What solar system to get for your business?

Most businesses use the bulk of their power during daylight hours. This ties in perfectly with solar, as your business can use all the energy that’s produced by your solar power system at the time of generation. By using your own source of energy straight from the sun, you’re buying significantly less from the grid, therefore slashing the amount of power you buy from the utilities.

There’s a myriad of panels and inverters to choose from in Australia ranging from rubbish to excellent.

Solar panels play an important role in the performance of your system, but it’s the inverter that’s the engine of your whole system.

What are the best solar panel systems for my business?

There are some incredibly cheap solar systems available in Australia but be mindful that what’s far more important than the upfront cost is the amount of electricity your system will generate over its lifetime – and therefore how much it will save you. You’re better off paying a bit more for a high-performance system, than not paying enough for an inferior one. Buying solar panels and inverters made by major companies that have been manufacturing solar panel components for at least 10 years will pay off in the long run. Good examples are REC, Jinko and SunPower.

More than 90% of solar panels are manufactured in China. Jinko, JA, SunTech and Trina are all reputable Chinese brands, but many others are best avoided. Our preference is REC (a Norwegian company, with panels made in Singapore) and Jinko (a Chinese company; made in China).

Choosing the right inverter for your business

Your inverter is one of the most critical components of your solar power system. As far as brands go, we’re comfortable recommending SolarEdge (Israeli) or Fronius (Austrian). These have been independently proven to be the most efficient and reliable inverters on the market.

DC Optimisers (SolarEdge) are a good way to go if you want an incredibly safe system, your roof is partially shaded and/or if you want to be across the individual output of each panel (this is very helpful when picking up faults – particularly with a commercial solar system, which often has hundreds or even thousands of panels installed).

We like to recommend SolarEdge DC Optimiser technology to our clients because:

  1. You can install more panels on limited roof space, by installing closer to obstructions/ shade.
  2. It offers panel-level monitoring (can see the output of each panel in real-time).
  3. It has the same functionality as micro-inverters. eg. if shade, bird poo or leaf litter falls on them, each panel works independently and doesn’t bring down the other panels to the lowest-performing panel’s output.
  4. It has a much lower failure rate than micro-inverter technology.
  5. It comes with a much longer warranty than both a string inverter or micro-inverters.
  6. It’s safe: in the event of an emergency, where the system detects arcing, then the system actually shuts down to a touch-safe 1 volt per panel.
  7. SolarEdge is compatible with any battery, whereas string inverters or micro-inverters have to be matched with an AC-coupled battery.
  8. It’s cheaper than micro-inverters.

Solar battery storage for businesses

Affordable solar battery storage is now starting to become available for SMEs that want some of their usage covered by solar batteries early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Solar battery storage systems are scalable, so you may choose to start with 1-2 batteries and then add more as required.

In the video below, Carolyn Lee, founder of The Energy Experts, discusses why you should get an independent consultant to help you get the very best installation, performance and value from using energy saving systems in your business premises.

We make installing solar easy

The Energy Experts can provide you with a solar quote that’s tailored to your business needs. We’ll also provide you with the estimated annual savings and the Return on Investment.