1.5kW Solar Systems

In the past the 1.5kw solar system size was very popular due to them being the smallest available, the cheapest and requires the least amount of roof space, however as system prices have come down people have leaned towards larger systems so that they can see a larger reduction on their bills.

Important numbers for 1.5kW solar systems are:

Average Price ($) How many panels? Average Energy Generated Daily (kWh)
$2,510 – $4,860 6 – 8 (depending on panel size e.g. 190W) 6 units

*Note that the energy generated daily is an average for the year; in summer this will be higher but conversely in winter it will be lower. Also this is an average across all of Australia and so there will be a variation depending on exact location.

1.5kW systems are recommended for households whose bills have an average daily consumption of around 10-12 units per day. In most cases, this would be a house of 1 – 2 people.

When considering the placement of a 1.5kW system attention needs to be given to the energy usage of the household. 1.5kW systems can only be placed facing in one direction because of reasons to do with voltage on the inverter. Most household’s peak energy usage is concentrated in the late afternoon/early evening, when everyone arrives home from work and school. One way to maximise the usage of the system in these cases is to have the system facing west so that less power is drawn from the grid during the household’s maximum usage period.

Obviously, for households where someone is home during the day and energy usage is higher during the day, a north facing system would be smarter. The aim for any system nowadays is to use as much of the power you produce and limit the amount of power drawn from the grid.

 
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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.