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Tesla starts solar roof installations at home of CEO Elon Musk and other employees

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With the release of its second quarter 2017 after market close today, Tesla confirmed that they finally started installing their solar roof tiles in homes – though those homes are owned by their executives and employees.

The company wrote in their shareholders letter sent out today:

“The first Solar Roof installations have been completed recently at the homes of our employees, who we chose to be our first customers to help perfect all aspects of Solar Roof customer experience. By pairing either Solar Roof or our existing retrofit solar panels with a Tesla Powerwall 2, our customers can enjoy sustainable energy independence.”

They are taking a similar approach as with Model 3, which is now only being delivered to employees and the first customer deliveries are not expected until October.

Hopefully, it will be sooner for Tesla’s solar roof customers, but we wouldn’t bet on it since things seem to be lagging behind at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, where they will be mass producing the solar tiles.

Earlier this year, they said that they started production at their pilot facility in Fremont and aimed to move the production to Buffalo “soon after”, but they now say that they aim to start production in Buffalo “before the end of the year”.

“We are building pilot Solar Roof products at our Fremont facility now and plan to start production at our Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York before the end of the year.”

CEO Elon Musk said those pictures were not taken for promotional purpose, but just by the installers and that he had the tiles also installed on his house as well as CTO JB Straubel’s house.

Tesla started taking orders with a $1,000 deposit for the first versions of its solar roof tiles in May and the product was sold out “well into 2018” within the first few weeks.

The company says that the “typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for a Solar Roof”. It comes with a lifetime of the house warranty and 30-year power generation guaranteed. After the electricity production, Tesla estimates that its solar roof will be cheaper than regular tile roofs or virtually pay for itself through electricity savings.

It’s still expensive enough that it only makes sense for homes with a significant market value, but the market is still expected to be quite large, especially in California.

While the product is still not widely available, Tesla is still deploying regular solar panels where it makes sense. They disclosed that their solar division, formerly known as SolarCity, deployed 176 MW of solar energy generation systems during the last quarter.

Tesla solar roof products are perfect for homeowners who want solar and need a new roof relatively soon, but a regular solar panel installation is still a better solution for people who don’t need a new roof. Solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property.

For more on info on solar panels installations and Tesla Powerwall 2 visit : www.reasolar.com.au

Is the standalone residential solar inverter obsolete?

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When is the last time you removed the side panel of your computer and replaced a network add-in card? When is the last time you installed an inverter on a residential solar system? These are basically the same question, only separated in time. In 2002, the add-in card question would have gotten you an answer; it seems unlikely today. Similarly, in relatively short order, the inverter question fill face the same fate. It’s important to note that the computer add-in card example is not arbitrary; those kinds of devices disappeared for the same reasons that the inverter is about to disappear.

I am the co-founder of an inverter company. Is this view of the inverter heresy?

It really comes down to beliefs and decisions from ten years ago, at which point the fate of PC add-in cards was already clear. Those beliefs still are: distributed energy resources should be based on a distributed architecture concept, consisting of hardware, communications technology, and software. The key decisions were: to use a systems approach (where everything works together), and using microelectronics instead of old-school approaches to energy conversion (which are locked into perpetually higher fixed costs).

The PC industry experienced the transition from many discrete devices to monolithic, integrated, multi-function devices. Semiconductor IP from previously discrete components like network cards was integrated into the latter, making a rapid reduction in part count, system complexity, and cost possible. Microinverters use this same semiconductor technology. Also like PC components, microinverters can be updated via remote software updates, which allows the rapid integration and roll out of new features. Semiconductor-based microinverters also follow the steep cost reduction curve we know from the computing world. As new generations of chips are ‘spun’, the cost of those chips is reduced.

The next great leap forward is now under way, and it centers on further integration with that other bit of semiconductor technology on residential rooftops: the module.

What does this mean for inverter companies that made the decision to use traditional means? They cannot easily integrate with solar modules. Just as with Ethernet card vendors who could not or would not pursue the inevitable integration path, inverter manufacturers that have locked themselves into technologies that cannot follow Moore’s Law will soon be in trouble. In the case of AC modules, everyone from distributor to installer will benefit from: fewer SKUs, fewer carries onto the roof, less copper, no electrical labor on the roof, and significantly less cardboard and packaging waste at the installation site, thereby making clean energy even cleaner. The installer also saves up to 12 work steps during the installation process with integrated AC modules, which reduces one of the leading drivers of residential solar installation costs, labor. Even if everything else remains comparable, this list of advantages is too long for the industry to ignore.

