We're the first to tell you how fantastic solar power is for the environment. But are there situations in which solar panels and battery storage can be used? Bad For the environment? And how do you avoid the pitfalls of buying a bad solar system for the environment?
Buying solar energy has huge benefits for the environment. You generate your own electricity from a renewable energy source – sunlight. Your modules and inverters convert solar energy for use in the house. Plus, any excess energy you generate is fed back into the grid for others to use in place of fossil fuels. With the increasing generation of renewable energies, less coal energy is required to power our homes.
Waste from poor quality solar
In our experience and other industry experts, there is a growing problem with the components of a solar power system when they die. With a whopping 2 million households in Australia now running on solar power (CEC, Dec 2018) the country is well on the way to becoming a solar power plant. But with so many panels with a limited lifespan, we must also find a solution to the growing waste problem.
The quality of a solar module makes a big difference when it comes to the longevity of a module. A mid-range panel often only has a lifespan of 10 years. High quality panels from LG come with a 25-year product guarantee – a full 15 years longer than most other panels on the market. For every LG panel that ends up in the landfill, there are almost three times as many panels from the cheaper brands. The better brands of panels can be reused and resold on sites like eBay and GumTree, but the cheaper panels end up in the landfill within a few years.
Inverter technology varies widely in the market. Depending on which system you choose, you can predict when you need to replace it. A traditional string inverter is usually guaranteed for 10 years, but with the cheaper systems (<$ 4,500) you can expect that inverter to be replaced two or even three times within that 10 year period. Whether your original installer is around to help is an important thing to consider when choosing installers! If you are considering a cheaper solar system it may cost less, but both you and the planet can suffer after just a few years.
If you are looking for a system that will last the life of the high quality LG modules, the Enphase microinverters are your only choice. With no moving parts and exceptional performance in hot Australian conditions, Enphase technology is the longest lasting inverter technology on the market. It's the kind of system that you install once and have for decades. Put simply, this system is better for the environment than anything else.