Our 1kW solar power system produces twice as much energy as we consume – making us a solar power company! Over a year our system averages about 4kWh a day and we only use 2.5kwh. Of course most people use much more power than this (an average for a 2 person house is around 14kWh), but all the other things we do like use solar hot water and have energy efficient appliances, means our power usage is quite minimal. We’ve got a grid connected system, so all our excess power feeds straight back into the main power grid, and we get paid for the excess. A bi-directional meter measures the outgoing and incoming power, and works out the difference – and measures how much power we get paid for!
We went through Solarswitch, and chose a 1kWh Sharp Solar Cell system with a Sunny Boy inverter. Our investment was $4,000 (after the $8,000 government rebate, which is no longer available), and then there was an extra $400 for the installation of a bi-directional meter, which went in about a week after the system. We’re lucky to have a north facing roof with no large trees nearby, so it’s in a fantastic position for maximum power creation.
Over a year, we currently consume about 803kWh, which is given a 5 star rating according to ‘Nabers,’ with the average house being 2.5 stars (check out http://www.nabers.com.au to work out your rating). Nabers estimate this would contribute 790kg of carbon dioxide if we didn’t have our 100% Green Power (the electricity we do draw from the grid is 100% green power too).
In the future we see energy generation being on a community level, which is much more sustainable than individual houses generating power. But for now, our system is a good example that houses can be completely powered by the sun!