With solar panel prices at record lows, the average system we are currently installing is around 8-10 kW. A 2kW solar system in Sydney is still possible, but usually limited to houses with limited roof area.
Most households shouldn't buy a 2kW system, more information can be found here: 4 reasons not to buy a 2kW solar system.
A 2kW system typically has a 6-7 panel array and can save you up to $ 200 per quarterly utility bill using all of the solar power in the house. As solar prices continue to drop, it is now possible to see a return on high quality brands in 4 to 6 years, while larger systems have a potential payback of less than 3 years.
This article covers the benefits of installing a 2kW system, the top brands to look at, and provides detailed information to ensure that this system at this size will fit your household.
Are you looking for a 2kW solar system?
According to the guidelines of the Clean Energy Council, a 2 kW solar system in Sydney will produce around 8 kWh per day (annual average), more on long summer days and less in winter. It is important to understand that this 8 kWh of solar power is generated during the daytime hours and typically as a rough bell curve (taking the weather into account) as shown below.
Depending on how much electricity you use during the day, you typically want to have a quarterly utility bill of around $ 300 (about 16 kWh per day excluding off-peak hot water) to get the most out of a 2 kW system.
A solar system reaches its peak when the sun shines directly on the modules. So for a north-facing array, this would be around 4 hours during midday. You can see in the graphic above how shade from clouds instantly causes a drop in solar energy and that the system will continue to run until almost 8 p.m. in the summer if you've installed the modules to capture the late afternoon sun.
In Sydney, flat-installed modules work with maximum efficiency in summer because the sun is so high in the sky. With this system installed at 20 degrees, the peak performance will take place in spring and autumn.
Would you like this level of system monitoring? Solaray is the number 1 installer for Enphase Micro Inverter Systems, and our systems come standard with full system monitoring and a MyEnlighten login. Learn more – Enphase Micro Inverter Systems
2kW solar systems in Sydney
As technology improves, we now see highly efficient panels drop in price, like the LG Solar 390W panel while the Trina Vertex Range also has a 390W panel as standard. This means that for a 2kW solar installation in Sydney, Solaray designers put together 5 or 6 panel arrays as a 2kW micro-inverter system. Most string inverters are only a 3kW model so for a 2kW system we will usually use Enphase microinverters.
Solaray is the leading installer of Enphase Micro Inverter systems in Australia. Our design team are experts in putting together a solar module array that will maximize your available roof area.
The main advantage of microinverters is that each panel is independent from the others, which makes it possible to design arrays in different orientations and at different angles, or when you have spotty shadows on your roof.
A common panel layout is with some panels facing north and the others facing west – to distribute the power of solar energy throughout the day, making it easier to use most of the solar energy produced. The West modules are also advantageous if you are into time-of-use billing, where you normally pay around 50 cents per kWh for your electricity between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
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2kW string inverter system
If your roof is not obscured by shade, faces either north or west, and can hold 6 or 7 panels (1.7mx 1m), a string inverter system is the best option for your home. It is important to ensure that the roof is free of shade because even if only one panel is slightly shaded, the entire array will be reduced to the performance of the worst performing panel.
An important point in a 2kW system with a string inverter is that we cannot split the array as we need at least 6 panels in a string of panels. Since major European inverter manufacturers usually start with a 3kW inverter, we would like to see at least 8 modules in a string as this will generate enough voltage to run the inverter properly. If you call the Solaray team we can get you a high quality 3kW string inverter and try to convince you to buy two additional modules (we'll give you a good price, we promise) so that you have a highly efficient system that works really well in all lighting conditions.
The most important European 3kW inverter is the Sunny Boy from SMA, which has been one of the most reliable inverters on the Australian market for many years.
The advantage of a 2kW solar system
A 2kW solar system in Sydney in a north facing position without shading will produce around 2850 kWh per year. On average, that's around 7.8 kWh per day. This is a guideline published by the Clean Energy Council. Based on our own output numbers from thousands of systems across Sydney, we believe this number is a conservative guideline.
If you use usage-based billing and pay an average of 30c per kWh for your electricity, you can save up to $ 850 per year on your electricity bills with a 2kW system. This can be even higher if your panels are facing west.
If you pay a flat rate for your electricity, for example 26 c per kWh, you can save up to 750 US dollars with a 2 kW system.
If you do not use the generated solar power, the solar power automatically goes into the grid and you often receive a feed-in remuneration for this power from your energy dealer. Usually this FIT is around 5 to 13 cents per kWh and is deducted from your electricity bill as a credit.
2kW solar system price
As a price indicator: A 2 kW solar system in Sydney costs around 4,500 US dollars for a simple installation with Trina Vertex 390W panels and an SMA inverter. Expect to pay around $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 for the latest high efficiency panels and panel-level output. This price includes a government incentive of around $ 935 and is fully installed and connected to the grid, with no meters. Our price is always an all-inclusive price, subject to confirmation by our system designers, who often have to visit the site.
Over 80% of our installations now have a panel-level output operated by Enphase. Please contact us for more information and prices.
Of course, these prices depend on a number of factors, which our solar team can confirm with you over the phone or during a site visit if necessary.
A bonus tip
With solar prices so low these days, many customers buy 3kW and 5kW systems even if their quarterly utility bills are around $ 500 or less. By installing additional capacity and taking advantage of generous government incentives, we see many households increasing their electricity usage either to prepare for a growing family or to invest in their lifestyle by running pool pumps, air conditioners, and even spas using solar energy.
As solar batteries grow in popularity, installing a solar system large enough to provide solar power to your home 24 hours a day ensures that you are 100% willing to invest in batteries if you choose to. This will typically be at least a 5kW solar system. Please contact us for more information on battery-powered solar systems to discover your options, as not all systems are easily expandable.