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          1. News & Information

            30 kW Solar Systems

            If you’re looking into powering your business with solar energy, you’ve probably noticed that commercial solar systems come in a?wide range?kiloWatt (kW)?ratings. Like many potential solar investors, you may be unsure of what these ratings mean in practical terms.

            Put simply, the kW rating refers to a solar?system’s capacity for energy output in conditions of unobstructed sunlight.?Bigger is not necessarily better, though – it comes down to the individual needs of your site, operations and finances.

            While?large-scale commercial solar systems?of?100kW?or more can be well-suited to businesses with very high energy usage, they often go far beyond what’s needed (and viable) for smaller businesses.

            Systems sized at around the 30kW size are a popular choice for commercial sites with low to medium energy usage – with annual electricity costs of around $15,000.

            Savings and ROI

            If you’re looking at solar systems in the realm of 30kW, it pays to investigate how much energy these solar?systems are able to produce and compare this to your power bills.

            In doing this, it’s important to keep in mind that a solar system’s generating potential depends on a number of?case-by-case variables.

            For example, your site’s?geographic location influences the amount of available sunlight, and this determines the generating potential of a solar system. Brisbane, for example, receives ample sunlight year-round, so solar systems up north will likely generate more energy.

            Other factors to take into account include:

            • Solar system quality
            • Structural features, such as roof type, orientation and shading
            • Obstructions to light
            • Seasonal variables

            That said, as a rough estimate,?a 30kW solar system can generate energy of value equivalent to $10,000 to $20,000 per annum.?For businesses with annual electricity bills roughly around the $15,000 mark, a solar system of this size has the potential to dramatically reduce (if not eliminate) the need to buy energy from the grid, while not wasting capital on purchasing and maintaining a solar system that generates more power than you can use.

            For businesses with electricity usage at around this level, full return on investment for a 30kW system is generally achievable in under 5 years, with these systems costing between $32 000 and $55 000 on average.

            Spatial Factors

            While cost is key when thinking about installing a?commercial solar system, spatial considerations are a further deciding factor.

            While it’s clear that solar systems with higher capacities can generate more energy and have a higher ROI, many small to mid-sized commercial sites simply don’t have the roof space or layout to support a large scale solar system.

            A 30kW solar system can often be suited to such cases, offering significant power bill cuts and emissions reductions within the scope of a smaller rooftop.

            Typically, a solar system of this capacity will require around 120-140 panels, depending on the make of panels and the tilt of the roof. This means you’ll need suitable roof space with dimensions somewhere in the ballpark of 150-200m2.

            Our?commercial solar panel calculator?is an easy way to get an overview of how many panels your site’s roof can accommodate.

            From there, a Cherry Energy Solutions expert can assist you?exploring the possible extent of the savings that solar can provide for your business.

            Case Study

            IBIS Hotels’ Redcliffe?branch sought a solution to reduce operating costs and enhance sustainability credentials. With round-the-clock operating hours, the site’s energy consumption was high.

            Cherry Energy Solutions?installed a 29.15kW solar system. Composed of 110 x 265kW solar panels, it will generate an estimated 46 000 kWh of energy annually, which translates to a saving of $13,850 per year. In addition, the business will reduce their carbon footprint by 40,000 kg CO2 per annum.

            This strong reduction in energy costs means IBIS Redcliffe can expect to see a rapid return on their investment?howellsac.com, plus protection from rising and volatile electricity prices as well as committing to a more sustainable future.

            See more on this project?here.

             

            Ready to find the right fit?

            For small to medium businesses investing in commercial solar, it’s essential to choose the right solar system size for a balance of maximum power bill cuts and optimal cash flow.

            To explore whether a?30kW solar system?is the right choice for your business, book a consultation with the experts at?Cherry Energy Solutions?today.

            Book a Consultation

            News & Information

            30 kW Solar Systems

            If you’re looking into powering your business with solar energy, you’ve probably noticed that commercial solar systems come in a?wide range?kiloWatt (kW)?ratings. Like many potential solar investors, you may be unsure of what these ratings mean in practical terms.

            Put simply, the kW rating refers to a solar?system’s capacity for energy output in conditions of unobstructed sunlight.?Bigger is not necessarily better, though – it comes down to the individual needs of your site, operations and finances.