Companies that are dependent on selling dedicated, standalone inverters are in trouble. Companies that have not have diligently invested in R&D, not uncommon in the inverter space, and that don’t have a path to further integration should be worried. A modern, future-proof home energy system includes generation, storage, and management, backed by intelligence at each end-point. This system must have software that can updated without rolling a truck, and supply performance metrics recognized by industry standards bodies. Finally, the modern home energy system must provide rich data and apply big data analytics to drive insights about how solar must behave within the grids it occupies.

Taken together, the elements above point to a very complex system. The trick, however, is making sure that we do not burden the installer or the homeowner with that complexity. With the advent of AC modules, solar is becoming even more plug-and-play. That is another term borrowed from the computer industry, and its impact on solar will be no less profound than USB was on the PC industry.

Australia becomes 35th member of International Solar Alliance.

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Launched in Paris during the COP21 summit, the International Solar Alliance, spearheaded by India and France, has this week welcomed Australia to the fold.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has swollen to 35 countries this week following the admission of Australia.

The ISA was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then-French President Francois Hollande at the COP21 UN summit on climate change in Paris in 2015.

The aim of the ISA was to help bring financial and technical support to developing countries located within the tropics and eager to boost their solar footprint. More than 100 countries have expressed an interest in joining the alliance, but the numbers so far have been lower.

Headquartered in India and boosted by a €300 million funding pot supplied by the French Development Agency, the ISA is building towards mobilizing $1 billion in financing for global projects to support solar power growth between now and 2030.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and the Solar Corporation of India (SECI) have already contributed funds, and the addition of wealthy Australia to the ISA is likely to inject some much-needed confidence into the alliance, which has perhaps been slow to make tangible progress since its creation almost two years ago.

Indian PM Modi said Wednesday that Australia’s admittance into the alliance will provide the ISA with “a great boost”. Modi met with Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop in Delhi this week, with the two figureheads discussing bilateral relations between the two nations that were first discussed in April when Modi met with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull.

Europe Can Increasingly Be A Driver For Tesla Sales $TSLA

Summary

Europe and Asia to drive Tesla sales forward.

Long-term EV market not in doubt; Tesla's share of it yet to be determined.

Macro trends for renewable energy will be closely mirrored by EV sales.

European auto manufacturers going all-out for EV production.

The latest figures for sales emphasise the fact that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is likely to continue to grow exponentially in Europe and Asia. This will happen to EVs in general as ranges increase and prices fall. The prospects for Tesla in the USA are good short term on the back of Model 3 reservations. However, the Trump Administration's anti-environmental approach may have some negative consequences in the medium term. All the major countries in Europe and Asia have signed up for the Paris Climate Accord. The withdrawal of the USA though will probably have a knock-on effect for EV sales there.

EVs - The Big Picture.

There are those in the US who still deny the future potential of EVs (electric vehicles ). Theirs seems to be an argument against the facts. The cautious recent forecast of Bloomberg New Energy Finance illustrates this. They predict that by 2040, EVs will constitute 58% of all auto sales worldwide. This figure was up from a previous estimate of 35%. The figure will be 67% in Europe and 51% in China. They did put in the rider that recent measures by the Trump Administration might slow down the U.S. take-up rate. They may of course be wrong in their prediction, as a prediction is only a prediction.

The report from Bloomberg also estimated that ion battery prices would fall over 70% by 2030. By 2040, EVs will displace 8 million barrels of transport fuel per day and add 5% to global electricity consumption. Numerous other reports agree with this to varying degrees.

Already EV sales are moving forward in Europe and China. Recent figures show a rise of 28% so far this year in Europe. There are many indicators of this. Recent figures for China show that sales of plug-in hybrids and battery electric cars rose by 36% in the first 6 months of the year.

Why Tesla's Australian Energy Storage Installation Is Very Likely Just A Humble Beginning

Last Friday, Tesla won a tender to build the world's largest lithium-ion battery, which should help Australia ease its energy crisis.
A breakdown of company revenue reveals that energy generation and storage has been the fastest-growing segment in recent years.
With dozens of other successful commercial installations, this might be just a humble beginning of a new era for massive energy storage systems.
Tesla's pricing makes perfect sense as its primary goal is to gain market share.
With falling costs and increasing economies of scale, sooner or later, profits will come.

