There are lots of solar cowboys out there who commit millions when they are selling the system with their dirty sales tactics. We certainly want to clear some dust.

First of all, which part of Australia you live in? Clean Energy Council has produced a table of averaged sun hours per day which are averaged for the whole year. Refer to below table.

City 1 kW system 2.0 kW system 3.0 kW system 4.0 kW system 5.0 kW system
Adelaide 4.2 kWh 8.4 kWh 12.6 kWh 16.8 kWh 21.0 kWh
Brisbane 4.2 kWh 8.4 kWh 12.6 kWh 16.8 kWh 21.0 kWh
Cairns 4.2 kWh 8.4 kWh 12.6 kWh 16.8 kWh 21.0 kWh
Canberra 4.3 kWh 8.6 kWh 12.9 kWh 17.2 kWh 21.5 kWh
Darwin 4.4 kWh 8.8 kWh 13.2 kWh 17.6 kWh 22.0 kWh
Hobart 3.5 kWh 7.0 kWh 10.5 kWh 14.0 kWh 17.5 kWh
Melbourne 3.6 kWh 7.2 kWh 10.8 kWh 14.4 kWh 18.0 kWh
Perth 4.4 kWh 8.8 kWh 13.2 kWh 17.6 kWh 22.0 kWh
Sydney 3.9 kWh 7.8 kWh 11.7 kWh 15.6 kWh 19.5 kWh

The numbers shown in the table are based on ideal laboratory conditions. Also bear in mind, panels generate more power in summer than in winter (and this season gap is bigger as you go south). These numbers are averaged for the whole year. These numbers are also based on optimum tilt, correct orientation and panels facing right direction.

In Australia, generally the panels should be facing North, however North West and West are other preferred directions. If there is no other convenient layout, panels facing east will also work, however they will not produce anything in the afternoon. Of course only until the batteries are affordable.

Note these numbers are only for an indication. It is always advisable to add few more panels than inverter size to push more DC power into the inverter. This additional power will help in 3 major conditions:

  • During mornings and afternoons (if panels are facing North or East/West)
  • During cloudy weather the system will perform only of 25% of its rated output, however additional panels can add up extra power.
  • When you install batteries, this excess power can be diverted into the batteries.

Always remember, it’s always worth to add more panels and oversize the system. More panels will suit your needs better than undersized panels. The price difference shouldn’t be as great, as most of the panel price gets compensated by STC rebate.

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