Grid. Inverters have a max voltage out of 254V.
For some reason the Solar company does not check that prior to quote acceptance - they are just happy to sell you some solar. The prevalence of solar system in your streets may also cause the line voltage to rise especially if everyone is exporting to the Grid at the same time. Additionally, the closer you are to the transformer the higher your supply line voltage (so that the house furthest from the transformer can still get adequate voltage)
 
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Hvr

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While you may have saved $24 compared with the last bill, what would the electric bill be without solar panels?

The bill I received was the first with solar panels and the amount credited for solar input was $24.

Today was a good day for solar power generation, my system generated 21.27 kWh. This calendar month I have generated >100 kWh than I have used.
 

Quickstatus

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The bill I received was the first with solar panels and the amount credited for solar input was $24.

Today was a good day for solar power generation, my system generated 21.27 kWh. This calendar month I have generated >100 kWh than I have used.
That sounds like the $24 was for the FiT. You should be also able to compare the overall usage and cost (corrected for any change in tariffs) with a corresponding period last year. The consumption would have been reduced during the period when the sun was shining - you wont see that as a line item in the bill

Also note that the winter period is associated with the lowest solar generation. Expect the summer generation to at least double if not triple

Assuming your solar panels are north facing you can try this ready reckoner to see what your estimated generations is:
 
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moa999

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Depending on your inverter features, you should also be able to see how much solar was self-consumed..
Ie. Generally reducing your shoulder (7am-2pm and 8-10pm) and peak (2-8pm) usage.
 

Flying mermaid

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Our winter (well actually May - July) generation is around 35kwh falling to 20kwh. Whereas December and January we get well over 80kwh. Unfortunately winter is also our biggest usage between heated floors and central heating (gas but the fan chews up a bit). Also the dehumidifier for the indoor pool cuts in a lot more. So we consume everything we produce and nothing goes to the grid. We very rarely turn the airconditioner on in summer - it does get very hot in Canberra in the summer, but our house stays cool. So in summer heaps gets exported. 9 months of the year bills are negligible now, but winter is still an issue.
 

Quickstatus

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Inverters can be overprovisioned

Generally the inverter can be provisioned with more than panels than the nominal nameplace capacity suggests
It is worth checking whether peak generation in summer reaches the nominal nameplate capacity. If not you could easily add some more panels of the same type.

My solar installer says up to 33% more than the nominal nameplate capacity and this seems to agree with my google searches.

An inverter will happily actually max out without causing any damage. It just clips the output on the max solar days which is only a maybe 1-2 weeks in summer. However by oversizing the panels, you get more power from the same inverter during the majority of the rest of the year when the sun is never at the optimal position.

Addtionally by using other non north facing roof you can add panels to an existing inverter without maxing out at the peak - you broaden the curve at the sides say with panels east facing or west facing you can broaden the solar generation curve in the morning and late afternoon without affecting the peak . Some even use south facing panels but this probably not cost effective in winter.

My array is north east and roof is 23degrees slope and so my panels will never produce 100% of its nameplate. I could go a lot more before I hit the nominal max on the inverter. Im currently pricing a North west ground mounted solar array to add to the current system which will nominally take me to 120% of the inverter nameplate capacity. However I believe from beer coaster calculations it will only be actually around 100%
 
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Hvr

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I got a written quote from GloBird on 14/9 and after looking at other retailers went back to sign up.

But I couldn't replicate the same prices on line. So I called them, there had been a price increase but the good news, the quote is valid for seven days.

Momentum has refused to match the price so in the spirit of 'looking after number one' I'm moving. Another thing that really annoyed me about Momentum was that when I asked if I was on the best plan they said I wasn't and moved me to a slightly better plan but not as good as the one I'm moving to.

Now to see what Momentum offer me once they find out that I'm leaving.

As for the solar power, well so far today I've generated 18 kWh and my best day ever was yesterday with >23kWh. ☀
 

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