Solar Panels Dalby
Case Study for Aust Mech Engineering
Project Overview: Solar installation and tariff optimisation – Phono Solar with Fronius
Annual spend prior to project: $35,519.32
Annual spend after project: $9,531.60
Project Cost: $34,887.00
ROI: 1.3 years / 74.5% in year one
How well do solar panels really work in Dalby, Queensland?
This short and easy article cuts through the hyperbole and sale gibberish and gets right to the stuff that really matters: Do solar panels really do as well as they are expected do in the Dalby climate?
A few years ago, answering this question would have more difficult as remote monitoring of a solar system was not as common. Nowadays we have access to instant reporting that shows exactly how much energy your solar has produced daily, monthly, and so on. So, we can see exactly how much energy your solar has produced and compare it to how much energy it was expected to produce based on the sales proposals provided prior to installation.
Furthermore, we can also check energy bills to see what the real-world savings have been, so there are no grey areas, or complex calculations needed, just clear facts!
The basic idea of this case study is simple:
Solar panels Dalby expected results vs. solar panels Dalby actual results!
So, let’s get into it. The customer in question is Aust-Mech who are based in Cooper Street, Dalby. Aust-Mech is a family owned business who have been trading in Dalby since the 1990s. They manufacture and design high performance bulk materials handling equipment for the agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries.
They have a large facility, as shown in the photo below prior to solar panels being installed.
Before installing solar power Aust-Mech were paying $35,519.32 for electricity every year. GI energy first started talking to Chris at Aust-Mech in July 2019 and we presented the idea of installing a 39kW solar array at his facility. Our proposal showed that we could reduce the load onsite significantly enough so that Chris could be moved away from his large business tariff and onto a small business tariff with much lower rates per kWh. We also showed that we could positively gear the investment from Q1 with no capital required. This meant Aust-Mech could use money that they currently paid to Ergon every month, to pay down the asset and therefore acquire a large solar system using funds they were spending on electricity anyway.
Like lots of customers Chris was sceptical that these returns were possible initially. This is something we come across quite frequently at GI Energy and the old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” rings loudly in lots of potential customers ears when we first talk to them. After all, what we are essentially pitching here is a situation where you can get a massive solar array installed – with absolutely no extra cost to your business. Throw in the fact that the Government solar rebate will pay for approximately 40% of the project cost, and it really does start sounding too good to be true!
After a few months of talking to GI Energy, Chris took the leap of faith and signed an order to install the proposed 39kW system. The photo below shows the solar system installed:
The solar panels were installed in Dalby in December 2019 and this article is being written in July 2020 so we can now look back at the last 8 months to see whether the solar has done what we said it would.
So, what happened? Did the solar panels perform properly in Dalby? Firstly, let’s take a look at the energy produced to date. The first image below shows a screenshot from the actual proposal Chris was given which showed him how much energy his solar panels should produce once installed:
If we tally up Jan – July the total amount of expected energy was 29,996kWhs.
Now, let’s take a look at what actually happened:
The above screenshot shows the Wi-Fi monitoring installed on site which shows exactly how much solar has been produced. The way this software works is by measuring current running through cables and displaying the data in a user-friendly chart. Essentially, it is 100% accurate and GI Energy have no way of making it look better than it actual really is!
The actual energy produced was 35.14MW, which is 35,140kWhs. What this means is:
Solar panels Dalby expected: 29,996Kwhs
Solar panels Dalby actual: 35,140Kwhs
Difference: + 5,144kWhs
This means the actual solar production is a little over 17% more than expected! Not bad right!! If Chris were to use all of this electricity it would save him an additional $1,234.56 per annum*.
Now let’s take a look the actual savings, taking into consideration the tariff change as well. Firstly, the bill below is from when we first started talking to Chris (with the personal stuff blocked out). The annual spend back then was $35,519.32
Now, let’s take a look at a newer bill:
The new energy charges on this bill were $266.53! The new annual expense is expected to be no more than $9,531.60 in full year, which is a $25,987.72 difference! This represents a 74.5% return on investment and means Chris will get his full return in just 1.3 years.
Another happy customer and more evidence of how correctly installed solar panels work in Dalby.
It is important to note here that we installed a very good quality solar system for Chris and our engineering and installation team are the best the solar industry has to offer. Unfortunately, we do hear lots of horror stories about solar not doing what it was expected to which is usually a combination of poor design, poor product choices and poor installation.
At GI Energy we have the experience and knowledge to ensure our projects deliver extremely good results!
Here are some other helpful links:
* based on $0.24 per kWh