20kW solar system case study: As electricity prices continue to rise, it is now common for small to medium businesses to install a larger solar system up to around 20kW or so. Solaray installed a fantastic 20kW solar system for Lindfield Bowling Club to help reduce their daytime reliance on the power grid.
Let’s have a look at a few of the key numbers including the price of a 20kW solar power system and the brands you should be considering for a system of this size.
Price of a 20kW Solar System
A good quality 20kW solar power system starts at a little under $20,000 fully installed. The 20kW Solaray System at Lindfield Bowling Club features 2 x 10kW Fronius Symo inverters (Made in Europe), and premium 275W Trina Honey modules. We also installed the array across two orientations, which helps spread the output of solar power across the day.
It is important to note that with solar panels you generally get what you pay for, and most of our customers choose high-efficiency panels from manufacturers such as Trina Solar or LG Solar. LG Solar is leading the way in Australia with the new 365W module.
It is possible to find cheaper 20kW solar systems for under $20,000, however, this will typically require buying low to mid-range panels manufactured in China, and often without any after-sales support.
For a 20kW solar system it is important to maximise reliability, output and of course longevity, and so spending a little more upfront can save you a lot of money over the life of the system. Solaray service full-replacement warranties and our systems include full technical support. This gives our customers the peace of mind that if something goes wrong they will be looked after.
As a rough guide, a 20kW system can save you up to around $8,000 a year on your power bills depending on your price of electricity. For businesses, the power bill can be a little more complex than a residential bill, so we recommend talking with our commercial solar team for more detailed information about the potential benefit of a solar system.
Of course, to save $2,000 on a quarterly bill you are going to need to use a lot of power during the daytime – as much as 105 kWh during the daytime over summer. If you are able to get the most out of your 20kW system, you could spend up to $30,000 and get a top of the range system with a return on your investment in well less than 5 years!
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Output of a 20kW Solar System
According to the Clean Energy Council guidelines, a 20kW solar system in Sydney facing north will produce an average of 80 kWh a day, outputting more power in summer and less in winter. We have found that this guideline is a conservative estimate and that by using the top brands you can get more out of our system, for example, our Enphase systems give our customers on average 110% of expected output. On an average in summer, a 20kW system will give our customers around 105 kWh of power. Because this can be too much power for many households, we often recommend considering battery storage so that any excess solar power can then be used during the evening.
A 20kW Solar System - The Key Numbers
|Number of Panels||From 55 x 365W Panels to 76 x 270W Panels|
|Output||80 kWh a day average (see below)|
|Potential Savings||$1500 – $2000 a bill depending on your cost of power|
|Average Payback Period||4 to 7 years|
|Cost||From around $20000 to around $30000|
|Suited to||Small to medium sized businesses using on average around 80 kWh a day during the daytime (or over 24 hours with battery storage)|
How much will a 20kW solar system save me?
The potential savings of a 20kW solar system depend on how much solar power you are able to use at the time of generation. You will typically save around 22 to 30 cents a kWh (depending on how much you pay for your power), and depending on your retailer, you will be paid around 5-12 cents a kWh for the power you send back to the grid. A 20kW solar system can save you up to around $1,500 to $2,000 per quarterly bill.
More information is available here: How Solar Power Reduces Your Power Bill
Number of solar panels for a 20kW System
The larger the system, the more important it is to buy quality panels to ensure you maximise reliability, increased output in all weather conditions and the longevity of the system.
The other consideration is roof space. By installing high-efficiency panels, we can use 55 x 365W panels instead of the standard 76 x 270W panels, which can significantly increase system output on a limited roof space.
20kW solar system with a split array
Solaray is the largest and most experienced installer of systems featuring panel-level output in NSW, and our system design team are experts at putting together a professional solar array that will maximise solar output in all conditions.
The solar system at Lindfield Bowling Club was designed across 2 different orientations to spread the output of solar power across the day. A common panel layout is to have some panels facing north, and the others west to spread the output into the afternoon, making it easier to use more of the solar power as it is generated.
Having panels west is also advantageous if you are on time of use billing, where households typically pay around 50c per kWh between 2 pm and 8 pm for power.