The Best Solar System Available In Australia
There is always a lot of hype around the world’s most efficient solar panels, and rightly so. Advancements in solar panel technology have global significance because with increased output more and more households will be able to become self-sufficient, especially now that solar storage is available.
So it is with much excitement that REC Alpha Pure panels have hit the Australian market and are now available for installation by Solaray Energy.
But is a high-efficiency panel the best option for your household?
Well, that depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Most of our customers are looking for a combination of quality, performance, reliability, and longevity, and then choosing a solution that offers value for money at a price point they are comfortable with. The ‘best’ solar system, therefore, will not be the same for everyone. Some people pay more for quality, others want a faster return on their money.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the best solar systems available in 2022 for homes in Australia.
Judging The Best Solar Panel For Efficiency
The efficiency of a solar panel refers to the output divided by the size of the panel. As the size of a residential solar panel is typically standardised at 1.7m by 1m, high-efficiency panels will output more power from the same sized panel. For example, the REC Alpha Pure panel is rated at 405W and is approximately the same size as a standard 300W panel.
Using high-efficiency panels means fewer panels for the same output and so less roof space is needed for a certain size system.
However, a 6kW system with high-efficiency panels will output the same amount of power as a 6kW system with standard efficiency panels, it will just do so with fewer panels. This is an important point because a lot of people wait for advances in technology when they already have more than enough roof space for the solar system they need.
Furthermore, efficiency is only a measurement of output, not quality. Typically, high-efficiency modules from the leading brands are going to be well made, however, it should only be one factor of many when considering solar panels, with the others being quality, longevity, heat tolerance, and output in low light conditions.
It is important to clear up this point because when we are talking about the best panels available, we are not only looking at the panel’s efficiency, we are also considering performance, reliability, longevity, warranty support and efficiency with (you guessed it) – the price!
Panels at the top end of the efficiency scale are generally going to be more expensive than standard panels, however, there is also a huge price range between the panels at the top, so it is important to find a panel that is going to offer good value as well as performance.
The Best Solar Panel Available in 2022
REC Alpha Pure 405W Panels
REC is one of the leading solar manufacturers in the world. The latest REC Alpha Pure panel is packed with the latest technology that gives households improvements that really matter, from longer warranties and higher efficiency to stronger framing and increased wind loading.
Choosing a top-of-the-range panel such as the REC Alpha Pure is an investment in superior standards of design, manufacture, backup support and warranties. This reputation for quality is the result of REC Solar’s strong commitment to developing a module that delivers reliable, high output for decades.
REC solar panels are rigorously tested beyond industry standards, and those standards apply equally when selecting materials for their solar modules. When you choose REC Solar, you’ll have peace of mind that you are buying the best.
Very few panels of this quality are available for residential installations, making REC panels Solaray’s stand-out choice as the leading brand at the top end of the market. REC Solar offers full warranty support on an impressive 25-year product warranty and has local representation to honour all service requirements.
The best news of all is the price – REC Alpha Pure 405W panels are extremely well priced for such a quality panel.
REC Solar is striving for industry-leading efficiency, but critically they incorporate this new technology into their production line to ensure all customers have access to the best technology available. It’s not much use if a company releases a high-efficiency panel (with a lot of publicity) but only makes 1000 of them and/or charges an absolute fortune for them.
REC Solar was awarded the esteemed 2022 Intersolar Award for its powerful lead-free solar module, plus exceptional environmental standards with the manufacturing of the silicon used in the panel powered entirely by solar power and hydro power. This is in stark contrast to the way many solar panels in Asia are made.
REC Solar Panels Powered by Enphase
Microinverter technology allows each panel in a solar system to work independently from the other panels, ensuring the maximum output of clean energy for your household or business. Microinverters help to avoid common roadblocks that stop a solar installation on many houses such as patchy shade and small roof areas.
An Enphase Micro Inverter system uses a small DC to AC inverter under each panel. This means that each panel’s performance does not affect any other panel’s performance – this is of particular use when there are shade issues, or when you need to face panels in two or more directions.
