Solar Panels Toowoomba Case Study – 39kW Condamine Wellscreens
How well do solar panels really work in Toowoomba?
This short article explains how an existing solar panel installation in Toowoomba works. If you are considering solar and want to see how it actually works in Toowoomba rather than just what the datasheets and salespeople say, then this article is for you!
Image above shows the solar panels installed in Toowoomba.
We are going to take a look at what the customer was told the solar panels would do, and then take a look at what they have actually done, over a full year. This will cut this BS and find out exactly how much energy was produced vs. what was expected.
If you are interested in calculating how much money you can save using solar panels, please try our free solar calculator.
It is all very well and good looking at datasheets and estimated solar production figures, but what actually happens after the system has been installed? Does it live up to these estimates?
GI Energy have been installing solar panels in Toowoomba since 2011 and this particular his system has Phono Solar panels and a Fronius inverter. The total size of the array was 39kW and the two inverters used were Fronius Symo 15’s.
Some basic things to understand before reading on: We have taken a real solar install in Toowoomba and used actual data from the Wi-Fi monitoring set up at the site. This data is simply measuring current running through cables and is 100% accurate.
We have then compared this real-life data to what we had originally included as estimates in the customers proposal prior to them purchasing from us. The software we use to generate these estimates is called PVSell. This software understands the installation parameters (location, system size, type of solar panel used, load on site and other installation variables) to generate these estimates. But the question is; are the solar panels living up to expectations installed in Toowoomba?
So, the idea is basic:
Solar Panels Toowoomba expected energy VS Solar Panels Toowoomba actual energy.
Firstly then, let’s take a look at the actual installation specifics. Don’t forget, this is an actual solar installation in Toowoomba we completed in March 2019.
The table below shows the exact forecast that was given to the customer in their proposal.
We have highlighted the important parts: Who the customer is, what the array capacity is and what the estimated solar production was in year one.
This is essentially what most of our customers base their decision on when choosing whether or not to install solar panels. But was it the right decision?
The most recent month of solar production prior to writing this article was June so we want to compare the figures annually from July in year one to June in year two. The chart below shows actual data with July year one through to June year two inside the red box.
The total amount of energy produced in one year from July to June was: 67,170kWhs
Solar Panels Toowoomba Expected: 63,193kWhs
Solar Panels Toowoomba Actual: 67,170kWhs
Difference: + 3,977kWhs
So, the actual system installed in Toowoomba produced 3,977kWhs more solar energy than expected…woo hoo! But hang on, what does this actually mean to someone looking at installing solar in Toowoomba?
It means that the actual figures (for the last 12 months at least) are really good for installing solar panels in Toowoomba. Bearing in mind, this is a solar array installed by a great install team, using really good products. If you did this test with inferior solar panels or a poor-quality installation it would most likely not produce anywhere near as much energy.
What does the difference actually mean in $$?
This solar array was expected to produce 63,193kWhs of clean energy. If the system had produced this exact amount and the customer used 70% of this electricity and exported the rest back to Ergon then they would save $19,210.
The system we tested produced 3,977kWhs more than expected. The value of this will depend if the customer used the energy, or sold it back to Ergon. If the customer used the energy it would be worth approximately $1,590.80*. If they sold it back to Ergon it would only be worth $318.16**.
$1,590 is a probably enough to pay for a decent long weekend away once a year…or about 40 cases of decent beer…depending on what tickles your fancy! Not a bad result considering the money would have gone to Ergon Energy if they didn’t have the solar installed.
This article is written in clear and basic terms for consumers to understand. For those who are keen to dig deeper into the specifics and look at the more technical side of testing solar panels in Toowoomba, we can help with that too! Get in touch and our experienced CEC Accredited Solar Designers and electrical and electronic engineers and we will gladly spend as long as you like discussing and sending through pages and pages of data if you are interested. As mentioned, this article is designed to get right to the point and give every day consumers the information they need when trying to work out exactly how solar panels actually work in Toowoomba.
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*based on $0.40 peak rate plus gst
**based on $0.08 feed in tariff plus gst