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Suppliers & Partnerships

Q&A with RACV Solar

13-09-2022

At Arden, we’re proud to partner with the best suppliers and brands to provide quality products that stand the test of time. One of our partnerships is with RACV Solar, who supply and install our solar systems.

We sat down to chat with their team to understand more about solar power, how it works and what the benefits are in choosing an RACV Solar system through Arden.

Could you run us through what is meant by solar panels, batteries and the ‘grid’?

Solar panels are solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that absorb energy from sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. Your household’s inverter converts that DC electricity into alternative current (AC) electricity, which can be used to power your home or sold back to the grid.

If you have excess energy, that energy can be stored in solar batteries. Solar batteries store excess solar power that’s generated when the sun is shining for use later on. This means your home is even less reliant on the grid, allowing you to use more solar power and ultimately buy less electricity. Solar batteries can also offer back-up power in the event of a power outage. 

The ‘grid’ refers to the network of poles and wires that transports power from generators through the high-voltage transmission network (HV power lines), then through the low-voltage distribution network (street power poles), and finally to consumers (homes and businesses). While the grid is a necessity, the power it provides – at least for now – comes from a variety of sources. Renewable energy like solar contributes to the grid but so do sources such as coal and natural gas.

 What happens to the solar energy I don’t use?

In most solar set ups, the electricity being generated by the solar panels will be the first energy source used to power the home. If you have a battery, any excess energy will then be used to charge the battery, storing that excess solar power for use later one. 

If you don’t have a battery, the excess solar power not being used will be exported back to the grid. The good thing about exporting back to the grid is that solar owners are usually paid a feed-in tariff for this exported power, meaning your solar panels could actually be making you money. 

 What are the biggest consumer benefits of solar?

Solar power allows people to use renewable energy in their home meaning they can reduce emissions and also save money. 

Many people also go solar to achieve greater security. By generating and using their own electricity, they can become more independent from the electricity grid.

 What sort of system do you supply to Arden clients and how does it work? Are there any features or benefits you could tell us about?

RACV Solar provides solar and battery systems using predominantly Trina Solar panels. Trina panels are assembled with multi-busbar half cut PERC cells. The half-cell configuration of the modules offers the advantages of higher power output, better temperature-dependent performance, reduced shading effect on energy generation, lower risk of hot spot, as well as enhanced tolerance for mechanical loading. 

For inverters, we use Sungrow and Fronius. Both Sungrow and Fronius inverters are transformerless string inverters maximizing efficiency and flexibility. Using these inverters we are able to put panels on up to 2 x roof faces capturing sun throughout the whole day. 

Adding a battery (Sungrow, BYD or a Tesla Powerwall) allows homeowners to increase energy independence and provides back-up in the event of an emergency. The battery can capture excess solar produced during the day which can be discharged at night when the sun goes down, reducing grid consumption and ultimately saving homeowners even more.

Why are the systems you supply Arden different from other solutions out there?

RACV Solar have thoroughly vetted the products used on Arden Homes over many years, ensuring that Arden clients are receiving a quality product that will stand the test of time. RACV Solar includes comprehensive monitoring on every system sold to ensure clients are seeing the greatest benefit from their investment. RACV Solar also monitors these systems proactively for 10 years to ensure the system is performing at its best.

What sort of savings or energy reductions would a standard home anticipate with solar installed? Do you have any tools to help estimate how much clients can save on their bills?

Most fully electric homes with solar installed can enjoy up to 70% savings on energy bills. 

This table may assist customers in understanding anticipated savings:

How long do solar panels last? Do the solar panels you offer Arden clients come with any warranty?

Solar panels typically last upwards of 25 years, with many panels continuing to function efficiently for decades. 

All panels RACV Solar provides to Arden Homes carry a minimum of a 25 year product and performance warranty. The performance warranty guarantees an output of at least ~87% of the nameplate value after 25 years.

 

What are the benefits of a battery and EV charger?

Batteries allow households to store excess solar power to use at any time of the day or night. This means households can use more solar power and ultimately buy less electricity. A battery can also offer back-up power in the event of a power outage. 

Home EV chargers allow EV owners to charge their cars at home. While most EVs can be charged using a standard powerpoint, EV chargers are far more efficient, charging cars faster than standard powerpoints and allowing EV owners to program their chargers to make the most of solar generation and/or off-peak electricity tariffs.

 

Building with Arden

At Arden, we’re passionate about sustainability and building beautiful homes that prioritise both energy efficiency and your comfort. As Victoria’s first volume builder to create homes that are 100% carbon neutral and all-electric as standard, we’re proud to lead the charge. You can read more about our all-electric homes here.

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