With the price of solar panels at record lows, the average system we are currently installing is around 8-10kW. A 2kW solar system in Sydney is still possible, however, it is normally limited to houses with a limited roof space.
Most households shouldn’t buy a 2kW system, and more information is available on that here: 4 reasons not to buy a 2kW solar system.
A 2kW system typically has a 6-7 panel array and can save you up to around $200 a quarterly power bill if all of the solar power is used in the home. As solar prices continue to fall, it is now possible to get a return on your money in 4 to 6 years using top-quality brands, whereas larger systems have a potential payback of under 3 years.
This article will look at the benefits of installing a 2kW system, the main brands you should be looking at and provide detailed information to make sure this size system is the right fit for your household.
Looking To Get A 2kW Solar System?
According to the Clean Energy Council Guidelines, A 2kW solar system in Sydney will output around 8 kWh a day (averaged out across the year), outputting more on the long summer days, and less in winter. It is important to understand that this 8 kWh of solar power will be produced during daylight hours, and typically as a rough bell curve (taking weather into account) as illustrated below.
Depending on how much power you use during the day, typically you would want to have a quarterly power bill of around $300 (approx. 16 kWh a day excluding any off-peak hot water) to make good use of a 2kW system.
A solar system will peak when the sun is shining directly onto the panels, so for an array facing north, this will be for approximately 4 hours during the middle of the day. You can see in the graph above how shade from clouds immediately results in a drop off of solar power, and that in summer the system will continue operating until nearly 8 pm if you have the panels installed to catch the late afternoon sun.
In Sydney during summer, panels that are installed flat will be working at their peak efficiency because the sun is so high in the sky. For this system installed at 20 degrees, the peak output will take place in spring and autumn.
Do you want this level of system monitoring? Solaray is the number 1 installer of Enphase Micro Inverter Systems, and our systems come with full system monitoring and a MyEnlighten login as standard. Find out more – Enphase Micro Inverter Systems
2kW Solar Systems in Sydney
As technology improves we are now seeing high-efficiency panels drop in price, such as the REC Solar 405W panel, while the Q Cells panels are now 415W as standard. This means that for a 2kW Solar Installation in Sydney, Solaray designers are putting together 5-panel arrays as a 2kW Micro Inverter System. Most string inverter manufacturers only have a 3kW model, so for a 2kW system, we will normally use Enphase microinverters.
The main benefit of microinverters is that each panel is independent of the others, making it possible to design arrays in different orientations and at different angles, or when you have patchy shade on your roof. Solaray is the number one installer of Enphase Micro Inverter systems in Australia. Our design team are experts at putting together a solar panel array that will maximise your available roof space.
A common panel layout is to have some panels facing north, and the others west – to spread out the output of solar power across the day, making it easier to use most of the solar power as it is generated. Having panels west is also advantageous if you are on time-of-use billing, where you typically pay around 50c per kWh between 2 pm and 8 pm for your power.
2kW String Inverter System
If your roof is unobstructed by shade, is orientated north of either east or west and can fit 6 or 7 panels (1.7m by 1m), a string inverter system will be the best value option for your home. It is important to make sure the roof is clear of shade, as even if just one panel is slightly shaded, the whole array will drop down to the output of the worst performing panel.
An important point regarding a 2kW system using a string inverter is that we are not able to split the array as we need a minimum of 6 panels in a string of panels. Because the main European inverter manufacturers all typically start at a 3kW inverter, we like to see a minimum of 6 or 7 panels in a string as this creates enough voltage to run the inverter properly. If you give the Solaray Team a call, we can match you up with a good quality 3kW string inverter and try to convince you to buy an extra two panels (we will give you a good price, we promise), so that you have a highly efficient system that works really well in all light conditions.
The main European 3kW Inverter is the Sunny Boy from SMA, which has been regarded as one of the most reliable inverters on the Australian market for many years now.
The benefit of a 2kW Solar System
A 2kW solar system in Sydney facing north with no shade will output around 2850 kWh a year. That works out to be around 7.8 kWh a day as an average. This is a guideline published by the Clean Energy Council. Based on our own output figures taken from thousands of systems across Sydney, our opinion is that this figure is a conservative guideline.
If you are on time-of-use billing and you pay an average of 30c a kWh for your power, a 2kW system will save you up to $850 a year off your power bills. This can be even higher if you have your panels facing west.
If you pay a flat rate for your power, for example, 26c a kWh, a 2kW system will save you up to around$750.
If you don’t use the solar power as it is generated, the solar power will automatically go out to the grid, and you will often be paid a feed-in tariff for this power by your energy retailer. Typically, this FIT is around 5c to 13c a kWh and it will come off your power bill as a credit.
2kW Solar System Price
As a price guide, a 2kW solar system in Sydney will cost around $4,500 for a simple installation using Trina Vertex 390W panels and an SMA inverter. Expect to pay around $5,000-$6,000 for the latest high-efficiency panels and panel-level output. This price includes a government incentive of around $935 and it is fully installed and grid-connected, excluding metering. Our price is always a fully inclusive price, subject to confirmation by our system designers who will often need to conduct a site inspection.
Over 80% of our installations now feature panel-level output, powered by Enphase. Please contact us for more information and pricing.
Of course, these prices will depend on a number of factors, which our solar team can confirm with you either over the phone or during a site inspection when required.
A Bonus Tip
With solar prices so low these days, we find many customers buying 3kW and 5kW systems even when their quarterly power bills are around $500 or lower. By installing extra capacity and taking advantage of generous government incentives, we see many households increasing their power usage to either prepare for a growing family, or to invest in their lifestyle by running pool pumps, air conditions and even spas from solar power.
As solar batteries become more popular, installing a large enough solar array to power your house on solar power 24 hours a day ensures you are 100% ready to invest in batteries when you choose to do so. This will typically be at least a 5kW solar system. Please contact us for more information about battery-ready solar systems to discover what your options are, as not all systems are easily expandable.