Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #108

1 June 2007

Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) Rebates

The big news this month for Aussie residents is the $8/Watt solar rebate for both on or off grid systems.

There are conditions including 450W minimum size of solar panels, it must be installed by an accredited solar installer as part of a new system on a 'principle place of residence'. There is a $5/W rebate for upgrades to existing systems if you have not previously received a rebate. This is a great rebate - it basically pays for your solar panels!

There will be another rebate available from July 1st for those who are more than $30,000 away from a grid connection. Details are sketchy but we think it may offer a rebate of 50% on the whole system. If you apply for this one, you do not get the $8/W rebate.

New Products

There is a heap of new products which have been added to our web shop in the last month including:

Educational Kits - These are great for the children and all attractively priced at $19.95. There are 8 kits in the range, just click on the individual kit at: Solar Toys

Latronics Grid Connect Inverters - We have chosen the PV Edge inverters as the inverter for our 1 and 2kW grid connect kits for a number of reasons:

  • Aussie made with Aussie technical support
  • suits Kyocera 130W panels
  • can accept wind and hydro inputs
  • can easily add battery- UPS backup in these times of uncertain grid reliability
  • you can upgrade by adding 4 x 87W to the small one or 8 x 87W panels to the large one
  • you can also upgrade by buying the larger one & efficiency will be excellent even with 50% of its PV rating installed
  • you can also upgrade by buying a second unit; these can be connected in parallel to the grid and also onto a single battery bank if desired
  • it will current limit if the PV wattage exceeds the rating
  • with a battery, you can exceed the wattage (eg run some loads direct off the battery); but use a regulator
  • simple to install (wall mounted) with an easy to understand manual
  • has status LED's to let you know what is happening (you can use a PL if you wish to monitor inputs etc)
  • they are very quiet- only noise is from a small fan which is variable speed
  • small compact design with a robust torroidal transformer
  • has double pole DC breaker included
  • uses a lower (and safer) DC voltage than most grid tie inverters
  • less chance of output decline due to shading on one panel (in a long series string)

Latronics Battery Inverters - We have also added a range of Latronics inverters to compliment our popular Selectronic range. This includes a small 12 and 24V model where there is a bit of a gap in the Selectronic range as well as a range of 48V models to use with the small PV Edge inverter. This would be used where a customer with a grid connect inverter wants some battery back up.

Uni-rac Accessories - We have added some accessories to be used with the Uni-rac framing system. A few more to be added as stock and pictures become available.

Product Changes

Solar Dish Cooker - This will be out of stock for several months. We still have a number of box cookers available.

Stream Engine Hydro - This is out of stock for a few weeks. Please note there will be a price rise on the new stock.

Batteries: Some battery prices have gone up due to world lead prices.

Using a Dishwasher on Solar

A few subscribers have written in with their test results and experiences. Thanks to all of you who responded. We have updated our dishwasher page accordingly.

Sundaya Products

We are expecting a new shipment from Sundaya later in the month with a couple of new products. More about that next month.

We Celebrate 20 years!! Are you attending?

This will be our last reminder before the big event!! We hope many of you already have it in your diaries to attend. For those that haven't - your invitation is -

Join Rainbow Power Company on Saturday 30th June 2007, CELEBRATE their 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!! An open day will be held at their premises at 1 Alternative Way, Nimbin, NSW from midday. Come along and enjoy the party!! Guided building tours, featuring mud brick construction and grid connected solar power, stay for the music, good food and meet the team. Help us celebrate this fabulous milestone with one of Australia's longest standing alternative energy providers. On-site camping available. Contact Karen on 02 6689 1430 or email us for more details of accommodation or travel options.

We have not requested RSVP's - but it would be great if we have an idea if you are planning on attending.

A 'Message Board' is available for those that are unable to attend but are wishing to send their good wishes. Old photos, stories, reminiscences and funny anecdotes are especially welcome!!

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.