The 7th Generation IQ 7A microinverters are now available and are fully compatible with higher-wattage panels such as the REC Alpha Pure. Packed with the world’s most advanced microinverter technology, the IQ 7 range have an incredible efficiency rating of 96.5%.
Built on the 7th-generation platform, the Enphase IQ 7 range is smart grid ready, and integrates seamlessly with the Enphase Envoy-S, and the Enphase Enlighten monitoring platform.
An Enphase Micro Inverter is attached to the mounting kit underneath each panel. The micro inverter uses state-of-the-art electronics to convert DC to AC underneath each panel. This allows each individual panel to output power independently from the other panels, significantly increasing system output.
According to Renewable Energy World, shading of as little as 9% of a solar system connected to a central inverter, can lead to a system-wide decline in power output by as much as 54%.
The below image is a great example of how micro inverters can significantly increase output. In this image, the panels to the left will be working at near maximum output despite the patchy shade on the right of the image, because each panel is independent of the rest of the array.
One of the biggest limitations with standard string inverter systems is that the panels are installed in series, meaning that the system will always perform at the rate of the worst-performing panel. This means that partial shade on just one panel can have a large impact on the output of a system.
It’s not just shade from trees that can affect solar output. Bird droppings and dust, as well as chimneys and power lines, can all affect solar output. Additionally, solar panels have a +- tolerance during the manufacturing process. For example, REC Alpha Pure panels have a +5W tolerance, so they will range in output from 405W to 410W. Your system won’t be able to take advantage of this unless each panel is outputting power independently from the other panels.
Using Micro Inverters allows our solar technicians to design a panel array across multiple roof areas – both across different orientations and angles. If you use most of your power in the afternoon, it can be beneficial to have panels facing both north and west to distribute the output of solar power across the day. This avoids having a big peak of solar power in the middle of the day, making it easier to use a large percentage of the solar power as it is generated, and hence increasing the value of your system.
Solar System Monitoring
The Enphase Envoy Communications Gateway is the networking hub for the system. The Envoy Gateway connects to the internet to transfer live data on system performance and critical issues. As your Enphase Installer, Solaray receives automatic emails alerting us to any technical issues, making it simple to conduct system checks remotely from our head office in Glendenning, or even when our technicians are on the road. Customers are also able to read system output and check the system status on the Envoy’s LED screen.
The Enlighten software platform provides solar professionals and solar system owners with ongoing system statistics and uptime assurance. Enlighten has a user-friendly and engaging interface to view your energy production. This energy monitoring platform is regarded as one of the best in the industry.
Microinverter systems avoid the need for high voltage DC cable runs, increasing safety for the homeowner. If a string inverter was invented today it would probably be deemed illegal due to the need for a high voltage cable run through your home. If anything goes wrong with DC power such as a rodent eating through the cables, or a water ingress in the DC isolator (as pictured), there is a significant fire risk due to arcing. More information on safer solar is available here: What causes solar fires and how to avoid it
Top 10 Enphase Benefits
For more information about Enphase, check out the 10 key benefits of an Enphase System here…
Introducing Outstanding Energy Management – The Enphase Envoy
Enphase is revolutionising renewable energy in Australia and Solaray is proud to be at the forefront of this incredible wave of smart solar and energy management technology.
Integrated, efficient and reliable, the Enphase storage solution combines solar generation, storage and load management technologies into one solution that is about to hit Australia’s shores over the coming months.
The Enphase Envoy-S communications gateway delivers solar production and energy consumption data to Enphase Enlighten monitoring software for comprehensive, remote maintenance and management of the Enphase System.
With production metering and consumption monitoring options, Envoy is the platform for total energy management and will integrate with the soon-to-be-released Enphase Energy Storage System.
- Consumption monitoring for total energy insight
- 99.5% accuracy – miles ahead of what we have seen previously
- Bi-directional communications let the Envoy adapt to future utility requirements
- Flexible networking options with integrated Wi-Fi
- Ready for plug-play cellular networking
- Connects up to 600 microinverters
Interested in more information? If you don’t have a solar system installed the first step is to submit an online quote for an Enphase Micro Inverter Solar System. Of course, you can also call The Solaray Team on 1300 525 451.