Brisbane Solar Panels

The QLD solar bonus scheme was extremely popular when it comes to Brisbane solar installations. All of QLD in fact had an extremely high uptake back in the ‘good ol’ days’ of high Feed In Tariffs. As a matter of fact, many experts say that the scheme was far too generous and caused a mini-boom in the industry. This of course is never a good thing. We all know how badly things can go with schemes like this when we remember the home insulation scandal. Brisbane solar panel installations were almost no different. I mean, a quality solar installation is a lot more involved than an insulation installation. There is a lot more at stake.

Solar Panels Home Owner Power Bill
QLD solar panel investment saves this home owner money. Image courtesy QT

Brisbane Solar – Current State of Play

Current Feed In Tariffs

So currently in Brisbane there is no state-sponsored feed in tariff. This means the government have cut any on-going payments for solar energy which you produce and don’t use. Are feed in tariffs still available? Yes, but they are minimal. The major energy retailers (Origin & AGL) offer 6c – 8c. The highest on offer that we know of is Click Energy with 10c per kWh. To put this in perspective, a typical 5kW system might export around 8kWh/day. This would amount to:

  • $175.20 from Origin Energy (per year)
  • $233.60 from AGL (per year)
  • $292.00 from Click Energy (per year)

This of course is on TOP of the energy savings you’d make by using the solar power directly. So although the feed in tariffs available now aren’t overly generous, who’d say no to an extra $300 a year?

Solar Panels Brisbane
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The “golden” rebate times

We’ve all heard about Brisbane solar installations raking in cash. Like your neighbour or cousin or brother who got a 6kW system installed back in 2012 and is now raking in a cheque each quarter instead of paying bills. Despite this sounding too good to be true, it’s not all that different to what’s available right now. That is, in terms of payback period and ROI. From an investment perspective, solar power remains a solid investment. Here’s an example:

John installed solar back in the “golden” days and got a 50c feed in tariff. He paid $12,500 for a 5kW system and now saves a total of $2,555 per year. This equals a payback period of 4 years and 11 months at an ROI of 20%.

Jane got solar just recently and only paid $6,600 for a 5kW system and now saves $1,310 per year. This equals a payback period of 5 years at an ROI of 19.8%.

These 2 examples are typical and show that solar, as an investment, hasn’t changed all that much.

Is Brisbane Well-Suited For Solar?

Of course we all see Brisbane as an ideal place for solar power, but is it actually all that good? Brisbane solar systems have to endure both extremely hot weather and some pretty rough storms just about every year. Have a think about what the ideal environment for solar panels is. Solar panels like a quiet life in the sun. The perfect scenario for Brisbane solar panels would be an inclination of about 23º a temperature of around 25ºC, facing North with just a slight breeze to help keep them cool.

DID YOU KNOW: Solar panels actually generate LESS electricity on hot days than on mild days? This is because heat has a negative effect on the electrical properties of the solar cells.

Brisbane solar systems VS Hail, wind & rain

Solar panels are made to last the distance out in the open weather. Engineers spend a lot of time trying to make sure they get the perfect balance between toughness and cost. This means, your panels probably won’t shatter in a hail storm, BUT like anything, they could break. If you get hail the size of tennis balls then I think just about everything will cop some damage. What about wind? Your installer should ensure that the solar installation complies with Australian Standards for the wind zone in Brisbane. If you’re really worried, make sure you ask them to use “cyclone-proof” fittings. This just means extra fixtures to your roof.

brisbane hail
Brisbane is notorious for hail storms.


Is Solar Still Worth Investing In For Brisbanites?

Although times have changed, rebates have dropped off and solar seems less appealing, it’s still actually quite a good investment. The price of Brisbane solar panels is much less than it has been in the past. As you can see from the above example with John and Jane, a “typical” solar investment will still deliver at least 20% Return On Investment. This is good money. Ask your bank for that kind of rate and they’ll just laugh at you. Brisbane residents are well positioned to get solar. It’s a low-cost way to save on rising power costs. Not only that, it’s one of the only ways other than turning out the lights and going back to candles!

