Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #119

Sep 5, 2008

Rebates and Feed-In Tariffs

It seems that Peter Garrett has agreed to keep funding the $8000 solar rebate (presumably till the end of the financial year) I say 'seems' because the commitment that has been given has been rather vague.

I believe both political parties in WA have agreed to implement a generous Feed-In tariff in that State. So it looks like Qld, ACT, Vic, SA and WA all have feed-in tariffs with NSW definitely looking the odd State out. Hopefully NSW Cabinet re-shuffle will bring a change of policy in this regard.

Buying Cheaper Imported Panels

There are a lot of panels now coming in from China and other places that are attractively priced. Before you buy, you might want to ask yourself how you will go at getting warranty if you need it in 5 - 15 years time.

Over the years, we have seen even brand name Western made panels fail due to manufacturing faults etc. So while panels are generally very reliable, there are occasional failures.

If the manufacturer does not have an office/warehouse in Australia , you will be relying on the importer or retailer who sold you the panels for the warranty. How long have they been in business? Do you feel confident they'll be there in 10 years if you need them?

We sell Kyocera Panels which is a long established Japanese company who have been making panels for over 28 years. They have offices in Brisbane and Sydney.

Boiling the Kettle - What is the Energy Effort?

Our FAQ inverter section has a number of articles about using kitchen appliances on solar. These include boiling water, bread-makers, toasters, coffee makers, rice cookers etc. Generally we suggest you do most of your cooking with gas if you are on a solar PV system. However, if your system is generously sized, you may have enough solar power to do some cooking during the sunny times of the year. Using a small electric kettle, I determined that it used 125Wh to bring 1 litre of water at 17 degrees to a boil.

Peter Lynch of Pelena Energy made a presentation of some interesting results to the Dorrigo Green Lifestyle Group on 14 th July 2008. The aim was to determine the cost of boiling water by mains electricity or LPG.

The water temperature was initially 8.5 degrees C and boiled at 98.4 degrees C. The cost of electricity was 17.237cents/kWh and LP gas was $2.389/kg ($107.50 per 45kg bottle). 1.43 litres of water was brought to the boil.

The cost to boil water in an electric kettle or jug was about 3 cents; using LP gas to boil a kettle cost about 5.9 cents. So per litre - about 2 cents using electricity, and about 4 cents using LP gas.

The estimated CO2 emissions were about 0.18kg with an electric kettle and 0.08kg with a kettle on a LP gas flame.

There was no difference in electricity used when using a plastic or metal electric jug.

Final Recommendations:

  • only boil as much as you need
  • turn off electric kettles once boiled, don't wait for the auto off button
  • with LP gas, keep lids on pots and keep the flame diameter about half of the pot/kettle diameter

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.