Sydney-based Solaray Energy believes its Australian record of installing more than 75,000 Enphase microinverters on solar panels provides a path for solar-enabling Australia’s “stressed” electricity grid.
In a global announcement, Enphase Energy reports that Solaray is its only Australian partner to have installed more than 75,000 Enphase microinverters since 2014 - most of them in the past three years. Three other Enphase partners were recognised for having installed more than 25,000 microinverters.
Solaray estimates that with each microinverter installed on an average 300-watt panel, they have a collective energy generation capacity of 22.5 megawatts (MW) – capable of producing 32.8 gigawatt-hours (GW-h) of energy annually - enough to power more than 5200 average Australian homes *.
Solaray Energy director Jonathan Fisk said the big problem with rooftop-generated solar energy was that the electricity grid was not designed for it. “The grid was designed to distribute electricity generated by large, centralised power stations,” he said.
Founded six months before the COVID-19 pandemic slammed into the Australian economy, Enphase partner Jet Solar has seen sales of solar PV systems soar in the three years since it was set up.
Melbourne-based Jet Solar, which recently became an Enphase Gold Partner, was founded by electrician Jason Dickinson with just one other employee. Now he heads a team of nine, which includes a Qantas pilot who left the cockpit for the rooftop due to the collapse of international travel.
“We have a great little team,” explains Jason. “We have a couple of apprentices, ranging from a teenager to a 46-year-old ‘mature age’ apprentice and a couple of school-based apprentices.
The flooding of thousands of homes on the East Coast has highlighted the need for Australia to mandate rapid shutdown technology on solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, warns industry group Safer Solar.
With solar panels installed on one in four Australian homes, many systems lack a quick and easy way to shut down solar panels in the event of a fault or emergency, creating a serious safety threat for homeowners, first responders and tradespeople. Solar panels that were not shut off before the floods may begin generating electricity when the sun shines, potentially without the safety systems designed to protect people from uncontrolled high-voltage electrical currents.
More than 90 per cent of rooftop solar PV systems installed in Australia include high voltage Direct Current (DC) wiring that is live whenever the sun is shining. This 600-1000 volt current, which cannot be shut off during daylight, can jump a 100mm gap between a system component and any earthed conductive material. Any break in wiring insulation or weather sealing of components can allow an electrical arc to form. Approaching 1000 degrees Celsius, this arc is hot enough to ignite fires - and does so more than twice every day in Australia. It can also deliver a lethal electric shock.
Businesses in Whyalla and Mount Gambier can now access ultra-fast download speeds at affordable prices from $49.90 per month using the GigCity Internet service, deployed by MIMP connecting solutions.
Launched earlier this month, the first regional deployments of the GigCity network, in Whyalla and Mount Gambier, are great news for businesses in both cities. About 40 businesses already use GigCity for gigabit-speed Internet access across the two regional centres. In metropolitan Adelaide, the GigCity network is now used by more than 500 businesses at 23 South Australian business and innovation precincts.
Funded by the South Australian Government, infrastructure for GigCity network in Whyalla and Mount Gambier was designed and delivered by SA company MIMP connecting solutions. This regional GigCity network is operated by WideNetworks http://widenet.com.au .
MIMP connecting solutions CEO Allan Aitchison said the gigabit-speed regional networks were based on the latest micro-wave technology, with a 10-gigabit wireless ring around each city and fibre-optic links back to Adelaide. “The GigCity networks make Internet access much faster and less expensive for businesses in both Mount Gambier and Whyalla,” he said.