Introduction

In recent weeks, discussions over the credibility of Elon Musk's statements have been culminating. Even though the commencement of the Model 3 production and Q2 deliveries grabbed the most attention, the last few days indisputably belonged to Tesla's Australian energy storage deal. Much to my surprise, the project has been immediately surrounded by a strong wave of skepticism, which comes primarily from Tesla's short sellers. For example, Seeking Alpha fellow contributor Montana Skeptic wrote:

If the South Australia deal were going to change the losing trajectory of Tesla Energy, wouldn’t Tesla be announcing the great news in a press release, accompanied by tweets from Musk? Of course it would, and of course, he would.
However, as convincing as these statements and main arguments of the article may seem at first glance, I believe that they fail to put the deal in a broader context and as a result provide a distorted view of the reality.

Let me explain this further in the following paragraphs.

Is money the only benefit Tesla gets from the Australian deal?

Certainly not. As Elon Musk emphasized on several occasions, Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. In this sense, Tesla focuses on goals greater than making money every single quarter and therefore financial details of the latest giant battery deal in South Australia should be seen at least as important as the company’s reputation, credibility and expertise.

Apart from helping to solve Australia's power problems, Tesla’s energy storage solutions also support numerous other applications such as electricity price optimization or availability of an emergency backup in the event of a grid interruption due to unexpected environmental disasters, which was the key rationale for building the world's current largest battery system in Southern California.

With a constantly growing share of renewables in the global energy basket, the demand for energy storage systems will only rise. More and more commercial subjects will be looking to take an advantage of peak shaving, load shifting and demand response features of energy storage systems and therefore Tesla needs to be building its brand in this sector from now on.

Was the tender non-standard by any standard measure?

Although the majority of media reported that there were 91 bidders on the project, 14 bidders were invited to provide more detail and five considered for detailed assessment, some observers suggest that the tender was rigged and "normal bidding procedures were sidestepped". If this were true, some investigation would likely have been already launched and a tangible evidence would have been provided. Without any material testimonies, these allegations remain just false assumptions and Twitter photos will mean nothing more than Twitter photos.

As Australian premier Jay Weatherill recently commented:

In terms of making an assessment it was head and shoulders above the other bids. It also has other side benefits of providing this extraordinary international exposure for South Australia and its leadership. All of those things were powerful. It was the best value for money. Is Tesla Energy a losing endeavor?

Despite severe criticism of Tesla Energy business margins, annual data provides a different picture. As can be seen in the output from Tesla's latest 10-K below, the profitability of the energy generation and storage segment has been always poor, but overall always positive on the gross margin line.

Separating increases in revenue and cost of revenue for SolarCity and energy storage systems, the component gross profit margins for the last year then totaled 20.3 and -19.6 percent respectively. This is a lot more concerning perspective, but still understandable with respect to the energy storage industry lifecycle.

Every year, Tesla spends a significant amount of money on research and development, which usually takes long periods of time before it starts bearing any fruit. Tesla's innovation of the global energy storage industry is just at its early beginning and therefore it is highly unreasonable to expect any profits at this stage. The primary goal of the company now is to establish its presence.

Are prospects of Tesla Energy really so bleak?

As small as the energy generation and storage segment might currently seem in terms of its contribution to Tesla's total revenue, it has been the fastest-growing segment. Revenue CAGR of the segment over the last two years reached 557 percent, which reduces to 381 percent with the exclusion of revenue from SolarCity. In contrast, automotive revenue "only doubled."

Clearly, the Tesla Energy segment sales have just started gaining early momentum. As Musk indicated last year, the acquisition of SolarCity considerably simplifies the complicated bidding process for large utility scale energy storage installations and therefore the Australian giant battery deal is likely to be soon followed by other ones.
With falling costs due to technological advancements and increasing economies of scale from mass production, it is a matter of time before Tesla Energy turns profitable. It has been not so long since claimed a 35 percent battery cost reduction to about $125/kWh. If the current pace of innovation continues, Tesla battery cell costs could soon fall even below $100/kWh.

