For those interested, here are some details about my Solar Panels:

Scroll down to see the latest news about the system, last entry 11.2.2012
1.4 t of CO2  are saved every year

Installed Feb. 11. 2009 4pm
Feb .12.2009 was partly cloudy, as you would expect!
Anyway, max power observed  was 1102W.
Even with cloudy skies the power was around 300W, I was impressed.
Feb.12.  @ 5pm it had collected 6 kWh, worth AU$ 0.84
The meter was  going backwards quite often, what fun to watch!

Facing East, no North facing roof is available

Mounted on the rafters through the tiles with stainless steel fittings.

View from down the road 

Inverter Installation:

Feb. 13. 2009, partly overcast day, even some rain. Maximum observed solar power input 1102W.
Collected Energy this day: 4kWh
Collected Energy since Feb. 11. @ 4pm: 10.4 kWh
Feb.14.2009 was a dead loss. Very cloudy all day. Produced only 1.2kW
Feb.15. 2009  , 6kWh on a sunny day. A pattern seems to be emerging:-)
Feb. 16. & 17. more of the same

Feb.18. 2009,  exactly 1 week since  installation.
Today the new digital power meter was installed by Western Power.
No advantage to me. You only really need it if you would  want Smart Power.
Sadly, now I can't see the meter running backwards any more....
This will cost me another $655+ but I had no choice. Western Power wants it.
It's part of the rebate conditions.
And Synergy will take the GST off my feed-in power revenue :-(

If this looks like your meter, you will only have to pay $65 for re-programming.

Over 90  hrs  "light time", or 7 days, my panels have produced  35 kWh of energy.
1 day was cloudy with even some rain, 2 days were partly cloudy.
If this would be the average over the year (unlikely), it would produce 1.82 MWh/year.
A total value of  $255 or $42.5 off each power bill.
(that's with 1 kWh costing 14c)
It will take 14 years to break even for my investment, the government rebate not considered.

But it will save tons of coal and greenhouse gases  and support the power grid.
We know that electricity prices will soon rise to reflect a more realistic market.
With more decentralised renewable energy we may need less substations, if the
maximum usage is really happening with lots of Air Conditioning on hot days.

From what I've heard many areas in Perth are already in dire need for an upgrade.

From now on I will report in longer intervals.

Feb.25.2009, 2 weeks after installation of the system (Showers today)
Total Electrical Energy collected: 69kW
Total hours of useful daylight: 178 hrs
The new meter was installed for only 1 week
Total energy taken from the grid was: 54 kWh
Total energy fed back into the grid : 14 kWh
Average daily units to pay: 54/7=7.7 kWh
Average daily units I sold: 14/7 = 2 kWh
(this means that I used about 3 kWh/day unmetered)
Average daily units produced form sunlight: 69/14 = 4.93 kWh
I must have been conservative in power use, cause normally the average daily consumption was 15kWh.

Tuesday 3.3.2009
Total energy taken from the grid was: 95 kWh
Total energy fed back into the grid : 23 kWh
The System has produced 94.5 kWh over 246 hrs since installation

Wednesday 1.4.2009
Total energy taken from the grid was: 290 kWh
Total energy fed back into the grid : 81 kWh
The System has produced 234.2 kWh over 600 hrs since installation

On average the panels produce 0.390kw in daylight.
If I could track the sun I estimate to be able to raise this figure by 33%.

A big letdown is that I will have to pay $655 for a new meter I don't need.
The only advantage it gives me, or the government, is that it measures the energy I feed back in the grid.
For me it opens the option of switching to Smartpower, which I am not using right now. I will look into this option after I have more data. Smartpower has a different tariff depending on the time of the day.

I would be happy to just have the meter run backwards. I will not produce more than I use anyway. I don't need to bill Synergy, especially since they want to read the meter every month now. What for? A $30 bill for me to pay?
(That turned out not to be the case. Sanity prevailed)

Should  the government decide, however, to make Synergy pay me a lot more for the delivered energy (like in South Australia) , the new meter could be paid in less than 5 years.

Here my first power bill:

Shocking, because of the new meter. But:

Usage, minus directly used energy: 366+79 = 445kWh = 7.6 kWh/day
Sold: 91 kWh = 1.57 kWh/day
This brings my energy consumption back to about 6kWh/day.
Last year same time it was 11 kWh/day
Not bad, especially since we are really 2 households.

Today 29.May 2009
was a sunny day. Collected only 2.9 kWh
I bet with proper tracking it would be 5 kWh
Sold power , meter display 107, is 134 kWh
Used power, meter display 07, is 822 kWh

Today 17.June 2009
was a sunny day. Collected 2.71 kWh
Sold power  is 141 kWh
I do need tracking....

After a long winter break, there is a milestone.
Today, 20.11.2009, I crossed the 1 Mega Watt Hour threshold:

Of which this much was sold to Synergy:

Not exactly a fortune, but better than nothing.

15.1.2010, I received a cheque over $347 from Synergy.
A refund for the new 3 phase meter.
The installation cost  (I paid $655) , after reviewing their fees and charges, has been found to be lower than thought!
Thank you every one who complained about the ripoff!

Now  there is a letter from the WA government that says:

I will receive:                
  • March 2010 - June 2010 $130 (got that)
  • October 2010 - December 2010 $301
  • October 2011 - December 2011 $ 652
So $1083 is supposed to compensate me for not getting a proper gross feed-in tariff .
I also may be eligible to receive the new net feed-in tariff from July 2010 on. How about that!
Read up on http://www.clean.energy.wa.gov.au/pages/re_feed-in_tariff.asp

11.2.2011 exactly 2 years since installation

Reading on the inverter is 3076 kWh over 8574 h
The sytem procuced 0.359 kWh/daylight hour on average
4.213 kWh/day on average

Sold to Synergy was 945 kWh
Total bought from Synergy since Feb.09  7578 kWh

This means I used alltogether 9709 kwh ( 7578(bought)+3076(produced)-945 kWh(sold), solar included) over 2 years
which is 13.3 kWh/day
net usage over 2 years is about 10 kWh/day (remember, 2 households)

31,7% of my electricity use is produced by the sun
30% of the electricity I collect from the sun is sold to Synergy

3076 kWh * .09 kg/kWh = 277 kg of CO2 proportionally goes into the production of my solar cells, according a studie of Prof. Manfred Lenzen (http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2008/s2672323.htm)

3076 kWh * 1 kg/kWh = 3076 kg of CO2 would have been created by coal power plants

2800 kg = 2.8 t of CO2 over 2 years was saved by installing just 6 Photo Voltaic panels

11.2.2012  3 years since installation

Produced electrical energy is 4558 kWh over 12833 hours of daylight
4.163 kWh/day on average
0.3551 kWh/h daylight

Sold to Synergy 1420 kWh
Total bought from Synergy since installation 12834 kwh
So, all is stable, it produces about 1.5 MWh/year

Assuming $ 0.46/kWh I made $653 selling
and with $0.21/kWh I saved $659 by using solar directly
which makes $1312 income over 3 years

Without the special feed-in tariff it would generate $315 per year
At today's prices that's OK but with what it has cost 3 years ago, well let's not talk about it.....


Thanks for dropping in!

Any comments please email Tony at