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Solar Upgrades

What to Consider?

Should I upgrade my solar system?

This is a question Sharpe gets asked nearly every day. It comes from people who have older, underperforming solar panels, or inefficient systems that were never designed properly to deliver what was required, and people whose lifestyles have changed so they now require more solar production.

There are a lot of important issues to consider regarding solar upgrades. Here is an easy guide to help you make the right decision.

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Clean Energy Council - Approved Solar Retailer

Accreditation with the Clean Energy Council recognises solar electricians who have undertaken the necessary training to service, repair, engineer and install solar systems, solar inverters, and home battery systems on Adelaide homes & offices.

CEC-accredited service, repair, installer, and designer solar electricians strive beyond industry best practice standards, producing systems that are safe, reliable, and meet customer expectations and requirements.

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Solar Upgrades Adelaide

Solar no longer covers my daily electricity use

This could be because your older systems is now inefficient. Perhaps it was never engineered correctly to suit your household’s needs and when installed wasn’t located to take full advantage of sunlight hours. These problems could be compounded by recent increases to peak-time power use, reduced feed-in tariffs and maybe a change in lifestyle with a growing family.

As well, over the past 10 years you may have got out of expensive gas for cooking and heating, installed reverse-cycle airconditioning and other electrical systems, all of which demand more power from your solar system.

What do you want to achieve?

Every household has different requirements for energy use. So it’s important that your end goals are determined early on.

Let’s look at the common scenarios.

Can I upgrade without losing my long-running and generous feed-in tariff?

If you have the high, pre-2012 feed-in tariff, you need to be very careful that any upgrades undertaken don’t increase production to levels that contravene the original contract.

Having said that, you can use the major technological advances the solar industry has achieved in the past 10 years to maximum production in daylight hours. For example you need fewer panels to achieve the same production level and the latest panels even work in low-light situations.

Sharpe, an experienced, long-running Adelaide-owned and run company, will give you written confirmation that any changes to your system won’t jeopardize your current feed-in tariff.

My quarterly power bill is still over $400, despite the good feed-in tariff…

In this case it probably would be a better option to get a completely new system engineered to suit your home and lifestyle. The overall reduction in your power bill would more than outweigh the loss of a high feed-in tariff from an inadequate system. But again, you need an experienced and reputable company to undertake this work. Sharpe only supplies and installs the highest-quality solar systems and components to ensure the best return on your investment.

Solar Service - Clean and Inspection

How do I take control of my night-time power use?

The first step is to shift appliance operation times to the part of the day when power is cheapest to buy. Using dishwashers, swimming pool pumps, clothes driers, etc in this way greatly reduces peak power usage. Power authorities are planning periods during daylight hours when a “time of use tariff” or “solar sponge” is enacted to balance out the amount of solar power within the grid. Sharpe will keep you updated on this as it evolves.

Depending on your power demand, solar-powered battery storage may be a viable option for larger families. Solar energy not used during the day is stored in the battery and released at night to power the house at minimal or no cost.

Solar Service - Clean and Inspection

What are the limitations to upgrading?

We’ve already spoken about the risks of losing a generous feed-in tariff. Generally speaking, feed-in tariffs are reducing as more people join the rooftop solar revolution. This means systems need to be engineered to deliver maximum results. Here are some other points to consider.

System size

The SA Government limits domestic rooftop solar systems to 15kW. That will still be enough for even a large household to add effective battery storage.

The majority of SA homes use a single or string inverter. Government regulations permit a solar system to produce 133 per cent of the inverter’s peak power rate. This means a 5kW system, which is a typical size these days, can have a maximum production rate of 6.65kW.

Roof area and sun alignment

Is there enough room on your roof for the system size you want? Are there shade issues? Does the main part of the roof face north so your panels capture the maximum amount of sun?

Sharpe Services are experts in adapting technology to suit the application. For example a system could be split across to roof areas to capture northern and eastern or western sun.

Mis-matched solar panels

Depending on the age and quality of your existing solar system, there can be compatibility issues when adding new solar panels to an older system. Sharpe has a range of options to overcome this problem. Again, this brings in the issue of whether an underperforming system that is 10 years or older is worth upgrading or simply replacing with an equivalent sized but much more efficient system that uses the latest solar technology.

