Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #125

30 April 2009

Hot Water

Last months article about the power used by the pump in an evacuated tube hot water system raised a fair bit if interest. Thanks for all your comments.

Ross near Perth was pleased to report that he has not used any 240V back-up for his 30 tube system in the past 17 months.

Gordon mentioned that he has found a supplier of evacuated tube hot water systems who uses a roof mounted tank (hence not needing any pumps). However, it is not clear to me if this is a recognised brand or practise. A quick check of Google did not seem to bring any up.

Warren (and an article in Choice in lasts month's Choice magazine) warned of the problems with systems discharging hot/boiling water in peak summer conditions (or if you were away or if the system is oversized). This can result in some loss of water (particularly for a ground mounted tank where it is very difficult to recover the water). For a roof mounted tank, this can discharge onto the roof and back into your gutters and rainwater storage tank (if you have one). Warren was dismayed to discover the skeletons of several frogs which apparently had been cooked. He now runs the discharge line straight into his tank, by-passing the gutter and his frogs.

Chinese PV Manufacturers

The past year has seen over supply of solar panels on the world market due to increased production and the world recession.

According to ChannelPartner some 250 small Chinese manufacturers out of 350 were pushed out of the market by the end of 2008 due to declining prices and reduced demand.

The Khaleej Times reports the figures as being some 300 out of 400 who may have closed their doors. Read the Khaleej Times article.

Aussie Rebates

We are very disappointed that the Rudd Gov't has severely let down the solar industry and the Green movement in general. Most voters at the last Federal Gov't elections assumed that the ALP government would be a lot greener than the previous Howard government.

The previous Howard government had pleased the solar industry by announcing funding for 2 rebate programs:

A) Solar Home and Communities Plan (SHCP) which paid $8/Watt up to an $8,000 maximum for systems close to or connected to the grid. Howard promised the Plan would run for 5 years and funds would be topped up if needed. Labour did top up the funds but introduced a means test restricting people earning over $100,000 access to the rebate. In November they announced that the Rebate would end prematurely on June 30 th and be replaced by Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). These Certificates change in market price and also depending on where you live in Australia .

For our area, the total present rebate of $8,000 + $1,000 in RECs will reduce to about $5,000 in RECs. This represents a decrease in support from the ALP Gov't of some $4,000. Incidently, this was all decided before the present recession became as serious as it now is.

B) The Renewable Remote Power Generation Program (RRPGP) was paid to those who lived remote from the grid (defined as costing more than $30,000 to connect to it). It offered a rebate up to 50% of the total system cost. It is now rumoured that this program will also end on (or even before!) 30th June due to the funds running out.

The Howard Government had provided funding for 5 years but the ALP government pillaged the funds from the scheme when it was first elected. Read this Herald Sun article.

We suggest you urgently write to your local member and to Peter Garrett asap asking them to re-instate/continue the SHCP and RRPGP rebates in the May budget.

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.