Conclusion

To sum up, it's easy to succumb to the mistaken belief that tomorrow cannot be better than today. With significant R&D investments and below-cost pricing, Tesla is playing the long game and investors should too. In order to get a deep understanding of Tesla (TSLA), one has to see things in a broader context rather than independent events. The energy storage industry is just emerging and therefore Tesla Energy's best years are yet to come.

Additional disclaimer: Please note that this article has an informative purpose, expresses its author's opinion and do not constitute investment recommendation or advice. The author does not know individual investors' circumstances, portfolio constraints, etc. Readers are expected to do their own analysis prior to making any investment decisions.

Tesla Powerpack to Enable Large Scale Sustainable Energy to South Australia

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Last September, a 50-year storm damaged critical infrastructure in the state of South Australia, causing a state-wide blackout and leaving 1.7 million residents without electricity. Further blackouts occurred in the heat of the Australian summer in early 2017. In response, the South Australian Government as a leader in renewable energy, looked for a sustainable solution to ensure energy security for all residents, now and into the future, calling for expressions of interest to deploy grid-scale energy storage options with at least 100 megawatts (MW) of capacity. This week, through a competitive bidding process, Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project. Tesla Powerpack will charge using renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and then deliver electricity during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia's electrical infrastructure. The Tesla Powerpack system will further transform the state’s movement towards renewable energy and see an advancement of a resilient and modern grid. Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period. Working in close collaboration with the South Australian Government and Neoen, this grid scale energy storage project is not only sustainable, but will help solve power shortages, reduce intermittencies, and manage summertime peak load to improve the reliability of South Australia's electrical infrastructure. In addition, Tesla’s Powerwall is now being installed for residential customers across Australia and ramping up quickly. The same technology that can help stabilize the South Australian grid can also be used by homeowners to collect energy during the day so it is stored and made available day and night, providing uninterrupted power even if the grid goes down. Tesla is proud to be part of South Australia’s renewable energy future, and we expect this project will provide a model for future deployments around the world that will help significantly accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy.

Energy is the new internet

If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in energy, you should. We’ve seen this movie before. Spoiler alert: There’s massive economic opportunity ahead. How massive? Imagine standing in 1992, knowing that Google, Akamai, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, BuzzFeed and Uber lay ahead.

This time it’s the “enernet,” not the internet, that will transform our lives. The story is the same, though the players have changed.

Here’s the tee up. Across the country, incumbent network providers operate highly centralized networks in their respective cities. Then, scrappy local outfits start serving the market with innovative, distributed technology. These startups create competition, and a new network emerges atop the legacy network.

That was the backdrop 30 years ago when a little thing called the internet emerged. Startups like CompuServe, AOL, EarthLink, Netcom and a host of other local ISPs kicked off the conversion from analog to digital by offering internet access over existing cable and telco networks.

Today, the actors are SolarCity, Sunrun and a host of others moving us off fossil fuels and into clean energy supported by smart equipment, services and software, offered atop existing utility networks. This time, it’s the enernet.

Enernet. Noun. A dynamic, distributed, redundant and multi-participant energy network built around clean energy generation, storage and delivery and serving as the foundation for smart cities.

Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison, seeded the enernet revolution more than a decade ago. He devised a breakthrough financing model that made solar affordable and scalable. He’s the Marc Andreessen of this storyline… seminal, smart and strategic.

Today, watch Elon Musk. He presented new solar roof shingles to the world a few months ago. Solar that’s affordable and attractive. Plus, he’s integrating it into a game-changing home system with storage and EV charging. Think the world’s first iPhone. Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, is poised to be an enernet giant, the Amazon of this go-around — margin-challenged in its early years, but set to move.

Let’s stop acting surprised, and instead start acting.

It goes well beyond Tesla. There is a long list of enernet innovators now emerging. They are building nanogrids, microgrids, distributed energy resources and virtual power plants. They are creating new, intelligent building materials and smart lighting. They are deploying new networks and intelligence that are driving down costs and improving services.

At heart, the enernet is the foundation for smart-city tech, including the “Internet of Things,” distributed systems, interconnected backbones and networking technologies, EV-charging services and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. These technologies will drive dramatic change and force us to rethink our cities, municipal services and sectors like transportation, insurance, real estate and financial services.

From the enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an order-of-magnitude smarter, healthier and safer. The new network will also present quantum leaps in energy security and emergency resilience that can stand in the face of superstorms or cyberattacks.

Hold on to your seats. We’re at the early stages of something immense.