            While?large-scale commercial solar systems?of?100kW?or more can be well-suited to businesses with very high energy usage, they often go far beyond what’s needed (and viable) for smaller businesses.

            Systems sized at around the 30kW size are a popular choice for commercial sites with low to medium energy usage – with annual electricity costs of around $15,000.

            Savings and ROI

            If you’re looking at solar systems in the realm of 30kW, it pays to investigate how much energy these solar?systems are able to produce and compare this to your power bills.

            In doing this, it’s important to keep in mind that a solar system’s generating potential depends on a number of?case-by-case variables.

            For example, your site’s?geographic location influences the amount of available sunlight, and this determines the generating potential of a solar system. Brisbane, for example, receives ample sunlight year-round, so solar systems up north will likely generate more energy.

            Other factors to take into account include:

            • Solar system quality
            • Structural features, such as roof type, orientation and shading
            • Obstructions to light
            • Seasonal variables

            That said, as a rough estimate,?a 30kW solar system can generate energy of value equivalent to $10,000 to $20,000 per annum.?For businesses with annual electricity bills roughly around the $15,000 mark, a solar system of this size has the potential to dramatically reduce (if not eliminate) the need to buy energy from the grid, while not wasting capital on purchasing and maintaining a solar system that generates more power than you can use.

            For businesses with electricity usage at around this level, full return on investment for a 30kW system is generally achievable in under 5 years, with these systems costing between $32 000 and $55 000 on average.

            Spatial Factors

            While cost is key when thinking about installing a?commercial solar system, spatial considerations are a further deciding factor.

            While it’s clear that solar systems with higher capacities can generate more energy and have a higher ROI, many small to mid-sized commercial sites simply don’t have the roof space or layout to support a large scale solar system.

            A 30kW solar system can often be suited to such cases, offering significant power bill cuts and emissions reductions within the scope of a smaller rooftop.

            Typically, a solar system of this capacity will require around 120-140 panels, depending on the make of panels and the tilt of the roof. This means you’ll need suitable roof space with dimensions somewhere in the ballpark of 150-200m2.

            Our?commercial solar panel calculator?is an easy way to get an overview of how many panels your site’s roof can accommodate.

            From there, a Cherry Energy Solutions expert can assist you?exploring the possible extent of the savings that solar can provide for your business.

            Case Study

            IBIS Hotels’ Redcliffe?branch sought a solution to reduce operating costs and enhance sustainability credentials. With round-the-clock operating hours, the site’s energy consumption was high.

            Cherry Energy Solutions?installed a 29.15kW solar system. Composed of 110 x 265kW solar panels, it will generate an estimated 46 000 kWh of energy annually, which translates to a saving of $13,850 per year. In addition, the business will reduce their carbon footprint by 40,000 kg CO2 per annum.

            This strong reduction in energy costs means IBIS Redcliffe can expect to see a rapid return on their investment?howellsac.com, plus protection from rising and volatile electricity prices as well as committing to a more sustainable future.

            See more on this project?here.

             

            Solar Power Potential by Region

            The amount of power that can be generated by a 100kW system depends in part on its geographic location. This is due to the differing amounts of sunlight available in different parts of the country.

            This is something to take into account when considering moving your operation to commercial solar power. Brisbane, for example, receives ample sunlight year-round. This means that systems placed in this part of the country can generate more power than those in, say, Melbourne or Sydney.

            Capital City kWh/m2
            Sydney 1,700
            Melbourne 1,600
            Brisbane 1,900
            Canberra 1,900
            Perth 2,000
            Darwin 2,100

            Just Under 100 kW Solar System Project (Case Study)

            Timber and truss manufacturer Peuker & Alexander sought a solution to save on the massive energy usage at their?Campbellfield industrial space. Cherry Energy installed a premium 99kW solar system, comprising 384 x 260W panels with 25kW inverters.

            This scale of system is capable of generating over 118,000 kWh per annum, translating to an average value of nearly $21,000 annually. This solution was combined with other methods of reducing power consumption, such as retrofitting light fittings with?energy-efficient LEDs, to more than double that value.

            The solar system chosen, with its rating falling within the 99.9kW or less range, fell into the small-scale stream of government incentives. This made Peuker & Alexander eligible for 1,700 Small-Scale Technology Certificates, equivalent to a $65,000 discount on system installation costs. Visit?bombtechgolf.com.

