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Homeowner Blog

Octopus Shakes up the Market with its Tesla Tariff

George Riley 21 Nov 2019

We’re entering a period of dramatic change for the energy sector. From smaller independents breaking the hold of the Big 6 and consumers generating their own solar power to dynamic pricing plans and smart homes.

The latest innovation is one that combines all of these: Octopus’s Tesla Energy Plan.

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Topics: Battery storage, EV charging, Solar PV, Tesla Powerwall

How to Choose a Solar Inverter

George Riley 12 Nov 2019

The inverter is the heart of a PV system. It’s the crucial interface between your solar panels and the rest of the home, batteries or national grid. Aside from converting DC solar power into usable AC, it houses many of the system’s safety features and performance monitoring.

Given it’s such an important component, let’s talk about how to choose a solar inverter. What do you have to consider, and which is the best model?

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Topics: Solar PV

How to Get 5% VAT on Solar Panels

George Riley 04 Oct 2019

Another week and another upheaval in the world of solar… While the world wakes up to the imminent threat of climate breakdown, our trusty government has decided it’s the perfect time to hike the VAT on solar PV installations.

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Topics: Solar PV

The Carbon Footprint of a Solar Panel

Erica Charles 27 Sep 2019

In the wake of the largest climate protests the world has ever seen, we have dug a little deeper in our own back yard to assess the ‘life time’ carbon footprint of a solar system...

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Topics: Solar PV

Solar Tiles vs Solar Panels

George Riley 12 Sep 2019

With the increasing threat of climate change urging many of us to cut back on fossil fuels, solar is ever more appealing. It’s a technology that empowers individuals to supply themselves with clean, renewable energy at an increasingly affordable price. Innovation in this industry is constant, so let’s see how one of the developing trends in PV stacks up by comparing solar tiles vs solar panels.

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Topics: In roof solar panels, Solar PV

Solar Panel Maintenance Checklist

George Riley 06 Sep 2019

One of the most appealing aspects of solar PV is that it requires very little maintenance in return for decades of functioning lifetime. With no moving parts, solar panels aren’t put under the mechanical stresses inherent in other generators. But the system is a significant investment - with most of its return based on using its electricity - so a little upkeep is worthwhile to ensure it’s always performing at its best.

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Topics: Maintenance, Solar PV

Green Roof PV: Solar Panels and Green Roofs

George Riley 22 Aug 2019

Image source: Optigreen

Those looking to make the greatest environmental benefit from their roof space may feel they should choose between solar panels and green roofs - but can you combine the two? Yes - though both systems need to be designed properly.

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Topics: Solar PV

Types of Solar Panel: Which Should You Choose?

George Riley 08 Aug 2019

It’s important to do your research when planning your solar system, but the sea of technical terms can soon become overwhelming. Let’s address some of those you may come across when comparing types of solar panel - and see how those types stack up.

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Topics: Solar PV

Solar Panel Output

David Woon 18 Jul 2019

Why does the solar panel output matter?

When installing solar panels there are many things to deliberate over, whether that be the price or aesthetics, but probably the most important metric to consider is the output. More often than not the price you pay for an installation will be relative to the power output of the system. The rated power output or wattage of a panel represents the theoretical power output under ideal conditions and is a strong indication of the amount of electricity a panel will generate. However; there are factors other than the panel’s wattage to consider when determining its output or energy generation. 

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Topics: Solar PV

Black Solar Panels

George Riley 11 Jul 2019

Why are solar panels blue (usually)?

The standard solar panels that you see most commonly on rooftops are a shimmering blue colour. This is because they are made from polycrystalline silicon - lots of crystals melted together.

But you may have also seen black solar panels - these are monocrystalline. Formed from single silicon crystals, they have a greater efficiency and (in many people’s opinion) a more attractive appearance.

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Topics: Solar PV