Still, I hear the seeds of fear and doubt. There is an oft-cited refrain that the transition will cost a lot and take a long time. That’s absolutely silly. We don’t look back at the internet transformation from analog to digital and think, “Wow, that was slow and cost a ton of money. We should have stuck with the typewriter and landline.” Fact is, it was blazingly fast and driven by those who understood the spend as leveraged investment, not cost center.

Likewise, the move to clean energy will seem fast and prudent as solar and energy storage continue to scale, smart cities accelerate and prices continue their fall.

We also hear “the utilities are in big trouble.” Let’s not be simplistic. Google didn’t kill Comcast. Comcast is doing just fine. The utilities that own transmission and distribution networks (the wires companies) have enormous value and opportunity ahead. There is no way that the transition happens without the participation of these companies, and there is considerable economic upside ahead for them. Forward-thinking utilities — Consolidated Edison, National Grid and others — see what’s coming and are poised to thrive in the enernet world.

Sure, fossil-fuel generators and suppliers have challenges ahead, just like the content companies were challenged by newer, more flexible, cost-effective content producers. It’ll be up to the management teams at these companies to de-risk the future with intelligent investment and acquisitions. Hats off to folks like David Crane, a visionary who worked to drive that transition at NRG Energy. We will see more of that type of leadership again over the next 10 years as market dynamics shift and outcomes become more obvious and urgent to the incumbents.

That said, enernet innovation, like innovation in every other sector, is unlikely to originate from within the incumbents. If you don’t believe me, read books like The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen or this article from Accenture that asserts “corporate innovation does not work.” Unless a Lou Gerstner or Steve Jobs is at the helm of an incumbent, innovation will be acquired, not grown.

This backdrop presents incredible opportunity for startups and early investors in the space. I’m excited to be part of that, and I hope that talented entrepreneurs turn their attention from the app economy to the enernet. There’s enormous upside.

As I said, we’ve seen this movie. Let’s stop acting surprised, and instead start acting. An economic powerhouse awaits the United States. We’ll be thankful we chose to become a worldwide enernet leader, as this evolution creates a new kind of healthy, robust economy.

LG Chem unveils new battery storage, adding more choice for solar households

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LG Chem, the South Korean company with the biggest share of the grid-connected battery storage market in Australia, has released its new generation systems, promising they will offer more choice, and be cheaper, smaller, lighter, and with improved aesthetics.

LG Chem, which claims nearly half of the nascent but rapidly growing Australian grid-connected market, is offering low voltage and high voltage options to Australian households, with its new battery storage systems ranging from a stack able 3.3kWh lithium-ion system to a 9.8kWh system.

The three low-voltage battery systems (48 volt) are being offered in 3.3kWh, 6.5kWh and 9.9kWh units, while 7kWh and 9.8kWh high voltage (400 volt) battery systems are also being offered.

The new series of battery storage systems will be offered globally but will be launched in Australia first as it remains the most attractive market for battery storage because of its high electricity prices, tariff structure, high levels of rooftop solar (now at 5GW) and excellent sunshine.

Changhwan Choi, Australian Business Development Manager at LG Chem, says there is a massive opportunity in the Australian market, particularly with the ending of the premium feed-in tariffs in some states at the end of the year.

And although battery storage remains an early adopter market, LG Chem expects it to reach the mass market within a few years. “We think that at the end of this year, it will take off very sharply,” he says.

LG Chem says it has sold nearly 1,000 units since last September, which it estimates gives it nearly half of the total grid-connected battery storage market, with estimates of around 2,000 homes in total.

The South Korean company is one of a number of international and local developers which are rolling out battery storage offerings in the next few months, including Enphase, Sonnenbatterie, BYD, Redflow, Panasonic and others.

“There is a massive sustainability potential that is yet to be unlocked if Australia wants to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy,” Choi says. LG Chem says its battery storage systems are pitched at households that want to store the output of their solar systems for use in the evening, minimizing the amount of solar energy that is sent back to the grid, and which no longer attract significant tariffs.

Choi says prices for the new systems will be revealed when they are available at the end of August, but he says that costs are falling by 10-15 per cent a year, as manufacturers increase volumes, and the boost from the electric vehicle market.

LG Chem is one of many battery storage manufacturers that now offer a modular design that allows households to add capacity as needed. “If a user chooses to expand its photo voltaic system, the capacity of the storage system can also be adjusted accordingly”, says Choi.