            Ready to size up the options?

            When investing in commercial solar, it pays to maximise your savings by choosing the right system size for your space and energy needs. Begin the process by consulting with the?efficiency experts at Cherry Energy today.

            Book a Consultation

            Q Cells Solar Panels Review Leading the Way in Solar Technology

            Cherry is proud to be supplying?Hanwha Q-Cells solar panels. Q-Cells have consistently raised the bar in terms of solar energy research and is now the world’s largest solar cell manufacturer.

            Offering market leading 12-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty, Q-Cell solar panels are built to last and are guaranteed to stand the test of time. Perfect for?commercial solar energy systems.

            • Higher yield per surface area and lower BOS costs and higher power classes.
            • Optimal yields, whatever the weather, with excellent low-light and temperature behaviour.
            • Long-term yield security with Anti PID Technology, Hot-Spot Protect and Traceable Quality Tra.Q.
            • High-tech aluminium alloy frame, certified for high snow and wind loads.

            Here they are in action on the roof at Advance Chemicals in Altona!

            Book a Consultation

            How Do Solar Panels Work?

            Whether you’re looking to invest in a?solar systems?or you’ve already made the leap, you’ve probably wondered about the finer points of how solar panels actually work.

            Here’s our breakdown of what’s happening on your rooftop, and where?PV technology?could take us in the future.

            how do solar panels work

            How do PV panels work?

            In short, photovoltaic solar panels?work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity. Composed of silicon cells interconnected to form a circuit, they can be built in different sizes and styles to suit a variety of end uses. For example,?a panel for a commercial-scale system may incorporate more cells than a panel for residential use.

            Many people don’t realise that it’s?light from the sun, rather than heat, that solar systems receive energy from. Sunlight is composed of photon particles, which release electrons when they hit a panel’s silicon cells.

            Once released, the electrons dart around and, assisted by an electric field, generate energy. They proceed to move through the panel and along the solar system’s ‘string’, which bridges the individual panels in the array.

            Finally, the electrons arrive at the system’s solar inverter.?This is a key part of the system, because panels convert sunlight into low-voltage DC (direct current), and most buildings are wired for higher-voltage AC (alternating current) electricity. Therefore, in order for us to use the energy generated by the panels, it’s essential that the electricity passes through an inverter, which adapts the voltage from the panels. If all this seems awfully complicated, go ahead and visit our Youtube channel promoted by?pistachioconsulting.com. We have plenty of informative videos out there, including one explaining in detail how our solar panels work.

            The power can then be directed in one of two ways. It can be?fed into the grid, resulting in a utility credit for the owner, or stored in a?solar battery storage?system such as the?Tesla Powerpack.

            What’s does the future of solar panels look like?

            Advances in solar technology is an ongoing process, and essential if we hope to take full advantage of the energy available to us from the sun.?The cells we currently use convert around 15-19% of the energy in sunlight into electricity, so there is clear potential for development.

            A key direction in research is the development of materials for cheaper and more efficient solar panel manufacturing. Currently, cells are constructed with a layer of semiconducting silicon, and this needs to be around 200 micrometers thick for efficient light absorption. Other materials are more effective at absorbing light, and so could be used in much thinner layers. Potentially, these could be manufactured at a lower cost than silicon, meaning more panels could be created and utilised.

            Printable PV technology?is one possible application of innovations in PV materials, enabling rapid and ultra-cheap solar cell manufacturing. A research team at the?University of Newcastle?have developed a?printable PV?that’s near ready for commercial use. Of course, manufacturing costs are only one part of the story, as these do not account for cost per kilowatt-hour across the lifespan of solar system.

            With a projected lifespan of 1-2 years,?these cells have very low longevity, but this is balanced by their low cost of manufacturing and installation.?To be truly efficient, they will also need to be recyclable, which at this point appears to be a possibility.

            Alongside innovations in materials, solar panel design is another potential area for improvement. Currently,?most panels are stationary,?which means they miss light that could be captured if they moved with the sun. Making cells more compact would enable more cells to be packed into smaller spaces.

            What does this mean for me?

            As a means of generating power, PV panels aren’t going anywhere. However, it will be some time before these advances become commonplace, and you shouldn’t wait to invest in solar panels if you want to reap the?benefits of solar power for business.

