My 5kW Photovoltaic Solar System.

By Peter Thomas Richards

PV Panel

A Solar Panel

Solar Bonus Scheme

Living in South East Queensland I took advantage of the Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme (SBS) being offered some years ago and had installed a Sunny Explorer 5kW Photovoltaic Solar System on my home roof in December, 2012.

PV Solar Panels

The configuration was 20 x 250w panels making a total of 5kW of panels with a 5kW Sunny Explorer SMA Inverter.

Being with AGL I receive 52 cents for feed-in tariff which is higher than the standard 44 cent feed-in tariff.

"Solar Bonus Scheme 44c feed-in tariff

Customers who applied for the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme before 10 July 2012 and maintain their eligibility can continue to receive a feed-in tariff of 44 cents. This feed-in tariff is closed to new solar customers. The Solar Bonus Scheme is legislated to expire on 1 July 2028. "
https://www.dews.qld.gov.au/electricity/solar/installing/benefits/solar-bonus-scheme.

SMA-Inverter

Solar by Months 2015

Solar by Months 2016

Solar Production from my 5kW PV Solar System

The first full year of solar production resulted in 7,508 kWh for 2013 and 2014 was much the same at 7,505 kWh. 2015 dipped down a little at 7,181 kWh.

Solar by Months 2016

Solar Production December 2012 to end of April 2016 = 25,451 kWh

The amount of solar production recorded on the Inverter is greater than the amount of feed-in tariff as some of the production is used by the household and only the 'net' amount is exported to the grid as feed-in tariff.

Over-sizing the Inverter.

I now have a 5kW Solar System with 6kW of Panels.

I discovered that it was possible to increase the number of panels, without up-sizing the Inverter, from 5kW to 6kW's of panels. This was achieved by placing an additional 4 panels on my roof (4 x 250w= 1kW) to a total of 24 (24 x 250w = 6kW).

If you up-size your Inverter you will loose the Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariff.

Current Year 2016

Current years production - Up 20%

Battery Storage

I have looked at battery Storage solutions and am not convinced that they are right for me at the current cost.

Please note that if you want to use battery storage then you have to change your Inverter to one that is compatible with the battery storage system.

"All Powerwall installations require a compatible inverter."
https://www.teslamotors.com/en_AU/powerwall

Effect on Solar Production

Over-sizing the panels by 20% produced an amazing 20.379 % increase in the first four months.

Chart of Increase from Oversizing Pannels

Table of Montly Production 2015 and so far for 2016

I did not expect that the production of solar energy would increase by the same amount as the increase in panels. The theory behind this idea is to capture more solar energy during the hours of lower sunlight and that anything over and above the capacity of the 5kW Inverter will be lost. It appears that very little, if any, was lost.

 

Precautions

One of the major problems with over-sizing is the possibility of loosing your solar rebate for feed-in tariff. If you increase the size of your Inverter you will loose your Queensland Government Solar Rebate of 44 cents per kWh.

Please check the Queensland Government website on https://www.dews.qld.gov.au/electricity/solar/installing/benefits/solar-bonus-scheme for all the dos and dont's for keeping your eligibility

I understand that there is a upper limit to the number of panels, that is the total kW's of the panels. You would need to thoroughly research the exercise before attempting to oversize.

Good news for some

After reading the above and you think that you fit into the same category then you can possibly save some money.

You need to be receiving the 44 cent or more feed-in tariff and have a 5kW Inverter with 5kW of panels. If you were to buy 4 more panels (About $1,400.00 after STC rebates) you should receive an extra 20% above what feed-in tariff you presently receive now. This scheme will conclude on 1st July 2028. If you presently receive $900.00 per quarter in feed-in tariff before paying for your electricity then you could get an extra $180.00 per quarter or up to $720.00 extra per year. At that rate you may receive $720.00 per year extra for the next 11 or 12 years (to 01/07/2028).

That's about an extra $7000.00 profit after recouping the cost of the 4 panels.

Once again you are cautioned to check this out fully before proceeding.

Latest news about home solar

"The government solar incentive, which provides a significant discount off the upfront cost of a solar system, is due to be phased out starting 1st January 2017.

Currently, for a 5kW solar system, which is large enough to meet the energy requirements of a medium-sized family home, the average incentive is $3,914*. This incentive comes as a one-off payment which is usually used as a discount off the upfront cost.

On January 1st, for a 5kW system, the average incentive will drop approximately $260. This will happen again every year until the rebate completely disappears.

In order to qualify for the current, full incentive, your system must be installed and commissioned by the cut-off date of 31st December 2016."

"* Incentive estimate based on calculation of 103 STCs for a 5kW system (STC Zone 3) at STC price of $38/kW. The amount of STCs received depends on the location of your installation. The price of STCs is calculated based on market value and is subject to change. Check online to get the most accurate price."
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