The new systems are lighter and smaller than their predecessors. The New 6.5kWh unit is 8kg lighter and 4cm shorter than the current 6.4kWh offering. And they will be made available in varying colors – à la Tesla – in silver and “champagne gold”. They can also be installed outside the home.

Why microinverters are a good option for commercial solar projects?

Microinverters have a number of benefits when used in a commercial installation, including increased safety, NEC compliance, comprehensive monitoring, higher energy harvest, and greater reliability than many string inverter options.

Safety and NEC-compliance

Inherent to their design, Microinverters do not require high-voltage DC running across the roof as a string inverter system would. Instead, about 30V DC runs out of the panels into the microinverter and is then converted to AC power—right on the roof. This avoids the very high voltages (600V or higher) that would be running off the roof into a string system. The lower voltages of Microinverters makes the system safer for property owners, emergency responders, and maintenance workers.

AP systems and NEC 690.12

1. Microinverters inherently [by design] meet the rapid shutdown requirement without the need to install additional costly equipment.

2. When the AC utility is not present, the microinverter performs the rapid shutdown function in approximately 100 milliseconds, 100 times faster than the required 10 seconds required per code.

3. Microinverters are installed directly underneath solar modules, so all low voltage < 30VDC wiring is not accessible to the first responders eliminating any hazard.

4. In regards to APsystems Microinverters, there are no DC conductors energized more than 5 feet in length inside a building or more than 10 feet from a PV array.

Microinverters comply with the NEC standards by design. Safety codes like NEC 690.12 for rapid shutdown, and 690.11 for arc-fault protection, require quick action to protect first responders in case of a fire — the system must be de-energized within 10 seconds of shutdown under the code. Microinverters actually achieve this much quicker. When AC is not present, the Microinverters will shut down within 100 milliseconds, 100 times faster than the code requires. In the worst case, first responders on a roof with a microinverter system will encounter just 30V DC, which is not considered hazardous – and the Microinverters themselves will be under the modules, further shielding them from inadvertent contact.

System monitoring

While a string inverter system monitors groups of modules as a single unit, a microinverter system monitors each module individually. This allows the end user to check output and uptime of every single module through an online interface, for more precise system monitoring than afforded by string arrays. You will know the modules are on and running at all times, and exactly how they are performing. Any issue with a module can be easily identified and corrected – saving the time and money that would be spent trying to figure out where the problem is in a string inverter system.

Energy harvest

The next big thing for Microinverters is increased energy harvest. Microinverters, by their design, are converting power right on the roof, panel by panel. This helps minimize the effects of shading or soiling that can inhibit performance. In a string inverter system, shading across one module would compromise the entire array. Microinverters ensure that you’re producing power at the highest level per panel at all times.
Microinverters also turn on and start producing power at a lower voltage than string inverters (about 21V rather than 200V). This means that Microinverters will turn on earlier in the morning and work later into the evening, increasing energy harvest through the day.

Reliability and uptime

Reliability is important for energy harvest. Microinverters are in a unique position in regard to reliability as well. If a microinverter does fail, or has an issue, it’s only one unit out of the entire system, as opposed to a string system in which one failure will take out a whole group of modules. Reliability of the microinverter doesn’t just relate to power production, but also reliability to communicate the production of that power. If a string inverter goes down, it stops communicating information about the system. Whereas Microinverters actually create a “mesh” network; even if one unit is down, they can still talk to the others and pass performance data along back to the controller.

One last important aspect of Microinverters is that most carry a 25-year warranty, as opposed to a typical 10-year warranty from string inverters. Microinverters have proven themselves in many challenging environments and will prove a good choice in commercial-scale projects too.

Are you getting what you paid for when, and after your solar system is installed?

