Friday, April 10, 2015

Domestic solar power

I have solar panels on my roof, feeding electricity into the power grid @ 40 cents a unit.  I buy power from the grid @ 7.135 cents a unit to do my night time washing etc and most power bills either give me a credit or a very small bill.  I like it!    For the last 6 weeks my solar system has been down and I have not sold any power to the power company.  

The problem was a faulty inverter which converts DC power from the panels into AC 240v.  The company which installed the system no longer services my system and the warranty etc has been taken over by a German company.  It has been over a month without a replacement inverter and only yesterday did I receive a phone call telling me that a replacement inverter would be installed today.   A young man installed it in about 10 minutes and even with heavy cloud cover I can see power being produced.

The entire system is a Chinese-made setup and many customers have had up to 4 replacement inverters within the 5 year warranty period.   I asked the installer whether other brands were any better and he told me that it seems like the German brand also has problems.  A new inverter cost around $400 installed, so if this one fails again, I will buy a new inverter with a new 5 year warranty.

The state government is the owner of the power grid and power stations and is hinting that owners of solar setups will be charged a higher fee over regular users to maintain the power lines and infrastructure.  I guess that's reasonable.

1 comment:

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