10 Things You Should Consider When Choosing A Solar Installer in Australia

If you’re considering installing solar panels in Australia, choosing the right solar installer is crucial. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which installer is the best fit for your needs. Here are ten things to consider when choosing a solar installer in Australia.

  1. Credentials and certifications: Check that the solar installer you’re considering is fully licensed and insured, and that their technicians are certified and qualified to install solar panels.
  2. Reputation: Research the solar installer’s reputation by checking online reviews and ratings. This can help you get an idea of their level of customer service, professionalism, and expertise.
  3. Experience: Look for an installer with a proven track record of installing solar panels in your area. Experienced installers are more likely to have the knowledge and skills needed to complete your installation efficiently and effectively.
  4. Quality of materials: Make sure the solar installer uses high-quality materials from reputable manufacturers. This ensures that your solar panels will perform well and last for many years.
  5. Warranty: Check that the solar installer offers a warranty on their work and the materials used. This can provide peace of mind and protection against any defects or issues that may arise.
  6. Financing options: Some solar installers may offer financing options or payment plans to make the cost of installation more affordable. Check to see if the installer you’re considering offers any financing options.
  7. Customer service: Look for a solar installer that provides excellent customer service, including timely communication, responsiveness, and support throughout the installation process.
  8. Availability: Ensure that the solar installer you’re considering is available to complete the installation within a reasonable timeframe.
  9. Local knowledge: Choose a solar installer who has experience and knowledge of the local weather patterns, building codes, and regulations in your area. This can help ensure that your solar installation is compliant and optimized for your specific location.
  10. After-sales service: Check that the solar installer provides ongoing maintenance and support after the installation is complete. This can help ensure that your solar panels continue to perform at their best and that any issues are addressed promptly.

By considering these ten factors when choosing a solar installer in Australia, you can ensure that you select a reputable and qualified installer who will provide a high-quality solar installation that meets your needs and budget.

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Seraphim announce 580 W TOPCon solar panels.

Seraphim, one of the leading solar module manufacturers in the world, has announced the launch of their new 580 W TOPCon solar panels. The panels are touted to have an impressive efficiency rate of 22.45%, which is a remarkable achievement in the solar industry. This development is a significant breakthrough in the technology of photovoltaic cells, which generate electricity from sunlight.

In order to create the ultimate cost-effective product, Seraphim launched a new generation of ultra-high efficiency modules, the S5 bifacial series. The new series integrates 210mm silicon wafers, with PERC, bifacial, multi-busbar cell technology and high-density encapsulation. The maximum power output on the front side of the two formats, 60 and 66, have both exceeded 600W. Meanwhile, based on different installation environments, the rear side power generation gain is between 10-30%.
Seraphim S5 Bifacial Solar Panel
In order to create the ultimate cost-effective product, Seraphim launched a new generation of ultra-high efficiency modules, the S5 bifacial series. The new series integrates 210mm silicon wafers, with PERC, bifacial, multi-busbar cell technology and high-density encapsulation. The maximum power output on the front side of the two formats, 60 and 66, have both exceeded 600W. Meanwhile, based on different installation environments, the rear side power generation gain is between 10-30%. (source)

In a statement released by Seraphim, the company said that their new solar panel design is equipped with the latest technology, making it more efficient and cost-effective. The TOPCon technology used in the panels allows for higher energy yields, enabling the panels to produce more power with less space. The company further added that their panels have undergone rigorous testing and are rated to withstand extreme weather conditions, making them suitable for a wide range of applications.

“We are excited to announce the launch of our new 580 W TOPCon solar panels, which are the result of years of research and development. With our latest technology, we are confident that our panels will help our customers achieve their renewable energy goals and contribute to a sustainable future,” said Polaris Li, CEO of Seraphim.

The new solar panels by Seraphim have set a new benchmark for efficiency in the industry. The average efficiency rate of solar panels available in the market is around 16-18%, while the previous generation of TOPCon panels had an efficiency rate of around 21%. Seraphim’s new panels have exceeded this benchmark by achieving an efficiency rate of 22.45%, making them one of the most efficient solar panels available in the market today.

This breakthrough in solar panel technology is not only significant for the industry but also for the environment. The increased efficiency rate means that less space is required to produce the same amount of energy, resulting in reduced land use and environmental impact. It also means that more energy can be produced using the same amount of resources, which could lead to a reduction in the cost of solar energy.

In conclusion, Seraphim’s new 580 W TOPCon solar panels with 22.45% efficiency are a significant development in the solar industry. The increased efficiency rate and advanced technology used in these panels are expected to contribute to the growth of renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As Polaris Li, CEO of Seraphim, stated, “With this latest development, we hope to lead the way in the solar industry and continue to innovate towards a sustainable future.”


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Printed Solar Cells | University of Newcastle

The University of Newcastle has been able to deliver printed solar cells at a production cost of less than $10 per square metre. They are now powering a Newcastle business and showing results in the wild. Amazing steps forward for solar technology, and in our own backyard! How long until we can print solar cells at home using inkjet printers?

Printed Solar Cells – Breakthrough Technology

University of Newcastle physicist Professor Paul Dastoor has created electronic inks which are used to print the flexible solar panels – offering “unprecedented affordability” and could help solve the energy crises in New South Wales and Australia-wide.

“We are changing the climate, we know it’s because burning fossil fuels and we have to shift to renewables, even if leaders in Canberra can’t understand that,” he told AAP via the Bega District News.

“This technology has the potential to be enormously scalable … it’s fast, it’s low cost and doesn’t require anything special.”