            When setting up commercial solar,?it remains worthwhile to go for premium solar panels?and skip the cheaper options on the market, as these are generally of lesser quality. Premium panels are constructed with higher quality silicon, which minimises the likelihood of microscale cracking.?They also tend to have more consistency between cells, enabling smoother electricity generation.?This all adds up to better efficiency and lifespan than you’d get with cheaper panels, and ultimately better value for money.

            To discuss your needs and find out more about commercial solar panels,?contact?the friendly team at?Cherry Energy Solutions?today.

            Book a Consultation

            Solar Panel Drone Inspections.

            Thanks to an ongoing demand for?commercial?solar, the competitive solar industry is introducing groundbreaking new?developments in rooftop inspection technology. Increasingly,?drones are being used?during/for installation and maintenance processes to reduce turnaround times and optimise system performance, without compromising on quality or safety.

            Here, we outline some of the ways drones are being used to accomplish this.

            How it works

            Like any other infrastructure, solar panels may need maintenance. Depending on factors such as their make, positioning and environmental conditions, individual panels can sustain damage or otherwise malfunction.

            Their surfaces can also become dirty, dusty or scratched and/or covered in bird droppings or lead litter, all of which can interfere with their performance.

            Addressing these issues could mean identifying their location of the affected panels in the system. Doing this manually can be time-consuming, especially in large arrays.

            Solar panel inspections using drones?enables this to be?done in minutes?with a high degree of accuracy.

            Drones can also be used in site inspections ahead of installation to?identify potential issues?with your rooftops that may impair?system performance or safety.

            This all adds up to?significant time and money saved?through less backtracking and more accurate, comprehensive and detailed inspections than would otherwise be possible.

            Thermal Imaging

            Drones can be equipped with specialised software that enables them to?generate thermal maps of your rooftop.

            This enables a clear visual overview of how heat is distributed over your roof area, which in turn provides valuable information for?optimising the positioning?of solar panels for capturing sunlight.

            Thermal imaging drone?technology can also be used in solar panel maintenance to detect defective cells, meaning more rapid and targeted repairs or adjustments.?This saves time and minimises lost energy output.

            Carrying out large scale tasks, such as?inspecting solar farms, with thermal imaging drones?is proving to be highly effective. This has led to the emergence of?drone thermal imaging companies, specialising in land surveying in the roofing, insurance and solar industries.

            Thermal imaging drone

             

            Meet Berty?

            As part of integrating drone technology into our processes, Cherry Energy Solutions has?developed a class-leading rooftop software program, affectionately known as Berty.

            Berty uses line-of-site vision alongside predictive AI to?identify hazards and potential weak spots on your rooftop, allowing faster turnaround and enhanced results in our installation and maintenance work.

            See Berty in action.

            Cherry Energy’s Inspection Service?

            Prior to commencing any works, we launch Berty at your site so she can take high-resolution images and videos of your rooftop.

            This means any necessary maintenance on your roof can be completed?prior to solar panels being installed.

            As part of your installation, you’ll receive an ‘on roof’ walkthrough detailing critical electrical connections, design flow, how the system will be installed, plus key training advice for your wider team.

            By providing the walkthrough at rooftop level, Berty provides insights that go beyond the operations and maintenance manual (also included). An additional benefit of this is that it allows you to?share your sustainability journey?throughout your organisation.

            At maintenance visits, Berty will take thermal imagery of your panels to ensure your system is performing as it should be.

            This provides?advance warning of any potential panel ‘hot spots’?before your monitoring system may detect them. If an issue is detected, it can then be corrected while we are onsite.

            We’ll also share your new digital rooftop fingerprint with you, including?high-resolution photographs plus video imagery.

            Combined with Berty’s regular maintenance flyovers, this provides a catalogue of baseline imagery for comparison over an extended period of time. Berty’s AI capabilities are designed to?let you know about issues before they occur.

            Book a Consultation

            News & Information

            Benefits Of Solar Power For Business

            As we move toward 2020, the benefits of solar power?over fossil fuels are becoming increasingly clear. Alongside the strong environmental imperative for?commercial solar installation?to catch on, it also represents an opportunity for businesses looking to update their approach to energy use while future-proofing their bottom line.


            Here are?three?benefits of solar power for business.

            Electricity prices in Australia have more than doubled in the last 10 years, making them among the world’s highest. Not only that, but the increases have come at an unprecedented rate that’s disproportionate to CPI and wages.

