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Alex Simmons

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Alex Simmons last won the day on March 16 2018

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About Alex Simmons

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    Transitions Legend!

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    Bellingen, NSW

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  • Year of first Tri race?
    1900

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  1. Ah, small business. Hurry up and wait! Good luck with it. Was wondering how you got on.
  2. For 10.7kW in postcode 4400 the number of STCs this year is 177. So for each dollar the STC price goes up/down, the rebate on a system that size goes up/down $177. At the moment the price is around the $37 mark, so that's a rebate of ~$6.55k. The forward STC trades for September are fluctuating between $33.50 and $39, so that's a potential variance of $965. Longer term forward trades out 12 months are all in a range of around $38. Installers can do this differently, some will apply the rebate at the time of installation (so the end price of your installation is actually variable depending on the STC price on the day. Some however choose to fix your rebate, and they'll pocket/pay the difference when the times comes to actually cash them in (which they can do at any time later). To do the latter, they may set an STC price a bit lower than you might get on the day, but you are dealing with a known fixed price then.
  3. Slip of the keyboard perhaps, I think you mean racking, not tracking. I ask because Clenergy does do single axis trackers as well as racking!
  4. Along with product supply cost changes it's also possible the STC price (value of govt rebate) has gone up since their last quote. The certificate price varies daily.
  5. Under $1 per watt for premium kit on large system is a good deal if you ask me, especially if the installer does quality work.
  6. I reckon go big if you think you can, and use higher wattage panels they'll require less roof space and they can be placed optimally (avoid shade or less optimal orientations). I reckon this is pretty good TBH: As to inverters, I've no exposure to Delta but seem to be a decent player. Here's an item of the various inverters: https://www.solarquotes.com.au/inverters/ Reviews (don't read so good but when you read some it's clear people's issues are less about the inverter and more about the installer - even though they may not realise it): https://www.solarquotes.com.au/inverters/delta-review.html 15 years warranty for an inverter would be outstanding. I thought they were typically a 5 year warranty. I suggest getting that confirmed in writing.
  7. Adding a second independent system is fine and is a good option, provided the energy distributor approves it. At least with single phase your future battery options are easier to configure... It'll be quite a few years before they make financial sense though.
  8. ABB have sold their inverter business to an Italian company. I've no idea if they have any form of service or support in Australia but part of the global deal was for the new company to accept management of all product warranty claims. Given the uncertainty I wouldn't go there. QCells are fine. As for adding to later, that's not always as simple as they make it sound. Let's say in 3-4 years you want to add a few kW extra. If doing so requires an inverter upgrade, then the whole system will be required to meet CEC standards and you may find the existing system components are no longer on the CEC list (older models typically fall off the list after a while, it's normal). IOW you have to replace the whole lot. Also, as panels age they degrade in performance slowly and typically new models have far higher output ratings. Go back 4 years and 200W was a normal panel output, now it's 300-350W and 400W panels are coming. It can be hard to match new panels with the old panel's performance - it's a bad idea to put panels of different output capacity on the same string. One way around that is to add solar optimisers (like Tigo) which can manage a system with variable capacity panels. Tigos are about $100 per panel plus installation. The inverter may not have the capacity for more, depends on how it was spec'd to begin with. Sometimes you need to have a second inverter as well. It's a case by case assessment, but sometimes the cheapest solution is to replace the whole lot... For those who really think they might step up their roof top capacity after starting out, I'd probably recommend going with micro inverters (Enphase) solution as that is much more flexible. More expensive but a fine technology. It's on my mind to consider adding another 2.3kW to our 11kW if our renovations result in one of our chimneys being removed - it frees up a great roof area next to an existing array. Our 10kW Symo inverter has the capacity for it. We have a 9kW export limit so we'd get some clipping but with the addition of a permanently occupied granny flat there will also be extra demand. But it'd need to happen within the next 12 months or so I reckon. Fronius have new model inverters coming in 2020.
  9. And why not do it with a battery? Well as I mentioned earlier, being on three phase makes things way more complex when it comes to battery solutions and backup. Plus a battery can only keep you going for as long as it happens to have charge. A genset runs as long as you put fuel in the tank.