At REA we pride ourselves on customer service, we always go above and beyond to ensure the customer is 100% happy and gets what they envisioned. As one of the Directors of REA I make sure my install team do not leave their job unless everything is perfect ( within reason ) and this goes all the way down to sweeping the ground to make sure we have not left one ounce of rubbish! I have been in the solar and electrical industry for almost 16 years now, and from my experience it is very important to put safety first. With electrical components within the solar installation it is imperative that every point, from the circuit breakers in the meter box, to the cabling used, to the earthing points on the panels, is installed to AS300 standards. You will see hundreds of solar systems out there where the installers have run conduits across roofs, and down the side of walls, well it is absolutely my last case scenario using conduit as it looks hideous, we go above and beyond and lift roof sheets, drill down 2 story walls, just to make sure the cabling is concealed so the customer can't see it! Our after sales service is also above and beyond a normal conventional solar system, as we have panel by panel monitoring so not only can the customer monitor their system, so do we and this is 24/7 7 days a week. So if any issues came up with the system we contact you!! Here at REA we promise you will get the best solar system on the market, and that means the best installed system on the market, so are you getting what you paid for when you buy an REA solar system? To me its a no brainer it money well spent and the solar system will eventually pay itself off for you. For more information on residential solar , commercial solar , solar power , solar panels , battery storage , micro inverters , solar installers in Brisbane , Queensland feel free to contact one of our expert today!

Why install solar?

As energy prices around the country soar and electricity bills continue to grow, the necessity to install a Solar system on your home grows everyday. Homeowners are wishing to take advantage of a system which produces clean, green energy, and protects them from rising electricity costs. REA Solar can supply and install a state of the art solar system, safer than any other, which can eliminate your power bill and save you thousands.

At REA Solar we are informative and helpful from start to finish and go above and beyond to ensure that your system is installed in an extremely professional manner. Our sales team are very well educated in the solar and electrical industries, and our installers are extremely professional and will ensure the install is completed quickly and correctly everytime. We encounter a wide spectrum of jobs, some take 2 hours, some take 12, but we ensure every job is installed perfectly.

How do I know if my solar is actually working?

Some solar owners have no idea how much there solar is producing, or if it is working at all.

According to the clean energy council almost 1.25 million small-scale solar power systems were installed across the country by the end of 2013, meaning that around 3.1 million Australians now live or work beneath a set of solar panels. But how do any of these homeowners actually know if their solar is working?

Solar power is the most beneficial investments that a homeowner can make to power there home, however the type of system and monitoring ability can make a dramatic difference.

Once solar has been added to a rooftop the biggest assumption made by solar owners is that now they can set and forget. This actually couldn’t be further fro m the truth with rates of DC solar related fires, system failures, and panel damage skyrocketing. Some of the more common problems owners are facing is what is called performance downtime. This is caused by failures due to product defects or malfunctions, poor installation and environmental effects such as high grid voltage, thunder storms etc. These issues all contribute to thousands of solar systems throughout Australia not performing to their maximum potential, a problem that is most likely unknown to the owners. An American study last year actually highlighted this issue and found that 54 of 255 homes experienced issues, lowering the output and production of their system.

According to Brisbane Solar Company REA Solar’s director Michael Mrowka, all solar owners should ask themselves the questions:

How do you know your system is working correctly?
How do you know if you have a solar panel failure?

Mrowka said it is difficult to answer these questions when you have a conventional DC solar system installed. You can only see the overall performance of the system at the inverter, so if one panel is not working correctly and dragging down the whole system performance there will be massive losses and system downtime will go unnoticed. Home owners need to realize the importance of being able to monitor their system, and see that their solar production actually meets the KWh that it was sought out or expected to do. This is why it is so important to purchase solar that monitors solar and identifies that the amount of production is correct.

With Australia’s willingness to ship in all qualities of from around the world, there is an increasing push for solar buyers to really consider the types of systems they are buying, and how they are monitoring them after install.

How does an REA Solar system work?

Still trying to wrap your head around how solar works? Here is a run through of how Brisbane solar company REA Solar’s ultra system works. This is the very latest in solar technology that produces up to 25% more power than conventional systems because of its unique features!



1.   Harness the Power of the sun

REA’s world leading solar panels are installed on your roof; they capture the light and convert it to DC electricity. The higher the panel rating the power it will produce.

2.   Convert the DC power to Usable AC

Installed on the back of each panel is a micro inverter that takes the DC power generated by your panels and converts it to AC power that can then be used in your home.

3.   Connections that make it all possible

The cable and components that connect the system to your home is just as important and we use the highest rated products in the world; this ensures maximum safety and unmatched performance.

4.   Running off renewables

The system is now connected to your house mains ready for use; your meter is changed to a solar meter, which measures exported energy your house does not need. You also get paid for the energy exported.

Technological Innovations

Equals higher output and yield for 25 years