The Brief to Greenwood:
Greenwood was first introduced to this growing family about four years ago, when we installed a 8.26kW system on their home.
A beautiful two-story house with a terracotta tiled roof situated in an established tree lined street in inner city Melbourne.
The unique architecture of this particular roof meant we could take advantage of the different surfaces allowing us to maximize production throughout the day.
Greenwood recognized the design of this install needed specialized care, throughout numerous and extensive site visits we were able to work with the client to produce a unique array to get the most out of their installation and the roof azimuths.
On five varying heights and pitches of roof we were able to install arrays facing North, East, and West, to capture Melbourne’s sometimes elusive sunshine.
Although beautiful to look at, working on terracotta tiles proves to have a unique set of difficulties with how fragile they can be; paying increased attention to safety is crucial on these sites by ensuring spare tiles are on site, which is unavoidable.
Monitoring and data collection was a priority and led to their interests in a battery after the initial install.
Our Distinct Approach:
In the first phase of the installation we tackled their appetite for data with Enphase micro-inverters. These are small devices tucked beneath each panel with a variety of benefits. On a basic level micro-inverters take the energy from sunshine,direct current, and convert it to A.C, or alternating current, the form of electricity your home can use.
This maximizes production as each panel then begins to operate independently which means if one area is shaded the whole string does not have to compensate and lower production to match.
This process also eliminates a central point of failure, if a module or string were to break down, the remaining system will still be able to function at full capacity.
Each panel with its corresponding micro-inverter is connected to the central communication hub, allowing a higher level of visibility into the system.
The Enphase micro-inverter system allows consumers to collect data on productivity, track input and usage, and pinpoint any potential issues. This inturn can greatly increase the return on investment through self consumption, or regulating and optimizing when the power generated from solar is being utilized based on time and input.
Three years after the primary installation the family was ecstatic with the power generated form their solar installation, however, they wanted more control on how it was being used.
Thanks to the Enphase system they were able to closely monitor the productivity of their array.
With this insight they were able to make better choices in terms of how and where their power was going.
The family was concerned with the amount of power being exported back to the grid; the feed-in rate is about three times lower than the cost to buy back electricity from the grid.
Generally, only power generated at the time is at the disposal of the household, any power left over is sent back to the grid.
It became increasingly obvious throughout summer months that they weren't making the most of the power being generated by the current system.
After extensive communication and site visits with our client it was clear a change needed to be made. Luckily, the answer was rather apparent, the installation of a battery would give the family the freedom and control they were looking for. Due to the residential nature of this property, location of the battery was imperative, working within the confines of small working areas. We chose the Tesla Powerwall 2 for a combination of reasons.
The compact and attractive design makes it ideal for properties that are low on space and conscious of aesthetics. The Tesla Powerwall has a storage capacity of up to 13.5kWh and an output rate of 9.6kW, more than enough to support this household during the night for critical loads and in potential black outs, and times where usage may be high but input from panels is low.
- Greenwood was able to work and adapt with the families growing needs
- Set up initial install future focused to make expansion easy
- The family is now satisfied knowing they are achieving the most out of their system and reducing reliance on the grid, and avoiding export to the grid.