fbpx

Wholesale Solar Panel Installation

Solar installers and households/businesses on Queensland’s legacy 44c solar feed in tariff (Solar Bonus Scheme) should be aware of pending changes to the scheme.

Queenslanders that applied to install rooftop solar power systems before the 10th of July 2012 were eligible for a 44 cent feed-in tariff1. This generous rate is locked in until the 1st of July 2028 – assuming nothing is done to make a system ineligible.

Queensland’s Energex originally sent an explainer to solar installers about the consequence of a Bill concerning the legacy FiT in September last year.

Last week, the Queensland Parliament re-introduced a Bill to change the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld) that Energex says provides clearer rules. If passed in its current form, 15 February 2018 will be the date that the changes came into effect rather than the previously advised date of 15 June 2017.

Summarising the pending 44c feed-in tariff changes:

Solar Array Upgrades And Oversizing

Array upgrades on 44c feed-in tariff-eligible systems must not result in a solar panel array capacity that exceeds the total inverter capacity – so no more oversizing. For those who entered a contract to purchase additional panels that take the total array capacity above inverter capacity before 15 February 2018, eligibility will remain assuming the upgrade occurs within a reasonable timeframe and there is a current financial commitment that can be proven if requested.

Replacing Solar Panels

When replacing failed panels, every effort must be made to match the wattage of the panels being replaced. Where this is not possible, an increase in wattage of up to 5% across the entire array is allowable without impacting 44c feed-in tariff eligibility and without requiring Energex consent.

Above 5% will require consent, a new connection application lodged2 and will jeopardise 44c feed in tariff eligibility. Energex advises that in cases where multiple solar panels need to be replaced, it may be necessary to reduce the number of panels to stay within the 5% limit.

Adding Batteries

While battery storage can be added, the system cannot be configured in a way that could result in the battery discharging while the solar power system is operating or more electricity being exported than would otherwise be possible. A schematic will need to be included with applications demonstrating compliance with the rule.

Adding Another System

Any type of generating system added to the same tariff circuit and operating at the same time as the qualifying PV system (except during blackouts), or one that is able to export to the grid will result in the 44c feed-in tariff being forfeited. This is a clarification rather than a change to current policy.

Assuming the Bill is passed, Energex warns it will be actively monitoring to ensure compliance with the above.

The Electricity and Other Legislation (Batteries and Premium Feed-in Tariff) Amendment Bill 2018 can be viewed here.

Other Premium FiT Conditions

The following actions also make a system ineligible for the 44c feed-in tariff:

  • moving house
  • selling or renting your house where this results in a new electricity account holder for the premises
  • increasing the capacity of your inverter
  • closing your electricity account
  • getting disconnected

More do’s and don’ts regarding maintaining 44c feed-in tariff eligibility can be found here.

Footnotes

  1. Current feed in tariff rates in Queensland range from 10c – 12c 
  2. Energex says a new connection application also needs to be lodged in these cases where a system is not on the 44c FiT

SOLAR TRENDS 2019

7 Solar Trends And Technologies To Watch For IN 2019

Indeed, it is an exciting time for the solar PV industry. From growing support from federal and labor government to better quality and more efficient solar components, it is expected that the future of solar is brighter than the sun. With all the technological advancements and solar trends that we have witnessed last year, what more can we expect in 2019?
Emerging Solar Panel Technology

1. Mono PERC’s popularity

Industry predicts that 2019 will be the year of mono PERC (passivated emitter rear contact) products. According to PV InfoLink, mono PERC panels are becoming a mainstream product this year, as many facilities are using this technology for production capacity. This can be inferred on higher than expected total PERC capacity, rising from 33.6 GW at the end of 2018, to 66.7 GW in late 2018.

Generally speaking, it will represent a 46% share of the market next year. PV InfoLink anticipated that if, as expected, mono PERC items achieve 310 W – 35 W more than multicrystalline modules – in 2019, more global manufacturers will swing to this technology.

www.wholesale-solar.com.au

 

 

2. Bifacial Solar Panels

Though bifacial solar panels have been around the corner for the past year, it is predicted that this technology will comes around anytime sooner. As their name proposes, bifacial solar panels are solar panels that capture sunlight from both sides. This implies that if installed correctly in right angle, the top of a panel could absorb light like normal while the bottom could absorb light reflected from other close-by surfaces— radically increasing the power output of the solar cells.

