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The secret’s of a solar system upgrade for FREE or very little expense…

Solar System Upgrade done the right way

Cut Price Solar is leading the charge to help Australian’s with their solar system upgrade with increased sizes to help offset the daily consumption of electricity and put money back into your pockets. Cut Price Solar is one of the only companies that will effectively upgrade your system while allowing you to retain your  feed in tariff.

Right up until 2012, the Australian solar rebate was giving the best pay back on the first 1.5kw of any system, this has given a lot of Australians the chance to get into the solar market game but unfortunately, if you are an average household with a 1.5kw system, you’ll only be producing about 6kw/h of electricity per day – not even enough to offset half of the average 16 kWh per day.

Are you one of those solar system owners that has received lower power bills for a while and are happy with the results, but now wish to get a solar system upgrade to a bigger system and gain a healthy profit on your electricity bills?

Retain your 44c feed in tariff when doing a solar system upgrade

Solar is getting cheaper every day, so the price you pay per extra kW when you do a solar system upgrade will more than likely be an improvement on your first installation. The other bonus on using Cut Price Solar for your solar system upgrade is that you can retain your original 44c feed in tariff – something of which most upgrade companies will see you losing.

We always look for the best deal for you the owner. If we can add more panels to your existing inverter, we will. If we can offer you all new panels for the same price as simply adding a few more panels, then we will. If you only want euro made products, we are happy to find a solution with only euro made solar system upgrade panels. We are providing the best outcome for you, and then giving you a localised and lengthy warranty so all you have to do is contact us for any after sales service.

When you want to look to get that solar system upgrade happening, the first thing to do is establish what panels you have on your roof, what size inverter you have, how the system is performing and the condition of your equipment. Cut Price Solar can send a Clean Energy Council accredited system designer out to you if you want a hand with these steps.

If your original installer was professional enough, you should have a detailed system manual or a sticker on your inverter that described everything that was installed and the energy generation predictions. Failing that, we can help you over the phone to work out your consumption and performance. Call us on (07) 3285 7776

Your solar system will work its best on a clear sunny day. You can check your inverter data logger or remote display in your house if you were provided one to make sure the system is generating close to its rating. You will never get a 100% reading from your system so don’t be taken back if your reading is not 1500 Watts coming out of your 1.5kW inverter. As a general rule, you will have a loss in productivity from the cabling, routing etc and should realistically expect an 80% performance from your system. If you think your existing system is not working as it should, contact us and we’ll arrange for a performance and cleaning visit. It could be a small fix like your panels could be dirty.

Things that Cut Price Solar will check when doing a physical Inspection on your solar panels.

Your solar panels should look almost as good as new. We look carefully for signs of corrosion under the glass, and make sure there is no sign of yellowing or browning. The white back sheet will degrade over time, but should not be showing major signs of change. We make sure the panels all look roughly consistent and with a torch, take a look underneath to see if all the cabling remains tidy, secure and hasn’t been chewed at by vermin.

Next, we take a look at your DC isolators. There is a lot of contention regarding the roof mounted isolators and there are currently many product recalls on these items. A faulty DC isolator can catch fire, enough reason alone to get us to inspect your system (check our partner website www.solarrecall.com.au for more information regarding faulty items and product recalls). We also check your roof junction box or disconnect and make sure it hasn’t degraded or leaked. Where the cables enter your roof, we check that the seals are still intact and flexible and that any cabling or conduit is intact. Follow this process all the way back down to your inverter.

Although good quality inverters are made of aluminium, high quality plastics or even stainless steel; lower quality units are made of steel. We check the case to see if there is any evidence of rust or other corrosion. Make sure there are no wasp nests or other vermin build up around the inverter, and that all the wiring inputs look sound and intact.

The results of your pre solar system upgrade system check:

After your inspection, we will have either of two scenarios:

  1. Your system works fine and is performing roughly as expected with room to upgrade

We can educate you whether your inverter can handle any expanded solar capacity or if you are its limit and will need to upgrade it as well.

  1. Your solar system has problems (like faulty DC isolators), which need to be fixed.

Your first port of call is your original supplier. Get them to correct any faults and or, honor warranty problems. Should they ask for a financial outlay for any repairs, contact us immediately as we might be able to offer the service or solution free when we upgrade your solar system.

Upgrading your solar system

The first thing to consider is what rules apply to feed in tariff (FIT) if you upgrade, which varies depending on what FIT you are signed up to originally. Nearly every customer of Cut Price Solar that gets a solar system upgrade retains their feed in tariff, a fact that we are proud of.

Un-intended consequences of consumption changes are something that we will work with you to discover pre-upgrade. If your consumption changes dramatically with the addition of extra solar panels, your electricity retailer put up their rates as you are worth less to them with your lover grid consumption.

The team of Clean Energy Council accredited designers working at Cut Price solar will always take into consideration the basic rules of system design which should take into account things such as shading, angle, direction, energy predictions, standards, compliance and safety. In some cases new standards may also apply which require changes to your existing system if you upgrade (for example, array earthing, roof top isolators and cable protection) depending on when your original system was installed.

Hardware upgrades and compatibility

By the time that we are looking to get you a larger capacity solar system through an upgrade, we will know what equipment you already have and if we can add to your existing system or start a fresh. Don’t be deterred by starting anew, a lot of the time we can replace your existing panels for little to no cost while retaining your feed in tariff.

Our Brisbane warehouse stocks one of the largest collections of new and refurbished solar panels in Australia. With a wide range of wattage options as well as dozens of brands from lo end Asian panels through to top dollar Euro manufactured solar panels, we can match your existing system with ease. ALL of our solar panel stock comes with a healthy warranty, including our refurbished panels.

When it comes to the power ratings of your solar panels some important things need to be considered. When we expand an existing system by putting more panels in series or parallel on your existing inverter, the solar panels will be the same voltage and current ratings and we will ensure that your inverter can handle the upgrades. If we cannot upgrade your panels with the existing inverter, we can offer you a few options;

1/ You can add a new combination of panels and inverters along side your existing system, if it’s perfectly functional, still under warranty and in good condition. There are rarely any problems putting systems in parallel but watch out for rules about capacity limits on different phases and if you have a data logger or in home display, make sure the new system is compatible too.

2/ You can reconfigure the entire system and upgrade the inverter to a newer, larger unit capable of handling the combined new output. Prices have come down and features have improved, so this may be worth considering especially if you have a lower quality or old inverter.

3/ We can max out your existing inverter with a rooftop of new panels that are all of the same make and model, giving you a system that is 100% compatible. This option is often the most cost effective as we can design and install quickly with great results.

What if we didn’t install your original system?

Sadly, the solar industry has seen a lot of businesses come and go. The boom that was seen with the introduction of the feed in tariff’s saw a lot of opportunistic people start up small installation businesses. These days, a majority of them are closed and homeowners are left with little to no after sales service, warranties or maintenance options. If you were unfortunate to buy from a company who is no longer around, then Cut Price Solar wants to take you on as our own and help you maintain your solar PV system. A lot of other companies will wipe their hands clean of your existing system, Cut Price Solar will effortlessly transition you onto our maintenance roster, many times with a free initial free system health check.

We want to make our knowledge a resource to you. Please feel free to print this page to access the information every step of the way as we install your solar system upgrade.

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