Images: First registered, grid-connected, solar power station in Queensland
The solar surgeon’s hands at work – 21 yr old BP Solarex Panels on our house
Brisbane Forecast from 17 August is below
Solar power systems’ energy output is weather dependent, and having worked in the solar industry for over 40 years, I had to learn something about the weather systems and climate.
So when I installed, in July 2000, my first grid-connected solar photovoltaic power system on my home at Wellington Point, I estimated the solar energy production over time, using the Bureau of Meteorology’s past 10 years of solar radiation data. My prediction turned out to be very accurate.
But system performance over time also depends on good maintenance.
I recently did a thorough check of our 21 year old system and found one panel had a minor fault developing around a bad electrical connection inside the panel. With a little surgical help from friend and colleague, Dave Keenan, we quickly repaired the panel and it is fully functioning again. So I am aiming for another 20 years from these panels.
The system cost about $7000 for 1.36 kilowatts in 2000, and has paid for itself many times over. As a very energy efficient house, we only used about 4 kilowatt-hours of electricity daily. The average home uses 20 kilowatt-hours. The solar system has produced more energy than we use. And the energy used to manufacture the panels was paid back in the first 2 to 3 years. It’s a shorter pay-back period now with improvements in manufacturing and panel efficiency, up from 13 percent to 20 percent these days.
Trev’s Brisbane Forecast for next 7 Days from 17 Aug
This coming week is looking very similar to last week but with a south-easterly wind Wednesday, followed by mostly light easterly then northerly winds for the remaining days. Again there are no strong, cold EKKA westerlies predicted. So temperatures will be warmer, with minimums around 12 to 14 degrees Celsius and maximums around 26 to 27 degrees Celsius later in the week. There is a low probability of a shower most days, being higher on Wednesday. So there are lots of good days to get out and about. Enjoy the great weather.
See ya next week. Trev the Weatherman
Source: Bureau of Meteorology and www.seabreeze.com.au