Types of Brisbane Solar Installations

What drives types of Brisbane solar installations

Brisbane solar installers will put in whatever types of solar panels that come cheap as long as they do a reasonable job. This is why you might notice that monocrystalline solar panels used to be much more common while now everyone installs polycrystalline panels. The difference in power production is so small and the difference in cost is big.

thin film solar panels brisbane
This is what thin film solar panels look like

Monocrystalline Solar Installations

Mono panels are not as common as they used to be. Here are some facts about mono panels:

  1. Mono panels are more expensive to manufacture than poly
  2. Mono panels have a more refined final product
  3. Mono panels are technically “better” than poly
  4. The added cost of mono panels is seldom worth it for residential customers

Polycrystalline Solar Installations

Poly solar panel installations are extremely common. Most Brisbane solar installers will quote you on poly panels by default. This is because polys are a proven solar technology and are cheap. Although they are technically not as “nicely made” as monos, they are still highly efficient and product great results.

Some facts about poly solar panels:

  1. Poly panels cost less to produce than monos
  2. Poly panels have a “messier” finish to monos
  3. There is little to no benefit in avoiding poly panels when they produce the same power as monos
Poly Solar Panel Brisbane
Of course poly solar panels are alright – they are extremely common.

Thin Film Solar Intallations

Thin film solar in Brisbane is not too common. Besides the little windows on school calculators, thin film is mostly too expensive to put in. There aren’t many benefits really. They look a lot nicer, since they are uniform & black.

Brisbane Solar Inverter Technologies

In brissy, most of the inverters are just standard, string inverters. That is for residential solar anyway. With commercial Brisbane solar systems, you more commonly find three phase string inverters. What other types of inverters are there you ask?

  • String inverters (single phase)
  • String inverters (3 phase)
  • Micro-inverters

Micro inverters aren’t used that much since the benefits are minimal and they cost heaps.

Iconic Brisbane Solar Installations

There aren’t a whole heap of really iconic solar installations in Brisbane. The most obvious one that springs to mind is the large, 1.2MW rooftop array at the University of QLD in St Lucia. The UQ solar installation takes up 8,200 square metres of roof space across 4 major buildings. The system uses TRINA solar panels (TSM 240-PC05) and Aurora inverters.

Brisbane solar UQ St Lucia Campus
This pic shows all four Brisbane solar systems at the St Lucia University of Queensland


Brisbane Solar Installers

Brisbane solar installers are not exactly few and far between. I mean, they’re a dime a dozen really and it can be difficult to figure out which solar installers are any good and which ones are con artists. Hopefully we can help you out a bit with that.

brisbane solar skyline
Brisbane looks a whole lot nicer from the sky with solar panels on 1 in 3 rooftops.

Top Rated Brisbane Solar Installers

Our Solar Proof solar certification system helps consumers to see which installers are “top-rated” and which ones are worth an honourable mention. Our ranking system is designed to be extremely difficult to qualify in all areas (gold certified solar installers) but reasonably easy to qualify for bronze/silver. That is, as long as the installer is legitimate and has experience etc.

Top 10 Solar Panels 2015 | Compare Best Solar Panels


Our Solar Proof solar certification system helps consumers to see which installers are “top-rated” and which ones are worth an honourable mention. Our ranking system is designed to be extremely difficult to qualify in all areas (gold certified solar installers) but reasonably easy to qualify for bronze/silver. That is, as long as the installer is legitimate and has experience etc.

Lowest Rated Brisbane Solar Installers

We try to steer clear of naming & shaming Brisbane solar installers who don’t have a good reputation among customers. There are plenty of customer reviews out on the internet which give some juicy details of solar horror stories with certain companies. Keep in mind of course that most people will write a terrible review when they are furious, very few will write a review when they are satisfied or even extremely happy with the installation.

Best Solar Panels For Brisbane

Brisbane is not like any other place in Oz. We all agree on that. So what are the best solar panels for Brisbane conditions. Well, of course they need to withstand the occasional cyclonic weather. And also naturally hail storms come now and then. And of course heat waves bless QLD from time to time. So what are the best solar panels for Bris?

Weather Considerations

We’ve mentioned weather already. This includes:

Brisbane Solar Installers
WINAICO solar panels make a strong claim about their “hail-proof” solar panels

Lifestyle For Brisbane Solar

Of course Brisbane is perfect for solar (just about). We love our air conditioning and swimming pools right? Well those things take a lot of power to run. And with recent insane power price hikes, solar is the answer.

So should you get monos, polys, thin-film, 4kW systems or what!

The answer is of course, there is no real “best” Brisbane solar panels. But here are a few things to look out for when you choose yours:

  • Get panels with a low temperature co-efficient (0.42% per degree C or lower).
  • Get panels which are “hail-resistant” (pretty well all panels are)
  • Get “self-cleaning” panels (for the random dust storms)
  • It could also pay to make sure your Brisbane solar installer uses cyclone rated racking & fixtures

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