how much does Solar cost to get started?

randy mason

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Colorado Springs
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I want to get into solar, however the door to door people around here keep trying to sell me $20,000 systems. is there a way to reduce the cost by buying it in parts? I am electrically savvy but I have not worked around solar before. what are the key things you need to know about it? any help from not a salesman would be great! thank you.
 
Hi Randy here in Australia I bought a lot of mine secondhand .For a stand alone unit 190w panels $40, 2v 500amp batteries 3 years old 12 of for $1100 bought top grade inverter new ( locally made ) 3kw $ 3400 and new 60amp mppt regulators off ebay $120 might not be as fancy as the shop bought setup but works fine and a lot cheaper. Dave
 
That sound a bit more manageable if I build it over time. What's some of your favorite places to look at for builds to start parts lists and such?
 
Careful with the batteries though, try to find batteries of the same age and manufacturer. If you mix batteries it will reduce the overall performance of your bank, as well as greatly reduce the lifespan of your batteries. The newer batteries will pick up the “slack” of the older batteries and shorten their life.
 
Quote just came in, 8500 dollars for a 6.5 Kw solar array. Lucky I got that tax refund
cheers
tom

Depending on the panels/inverter that's about the going rate. I was quoted $8800 and got 6.6kw of Jinko panels with a 5kw fronius inverter. Paid $5116 after STC point of sale discount.
 
So about the same, where are you located JoshW, were in Darwin and have extra cyclone ratings to worry about so the cost is about 2k more than anywhere else in the country.
cheers
tom

I'm in Albury on the NSW side of the NSW/Vic border Tom. I do know about having to have things cyclone rated up there, I lived there for a few years and have a brother that still lives up there. We went back last July for a wedding and wanted to move back in a heartbeat, however my employer doesn't have an office up there unfortunately. Cheers
 
I just put in a 6.6kw system on my roof in Canberra. 7.5k installed but I’m keeping it grid tied and skipped the batteries for now.
 
I've got a portable Goal Zero 3000wH lithium battery and 8x100w quasi-portable "briefcase" solar panels (portable, hah! they weigh a ton). We bought it for backup power at home, or dragged along when caravaning. A good, reliable system, but VERY expensive (about $6,000 USD for everything) as its portable-plug-and-play. If your system will be stationary, and not trucked all over the country, you could D.I.Y something for a fraction of the cost. Right now I'm researching a way to use the system to charge extra lead-acid or lithium marine batteries for those days when the sun doesn't come out to recharge the battery. Goal Zero sells add-on batteries, but they are kind of pricey. I'd like to be able to go to the local superstore and pick up new batteries when they crap out, not keep shipping proprietary stuff from the other side of the country.
 
we had a Sparky\Solar expert we know install our system and its a beast, we used to have bills of $1200 Qtr due to all our fishtanks and other fun things, now we are around $120 qtr and we are not shy at all with Electricity
cost was 4200
 
That's quite a difference. How many years will it take to pay for the solar system. We pay 15 canadian cents per KWH, what are your rates?
There's a lot of variables and every electricity company has widely different ways of billing and different rates per kW. Some charge high monthly base rates and low per kW rates, others are vice versa, they all have fixed and flexible plans, and trying to figure out which one is the best deal for the circumstances of any given home electricity use is a bit of a headache. The cost of an average solar system here in Australia vs the average cost of most residential home electricity bills works out that solar will pay for itself after I think last I checked was 4 to 7 years without a battery, but adding in a battery adds about 10 years to that because they're still expensive. The painful part is that electricity costs are going up here, and it's making a lot of people angry, especially those that haven't been able to afford to get solar yet or are renting from a landlord that doesn't want to pay for their rental house to go solar.
 
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