Author Topic: HOME SOLAR WOES  (Read 1500 times)

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Offline RebsWA

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HOME SOLAR WOES
« on: June 21, 2024, 01:52:51 AM »
This is not about camper trailers. I came home from a couple months away fishing to find my home solar system not making any power. Fault light on. Paid the extortion to get the supplier to come and have a look and end result is its all going to be replaced. It was installed in 2013 with premium panels and inverter. Why is it all getting replaced you ask?
The inverter is faulty, manufacturer no longer in business, no one repairs them.
One of the 2 strings has “some” faulty panels (shorts or something). They are 250 watt and considered old technology as the panels they use now are 440 watt and not suitable to be put in with the old. I was shown some pics of the old ones with fractures appearing in the black bits under the glass. Not good. So much for the panel warranty/guarantee when technology has moved on.
If they could get some 250 watt panels to replace the crook ones I could get away with just a new inverter. No! There seem to be some compatibility issues there and the new inverter guarantee would probably be void if installed with old 250 watt panels and there was a problem.
So with all those road blocks it looks like I throw it all away and get a new system. I reckon I’ve probably broken even with the initial capital outlay as systems were more expensive back then and it also cost extra to have it rack mounted on the shed cos the house roof is less than ideal for solar.
As they are installing a new system the government/power company I’m told is generously reducing the 7 cents per kw I export to the grid down to 2 cents per Kw and after 4pm it goes to 10 cents per Kw. Great incentive there. Wow soon they be offering $'s per Kw all night!
As far as I know there is no recycling facility for old panels in WA so they probably will go to landfill. Same probably for the inverter.
While I consider myself sensibly green I am beginning to think that home solar systems are just another scam.
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Offline Ranger_Scott

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2024, 06:47:34 AM »
Check your House Insurance policy... a lot class rooftop panels as part of the building, maybe you could claim on that?

As for recycling, Harvey Norman and Officeworks take old electrical cables, printers, computers etc. I guess the inverter would just be similar in that it just is circuit boards etc so they may take it?

Offline D4D

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2024, 07:01:25 AM »
10 years is not a bad service life these days. I agree the cost entry point, with the tech changing so fast, and the feed-ins virtually non-existent, it's hard to justify. Fortunately, you don't have any batteries in your system.
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Offline Bird

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2024, 09:52:07 AM »
Are the panels suitable to be used for campers/camping? I think its Craig up North uses house panels for his long stays..

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Offline WilSurf

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2024, 10:14:13 AM »
Our system is 10 years old with similar panel size, but we were even after 6.5 years.
But I agree, it is a waste to have everything replaced.
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Offline RebsWA

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2024, 10:16:26 AM »
Not sure about home insurance when items are seemingly "worn out"
A 10 year service life falls a bit short of my expectation given the guarantee/warrantees that came with the inverter and panels. There is no way I would outlay for off grid battery systems. I would not trust the perceived service life for a battery bank and too much bad publicity about lithiums anyway.
Old panels my be suitable for blokes like Craig but its a limited market, they are big and I dont want them laying around the place while I try to sell them
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Offline paul.o

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2024, 11:33:54 AM »
Have you thought about getting a second opinion?

Offline WilSurf

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2024, 12:59:47 PM »
I thought the panels had a guaranteed power output of 80% after 25 years?
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Offline loanrangie

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2024, 02:36:10 PM »
Put the panels up on gumtree for $40 and they will sell.
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Offline RebsWA

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2024, 02:39:18 PM »
Have you thought about getting a second opinion?
Yes, same outcome.
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Offline RebsWA

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2024, 02:40:42 PM »
I thought the panels had a guaranteed power output of 80% after 25 years?
I am onto that and will be asking the question
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Offline RebsWA

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2024, 02:42:30 PM »
Put the panels up on gumtree for $40 and they will sell.
Might keep a few and try that. Limited market where I am, I reckon.
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Offline Harbourmaster

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2024, 09:41:00 PM »
We were off grid in SA was cheaper than bringing the power in. I asked about lithium at the time but the installer didn’t recon they were worth it. We ended up with sealed wet cell batteries expected life at least 15 years.
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Offline WilSurf

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2024, 10:36:15 AM »
We are still on the "massive" $0.07 import rebate till July, at that time our system is 10 years old and will be transferred to the new DEBS scheme.
With our EV, we have a Zappi which is setup to charge only if there is surplus of power generated.
So instead of exporting it to the grid for nothing, it will charge our car.
That means charging our car will be even cheaper. From 7cents/kW it will be 2cents/kW.

We were thinking of adding panels, but it is the same as what RebsWA mentioned, panels are too old and only 260W each.
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Offline RebsWA

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2024, 11:57:55 AM »
We are still on the "massive" $0.07 import rebate till July, at that time our system is 10 years old and will be transferred to the new DEBS scheme.
With our EV, we have a Zappi which is setup to charge only if there is surplus of power generated.
So instead of exporting it to the grid for nothing, it will charge our car.
That means charging our car will be even cheaper. From 7cents/kW it will be 2cents/kW.

We were thinking of adding panels, but it is the same as what RebsWA mentioned, panels are too old and only 260W each.

Like everything else nowadays if you get ten years out of it great, but if it goes crook, then its a throwaway.
25 year panel warranty is kinda worthless IMO
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Offline D4D

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2024, 09:37:24 AM »
I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go…

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Offline prodigyrf

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2024, 04:18:34 PM »
My 2.2kW original panels were still working when the Fronius inverter died at 14 yrs 5 months and the nice installers took the lot away and installed 6.64kW with a Goodwe 3 phase inverter for $5300. Inverters die around 10 years on average and with cheaper better tech the old system is uneconomic junk and so much for net-zero and sustainability. Look on the bright side I'm changing the weather three times as much now  ;D
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Offline jclures

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2024, 09:12:41 PM »
When my inverter failed on my shed 2Kw system I just replaced the inverter with a new one. It is still making the same power now as it always did.
I do have a 6.5 Kw system as well, my total export is limited to 5Kw though.

Offline sparksy

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Re: HOME SOLAR WOES
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2024, 12:09:53 PM »
If you got 10 years out of your system then at least it paid for itself 3 times over that period.
We replaced our system from 1.5kw to 6.5kw about 2 years back.
When they came to install the new system, they removed the old panels. I made the mistake of saying Ill keep them , thinking I could sell them. Couldnt sell them and ended up taking them to the guy in Wattlegrove that recycles them.


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