3. Clear Solar Panels

Researchers are developing solar windows through clear films, put on conventional window glass, that produce power by absorbing UV light. It’s a forward innovation that offers some interesting potential outcomes for buildings that need to decrease dependence on fossil fuels while keeping up a streamlined aesthetic.

So, don’t be surprise to see a building or house totally powered by clean energy, without any mounting or solar panel system attached. It may sound impossible but trust the technology – you will see this very soon.

4. Split Cell Solar Panels

Hitting the racks anytime sooner is another exciting advancement to solar technology called split solar panels. These panels are about half the size of traditional panels and have a new type of silicon chip design.

With the help of this technology, split cell panels provide the following advantages:

Enhances module life span through decades of thermal cycling, eliminating hot spots.
Cutting the standard cell in half and bus-barring it, therefore increasing efficiency, lowering voltage, and lowering operating temperature.
Bolsters stability on the back sheet of the panel and lowers cost.
Promotes higher absorption in the P-type layer.
Split cell panels are stronger than traditional modules.

Other Solar Trends To Watch For

5. Maxim Integrated Technology in Solar Panels

You might be hearing of Maxim Integrated soon. This technology might be one of the best solar advancements we’ll see this year and might shake up and disrupt the solar a huge portion of the solar industry.

Currently, most solar systems use technologies called microinverters or power optimizers to enhance the efficiency of individual solar panels in the grid. Basically, these technologies improve the performance of each panel and help it generate its maximum power output in situations where panel power may be decreased particularly cloudy days or when your panels get covered by leaves, or if they’re placed incorrectly that prevent them to capture sunlight.

Let’s look at those leaves as a quick example. A little leaf falling on your solar panel can cause a problem. Considering the way PV cells work, these kinds of obstructions don’t just affect the output where the blockage happens. They create energy transfer disruptions that swell through the panel’s entire frame and limit the panel’s ability to work. This is when Maxim Integrated Technology acts a vital role.

Maxim Integrated gets around this issue with another bit of tech that upgrades the solar panel at the cell level. At the point when obstruction occurs, power will not be lost—it’s efficiently rerouted through the rest of the cells to streamline output as much as possible. As a result, the overall cellular grid isn’t disrupted and there’s no risk of losing power to any other cells in the panel. This might be an approach to accomplishing efficiency where shading is present.

6. Tracking Solar Mounts

Albeit solar tracking mounts have been in the market since 2016, they are still under improvement. Their popularity has grown. In fact, Green Tech Media (GTM) confirms that the popularity of solar tracking mounts has increased by 254%.

The efficiency of solar panels is dependent on the sun rays hitting each solar cell. However, the sun’s position moves during the day, which impacts the frequency of solar radiation on the solar system. Tracking mounts intend to change this by following the sun’s direction and moving the solar panels accordingly. This increases the efficiency of solar panels that, thus, boost power generation. Most recent advancements in design and creation of the solar track mounts have graced last year.

7. Floating Solar Farms

It makes sense that a solar system can be on water surfaces since about 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. Consequently, efforts to erect solar farms on water are seeing the light of the day in past years in Australia.

A year ago, the northern New South Wales city of Lismore on Tuesday formally opened the nation’s biggest solar farm, and flagged plans to increase its size five-fold or more and to add battery storage. The 100kW floating solar farm is installed on the East Lismore sewage treatment plant, and along with a 100kW solar installation at a local aquatic center forms a key part of the local council’s plan to source 100 % of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2023.

This could be a start of another solar trend in the industry, while encouraging manufacturers to create more sturdy panels that can withstand floods.

There are endless possibilities and plenty to look forward for solar technologies this year and the years to come. The solar trends mentioned above will be available in the market and disrupt the solar industry anytime sooner. We are confident that these products will even more enhance the lives of all Aussies who love clean energy and continuously support solar products.