Micro-inverters are the best way to overcome these issues if you want a larger system or for improving your energy efficiency. You can add more solar panels as required as each panel is fitted with a micro-inverter that works independently of all the others. Micro-inverters are also the best option if your solar system suffers from shade issues as one panel affected won’t drag down the whole system, like it does with a string inverter.

Adding more Solar Panels  vs  Installing Battery Storage

Generally speaking, if the size of your power bill remains above $400 a quarter even with solar installed you are in the ballpark to consider adding battery storage. But, as we’ve said before, you need qualified, experienced experts to engineer a suitable outcome to give you the best return on your investment. With its long daylight hours and generous government incentives, battery storage figures add up best in South Australia. So it’s definitely worth considering.

A key element is your household’s time of maximum power usage. For example a young, busy family will be using power most in the early evenings. A retired couple will most likely be using most of their power during daylight hours.

Get the best advice, followed by supply and installation of industry-leading solar/battery combinations, from Sharpe.

Solar Service - Clean and Inspection
Solar Service, Check and Clean Adelaide

Full Solar Service, Check & Clean Inspection

For only $165, we offer a total solar system maintenance and system checks package. The inspection entails:

  • Provide you with a full solar system inspection, with a detailed report after completion. Sharpe Group will quote you for any additional service work required (if applicable on findings).
  • Our solar inspection involves a 50 point check.
  • Problems will not fixed during check – but we will advise you of any problems and then provide quote to rectify any problems found.
  • Solar Inspection is a fixed quote and can take up to 2 hours to complete. The Average inspection takes 30mins – 60mins.

A huge range of Solar Inverters & Solar Panels brands Serviced, Repaired & Installed

Our team can assist you with the servicing and repairs of all kinds and brands of solar inverter and solar panels along with the supplying and installation of new ones too.

Solar Inverters Service & Repairs

Aero Sharp
Bosch Solar Energy
CMS Group
Ever Solar
JFY Tech
Power One
Samil Power
Schneider Electric
Solar Edge
Solax Power
Sunna Inverters
Sunny Roo
Zever Solar

Solar Panels Service & Repairs

Canadian Solar
Hyundai Solar
JA Solar
Jinko Solar
Longi Solar
Risen Solar Technology
Seraphim Solar System
Solar Edge
Trina Solar

If you are unsure on what to look for in Solar Systems contact us to speak with one of our solar service specialists or complete our booking request today and we will get back to you shortly.

With over 40 years of experience Sharpe Services delivers you with the best advice and services in Adelaide. Work with our team for reliable, quality and professional services for your solar system requirements. You can trust Sharpe Services for reliable advice and services from accredited Solar Technicians Adelaide who strive to be the best in what they do. Find a solar technician in Adelaide with Sharpe Services which is closer in distance and can be with you as soon as possible.

It is important to get hold of a Solar Electrician technician when in doubt of a solar system issue. Call Sharpe Services on 131 750 or fill in our online booking form for guidance until support arrives.

Accredited Solar Electricians with the best tools and equipment

We only employ fully trained Solar Electricians Techs and we are a member of the Clean Energy Council. Our solar techs drive fully-stocked service vehicles with the full range of common stock items and repair equipment. Our solar electricians specialise in all home and office solar systems ready to fix, repair or replace your solar panels or your solar inverter.

Service Within the Hour

When life throws you a Solar PV System emergency, call Sharpe Services on 131 750, our certified solar electricians can be there Within the Hour. With 30+ fully equipped vans located across Adelaide, we’re ready to fix, repair or replace solar inverters, solar burnouts, isolator switch issues, broken panels or whatever your Solar Panel System or Battery Storage has to throw at you.

Friendly Local Solar Techs

Our Local Solar Electricians are genuinely friendly people who care. They do the job properly, are informative and clean up before they leave, all with a smile on their face. 

You are our lifeblood and we strive to keep you happy!

Lifetime guarantee

Sharpe Solar Services are industry leaders. Our Solar Electricians are accredited, insured and trusted advisors when it comes to your all your solar requirements. With the best-certified tradesman backed by the top lifetime Guarantee, which fully covers all labour beyond the industry standard 1-year.

Sharpe Services

With over 40 years in the industry and 30+ vans located across Adelaide, we’re here for the long run. We employ fully trained & licenced techs who are Solar Electricians, A/C Techs, Plumbers, GasFitters, Electricians and Wifi/Data Cablers, and we ensure that they receive continuous training to keep them up to current regulations and standards, ensuring you receive only the best.