  10. I spoke with the sparky who did some other work for me about it. He said that wiring the backup circuit for the genset to all power and lighting circuits across *all* phases is fairly trivial, and you can exclude specific circuits, e.g. stove, larger air con units, the solar PV inverter obviously, from the backup circuit to ensure no overloading when using the genset. Running a single phase generator into all three phases is perfectly fine if you have no three phase equipment, and if you did, well you'd just exclude that circuit from being able to be included in the backup circuit. It works because it's not running as a continuous power supply, there is a cutover period so the frequency shift isn't an issue. That way you don't have to change anything connected to power outlets as they will all be available, as will be all lights (they are low power anyway). All it needs is a genset with enough capacity to cope with what you will run during an outage. I already know the minimum for overnight loads (about 400W) and so add in some lights, TV, maybe an air con unit and a decent single phase genset with a 20A connection will be ample and cope with occasional use of the kettle and even an air con unit. Obviously when on backup it requires being a little sensible, don't go turning on a hair dryer, kettle, toaster and air con at the same time. If our outage is very long and the hot water runs out, well the mancave has instant gas HW unit, it just needs regular power for the unit to operate / ignite the flame. And the granny flat will have the same (it's a BASIX requirement here). Couple that with small UPS units for critical devices (I have one for my NBN box and router) and an ATS and well it will provide us with decent energy security. I had something like 31 outages last year, so it's been an issue on my mind. It's worse during the summer storm season. Our experience last Christmas where we had a two day outage with family staying was a bit rich. Fridges full of Christmas food. Now that I have a different financial outlook (I'm starting to receive my first super pension as of this month), I can begin to plan these sorts of things and do it right rather than resort to el-cheapo solutions.
  11. That's horrible! I'm leaning towards an automatic transfer switch that detects the outage, isolates the gird, auto starts the generator and cuts over the power supply. And then does it in reverse when the grid comes back online. I'll need specialist advice though on how to isolate certain circuits across three buildings to prevent overloading the generator.
  12. Yeah, we had a 2 hour outage yesterday afternoon/early evening. As per above post, solar PV systems by law have to automatically turn off when the grid goes out, which is why the inverter needs to be an approved device and fitted to approved standards. This is to prevent any live power supply from being connected to power lines while repair workers are working on them. With some (but not all) battery systems, they can have a cutover to isolate you from the grid and restore power to your home. Tesla's Powerwall has the feature (if you commission it). Others don't and just like solar PV they are only able to supply power when the grid is connected. Of those with backup capability some may be able to create an island from the grid and so be able to continue to use power from solar PV but it's not common technology. It's a solution the next generation of Enphase systems are possibly introducing. Batteries and 3-phase gets complicated... so I won't go there. If backup is something needed (I will get it possibly later this year since we get regular blackouts, especially in summer season), then a switchboard cutover switch and a good old fashioned generator is the most cost effective solution.
  13. For city commuters they will become dominant vehicle, once prices drop a bit more. The average commute distance in Australia is only 32km per day (total distance both trips). The frequency of trips > 250km for the vast majority is pretty small. Regional drivers will have a different set of driving range issues. Plus the other factor is local service and support. For us the round trip is either 2-3km into town most days, about 1-2 per week x 30-60km (Urunga, Bonville, Coffs or Nambucca), infrequent 100-200km round trips or the 1000+km round trip to Sydney 2-3 times a year perhaps. Hence an EV would happily do us for 98% of journeys. My issue is the amount and type of car you get for the money. A few weeks ago I sat inside a Hyundai Kona (petrol) to see what that was like. It was cramped, plasticky and cheap feeling. The EV version is $50k+ on road. No thanks. I haven't seen what the Nissan Leaf is like but I'm kind of expecting the same thing, a bit too small but perhaps nicer inside.
  14. Yeah good point, the fast chargers are 3-phase installs, so the current draw will be spread out. The super fast commercial units are going to be interesting, 100kW!
  15. Fast chargers are pulling 15-22 kW. An oven and a HW tank together are maybe 6-8kW. Our HW is on controlled load so tends to be on from ~midnight/1am. The biggest power draw device would be our induction cooktop (if using >2 plates).
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