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Good solar starts with the client making the effort to appreciate what is needed for a quality system and continues with good design and insatallation. The key features are;

  • Good information from the client on power bills, perhaps CSV data as well from their smart meters. The more information the PV solar system designer has the better the design.

  • The design must account for the site in regards to using the best roof space, minimising shading (for microinverters some shading is not a major concern). A roof inspection is usually required to confirm your roof is in good condition--suitable for the life of the PV solar system.

  • The design should not be oversized. The size needs to meet your demand, with the right size to provide sufficient generation for at least Spring, Summer and Autumn. Covering the Winter period is always difficult, and this is normally the compromised period of the year.

  • Good equipment. Microinverters and high quality string invertersalonmg with Tier 1 modules are essential for a quality system and a long life. Product warranties should be a minimum of 10 years.

  • Good installation. Experienced electricians with many years of PV solar installation experience are the best tradesmen to use for the installation. 

  • Good back-up. Once it is installed and commissioned it is important to provide good back-up for issues that may occur early in the life of a system and for continuous monitoring and maintenance activities.

  • Good maintenance. Like any complex system it will give its best if it is well and regularly maintained. Cleaning of modules should be done at least every 3 or 4 years, and more regularly in dusty and salt spray areas.




Bad solar often starts with unreal expectations and the customer then buying the cheapest possible system with no regard to quality.

  • System Price. If a system is offered at a very low price  then something is wrong. does the price include installation, inspection and any ongoing monitoring?? Are Queensland STCs being offered etc etc. You need to ask about the scope of supply and the quality of equipment.

  • Cheap string inverters. These inverters will usually fail within 10 years or even shortly after they are installed.

  • Cheap modules. If the modules are not Tier 1 and are not PID free then it is likely they will fail within 10 years. Sometimes the loss of production is not obvious or difficult to evaluate, especially if it is a string system.

  • Poorly supported modules litter the landscape. This can lead to module failure over time and when the modules are presented for replacement under warranty, they will be rejected because they were not installed per the manufacturers recommendation.

  • Unprotected isolators. Isolators not protected from the elements by installing under the modules (for tilt frames) or with stainless steel covers will eventually fail. In the worst case this may lead to fires with all sorts of consequences.

  • Undersized cabling. The allowable voltage drop is 1% and many "cheap" systems will use 2.5mm2 cable when 4mm2 or 6mm2 cable is required.