The team are able to print hundreds of metres of solar cells at the Centre of Organic Electronics at the University of Newcastle. If a commercial scale printer were obtained, this could easily be upgraded to kilometres of cells. 

“The low cost and speed at which this technology can be deployed is exciting as we need to find solutions, and quickly, to reduce demand on base-load power – a renewed concern as we approach another summer here in Australia,” Professor Dastoor said.

Printed Solar Cells via Paul Dastoor
Printed Solar Cells via Paul Dastoor of University of Newcastle (source: newcastle.edu.au)

Around 200 square metres of the printed solar panels has been installed at an industrial site owned by logistics company CHEP in Beresfield, near Newcastle.

This is a fantastic step forwards for solar panel technology People who are wanting to install solar into a rental property or those who don’t have access to a roof (apartment solar) will be licking their lips at the possibility. 

According to Wikipedia, these printed solar cells have a few main drawbacks:

  1. The efficiency of inket solar cells is “too low to be commercially viable” 
  2. Indium is a rare material and could be gone in 15 years.
  3. The ink needs to be weather resistant and can survive harsh conditions.

It looks like the efficiency of Dr Dastoor’s printed solar panels is around 2-3%, but at only A$10 per square metre when manufactured at scale, it looks like these modules are certainly commercially viable, even if they’re not the most efficient cells in the world. 

In six months they will remove the test panels from the CHEP roof and have a look at recycling the material. Professor Dastoor and his team will also run some statistics on how well the printed solar was able to perform. We’ll keep you updated! 

If you want to learn more about flexible solar panel tech, please click here

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Buy black solar panels in Australia – cost, review & more.

Today we’ll take a look at black solar panels. How do they perform compared to conventional panels? What are the best brands? And where can you buy them in Australia if you’re so inclined?

Where to buy black solar panels in Australia

Canadian Solar’s robust All-Black panels (CS6K-MS modules – click for datasheet) with 60 solar cells are specifically targeted for consumers in the residential market. 

Sunpower’s residential solar panel X-Series are, according to their website, offered in SunPower® Signature™ Black, “designed to blend harmoniously into your roof.” Built using all-black solar cells and anti-reflective glass to reduce glare, the premium aesthetics can accommodate a variety of architectural styles. Note that they didn’t mention performance at all – but if ‘premium aesthetics’ are important to you then these could be worth checking out (the black panels have 10W less output).

LG Solar’s NeON 2 solar panel comes in conventional colouring and also black. According to the datasheets the black panel is 4.4% larger in order to reach the 315/320 watt output of its less flamboyant solar sibling.

Black solar panels are more expensive and perform slightly worse than blue solar panels. With that said, if looks are important to you some quality manufacturers have some options – you certainly can’t go wrong with LG or Sunpower – and if you have a surfeit of space on your roof the extra 4.4% isn’t going to be a big deal.

Have you got any experience with black solar panels or would like to ask us any questions on them? Please sound off in the comments and we’d be happy to help.

Sunpower X21 Series Black Solar Panels in Australia
Sunpower X21 Series Black Solar Panels in Australia (source: sunpower.com)

Are black solar panels less efficient?

Solar cells can have polycrystalline cells, which have multiple crystals and appear blue, or monocrystalline cells, which are cut from one large crystal and appear much darker than the poly cells. The monocrystalline cells are more expensive and are the ones black solar panels are made out of. These solar panels are made when you use a black backing sheet instead of the conventional white and place the darker monocrystalline cells on it – the panel then appears black (or close enough).

This is, however, only to do with aesthetics – you won’t get any better performance from a black solar panel. In fact, ironically enough solar panel performance degrades the hotter the module gets, and the black backing sheet absorbs more heat – so you’d want to make sure black is super important to you! 


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Alexandra Canal transport depot solar+storage

The Alexandra Canal transport depot was officially opened by Sydney Lord mayor Clover Moore on Wednesday. It’s powered by 1,600 PV solar panels and also includes a Tesla Powerwall/Powerpack battery which has 500 kWh of energy. It represents the first time solar has been combined with large-scale energy storage in NSW – just like Tesla’s South Australia battery venture earlier this year. 

Alexandra Canal transport depot solar

Alexandra Canal transport depot  solar
Alexandra Canal transport depot solar (source: SMH.com.au / Supplied)

The Alexandra Canal transport depot will have the first government-installed Tesla battery for NSW – following suit from Victoria and South Australia who have already got similar setups. Lord mayor Moore took a look at the facility this week and had some high praise and explanation for the government’s future renewable plans:

“Growing the uptake of renewable energy is critical in combating the worst impacts of climate change,” Ms Moore said, adding:

“We’re working towards a target of 50 per cent of all electricity in the City of Sydney area to come from renewables by 2030.

“To help us achieve that target we’re covering the roofs of our properties with as many solar panels as possible. By mid-2021, we expect to have more than 7800 solar panels on the roofs of our properties. As the mix of storage and generation on our electricity grid changes, solar solutions like this could provide reliability and resilience to our electricity network and potentially prevent blackouts,”

The Tesla Powerpack batteries will be remotely managed by TransGrid and will be the first cab off the rank for a plan which will see Sydney install 1.5MW of battery storage on top of council buildings – with the goal of making their city 50% renewable in the short term. 

TransGrid boss Paul Italiano discussed the project with the Sydney Morning Herald:

“This initiative with the City of Sydney will afford the depot a significant amount of energy self-sufficiency while also sharing benefits with the wider community through the electricity network,” Mr Italiano said.

“By partnering with a site where this service is needed, we can support the City of Sydney’s renewable energy goals and reduce the cost of the council’s depot.”

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