            In most cases, by installing a solar system on your commercial building, you’ll immediately see a reduction on your electricity bill as you have reduced your business’ reliance on the grid. Over time, your system can pay for itself through these savings.

            In addition, you’ll be making an investment in future-proofing your business against the continued rise and volatility of grid electricity prices. Recent?research from the Australian Energy Regulator projects that energy consumers will increasingly rely on self-generated and stored energy over the coming years. This suggests that the process of stepping away from reliance on the grid will be supported by a growing solar industry that is not affected by the unpredictable changes in fossil fuel markets.

            As a bonus, you can be confident your investment will stand the test of time. Solar panels are designed to withstand exposure to the elements, despite the fragile nature of their individual photovoltaic cells. These are encased and protected by specialised, highly tempered glass, and framed with non-corrosive aluminium – an extremely sturdy structure.?Tier 1 solar panels come with a 12 year manufacturer’s warranty and even a 25 year performance warranty.

            A less tangible but nonetheless valuable return on investing in solar energy are the PR benefits that this can bring to your business. Solar power systems provide a measurable contribution to the global reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, which businesses can promote in their corporate marketing material and communications. In turn, this can increase the public image of your business as socially responsible, environmentally aware, progressive and future-focused.

            Research?from Sustainability Victoria?indicates that?78% of Victorians believe climate change is ‘an issue that requires urgent action’, and 73% prefer to buy from businesses that show t| hey care about climate change.?Internationally, a?recent study?shows that a third of consumers are now making buying decisions based on the environmental and social credentials of brands, while another?global study suggests that this rate is much higher for millennials, an increasingly important consumer group.

            A further consideration, particularly for businesses situated in high-visibility buildings, is that visible solar panels may improve public image by directly displaying this message within a streetscape.

            Many businesses are finding ways to apply their green credentials to their competitive advantage when responding to tenders and bidding for contracts. This can be supported through various industry-specific sustainability accreditation and certification programs – see, for example, the Victorian state government’s?suggestions for green credential validation?in the tourism industry.

            Commercial Solar Calculator.

            Your roof is your biggest asset and can be used to dramatically reduce your energy costs.
            We have developed a tool where you can calculate how much energy a solar system on your roof can produce.

            How much is your roof worth? Calculate in 60 seconds!

            Commercial solar system costs are made more manageable by various financial incentives available via the federal and state governments.

            SMALL-SCALE TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATES (STCS)

            Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?are a tradable commodity established by the federal government.?These certificates are created at their current trading price when?a specified and approved energy-saving activity (such as installing a?commercial solar system) has been completed. Once registered, the certificates can be offered to the customer in the form of a rebate on the system being purchased. Note that the Renewable Energy Target (RET), the program under which the current certificate schemes operate, is now close to being met. The Federal Government will be closing the scheme in 2020 and this form of certificate will no longer be available.

            NEW SOUTH WALES & VICTORIAN SOLAR ENERGY REBATES

            There also exist similar, state-specific certificate trading schemes, such as the?Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate (VEEC)?and the?NSW’s Energy Saving Certificate (ESC), for other energy efficiency initiatives such as LED lighting upgrades. These can work in tandem with a commercial solar system to support a movement away from reliance on the grid.

            FEED-IN TARIFFS

            In Australia, feed-in tariffs are schemes run by state and territory governments. These schemes mean that businesses are eligible to be paid for surplus energy generated by their solar systems, which is exported to the main grid. As an example, find information on?Victoria’s feed-in tariff system here.

            ENVIRONMENTAL UPGRADE AGREEMENTS

            Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) are a Victorian and NSW council-based financing mechanism enabling improved access long term finance for environmental upgrades, including solar system installation, to existing commercial and non-residential buildings on attractive terms.

            COUNCIL BASED INCENTIVES

            Other council-specific incentives may be available in your area – see, for example, the?Moreland Energy$mart Program, in collaboration with the?Moreland Energy Foundation.

            Reimagine Energy with Cherry Energy Solutions

            If all this has you convinced that solar energy is the way forward for your business, you’re not alone. Cherry Energy Solutions has worked to create future-ready businesses across Australia and can help you reimagine your commercial building’s energy system.

            Contact us today or call us on 1300 740 784.

            Book a Consultation

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