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Solar Power Installation

Solar Power Installations

30 North is a solar power installation specialist, we install and offer tier one solar systems to both residential and commercial clients, 30 North is a trusted name in the solar industry. When you are ready to connect to solar you can rest assured that our all-in-one services for sales, installation, maintenance and testing will be ready to design, install and maintain a system that fits with your life.

Call Us today | 1800 30North | 1800 306 678

30 North Pty Ltd is an Australian owned solar power specialist based in Queensland. 30 North started out by providing installation services to tier one solar retailers and has installed thousands of high quality solar power systems throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Check your street as we may have installed your neighbour’s system!

Our core business has always focused on the design and installation of high quality solar systems as well as system testing, maintenance, repairs. We have installed, tested and serviced systems ranging from 1kW through to 30kWs, both roof and ground mounted systems.

We don’t compromise on quality, service or safety. We will not sell or install any system that doesn’t meet Australian Standards or the standards set out by the Clean Energy Council (CEC). We pride ourselves on delivering our valuable clients with the level of service that we would expect for ourselves with the systems and quality we would install on not only our own homes but the homes of our friends and family.

Our product philosophy starts with this simple principle – best-in-class equipment from top-rated manufacturer’s delivered with integrity and service.

Due to our large installation capacity our customers are installed within 10 days of their Approval to Connect. Your Installation can be booked at your In Home Consultation.

What Are the Basics of a Good Install?

Our objective is to arm you with some basic non-technical information as well as some simple tips and questions that should be asked from the beginning of your solar experience and to ensure you get a system that will last 25 years and beyond.

The Site Basics

The first important step is to ensure a consultant has physically inspected your home and measured your roof to make certain you have the space for your desired system and that the install team can safely install the system. If shading issues are present they need to be identified as well as the irradiation measured for the accurate selection of the best technology. A review of your electrical system should also be performed to ensure it is ready for installation. This prevents any unwelcome and expensive surprises on the day of installation.

Following the completion of an in-home consultation you should have a comprehensive design on a system that clearly identifies its month-by-month performance and expected annual return in kW/h. Your quote should spell out every detail clearly and show an all-inclusive price.

System Selection

The panels, inverter and BOS (Balance of System) should be selected on quality, performance, suitability for the site and environment. The selected products also need to have been approved for installation in Australia. Your system should be about fit for purpose and not fit for price. Furthermore, you should ensure you have signed and returned your network agreement to you energy retailer and received approval to connect your system to the network.

Fact: The power output of a panel is affected by the temperature of the solar cells. This affect can be as much as 0.5% for every 1 degree variation in temperature. This is one of the many reasons that makes panel selection so critical.

Recommendation: Inverters should be selected based on the system size you need, not oversized for future upgrades, due to mismatch issues.

Minimum Requirements:All products should be installed to the manufacturer’s specifications and Australian Standards AS4777, AS/NZS 5033, AS/NZS 3000 and AS/NZS 1170.2 Wind Loads.

The Day of Installation

TIP: Always ask to see the installer’s checklist:

  1. Detailed list of BOS items
  2. Visually inspect the BOS items
  3. CEC accreditation
  4. Electrical contractors licence
  5. Electrical workers licence
  6. Safe working at heights ticket
  7. Blue or white card
  8. Job Safety Analysis (JSA)
  9. Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)
  10. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  11. Ask them to walk you through their installation methodology
  12. AS5033:2012 Installation and Safety Requirements for Photovoltaic (PV) Arrays
  13. Check to see all electrical tools are tagged and tested and the test is current
  14. Download our checklist

Don’t be afraid to check the information on the following websites:

CEC Accreditation

Electrical licences

Mechanical Installation

TIP: Look at the rear of the panel for the manufacturer’s label to ensure the panels are what you purchased. The same information can be found on the Inverter. Look for the IP ratings on BOS Enclosures, IP66 is the preferred rating.

All panels and inverters must be approved for installation in Australia.

You can check here for approved panels and inverters

Panels and Arrays

The installation should not deviate from the roof plan provided to you during the sales consultation unless discussed directly with you by the installer and you agree to the change in writing. FYI…alarm bells should be ringing if you didn’t receive a detailed roof plan or design or it has been left to the installer on the install day to decide.

The panels should be connected in series or parallel, depending on the design to fit the working parameters of the inverter, and each array should be on one single azimuth and orientation, (i.e. 30 degree pitch and 0 Degrees North). You can have separate arrays on separate roof spaces as long as you have a dual tracking inverter (mppt).

Note: All arrays must have an appropriately sized and rated DC enclosure and isolator if they are further than 3m away from the inverter. Each array frame and all panels must be earthed. AS5033:2012

The array should be symmetric in appearance and positioned to yield the best result based on your home or business. The panels should be straight and true and where they have to be staggered the gap should be exactly half the width of the panel above or below. The frame shouldn’t extend past the first or last panel by more than 150mm. When looking under the array you shouldn’t see any cables hanging freely or touching the roof. This is a critical component of your system and the most visual part. Your system should be installed to optimise performance and complement your home or business.

WARNING: Tilted Arrays need to be carefully designed by a professional and at the very least checked by a structural engineer to ensure that the design meets Australian standards and won’t damage your home or business should the worst happen. The safety of your home, family, friends and neighbours is paramount. You also don’t want to provide your insurance company a reason why they should not to pay if anything should happen.

Inverter Placement

Your inverter installation and location is important. Each installation site is unique however there are some fundamentals to ensure you get the best results.

The Location Basics:

  1. Out of direct sunlight (heat costs you performance!)
  2. In a well-ventilated area
  3. On a wall that can support the inverter’s weight
  4. The closer to the switchboard the better
  5. In an area free from obstructions for safe access to shutdown - in case of emergency
  6. Inverters should have a min space of 200mm all around (see manufacturer’s specifications)
  7. Out of reach from children
  8. At a height you can read the display
  9. Not on a plasterboard wall that adjoins to living areas
  10. All cables should be mechanically protected and secured to the wall
  11. If your inverter is installed away from the switchboard i.e. on the opposite site of the house, an additional appropriately sized and rated AC enclosure and breakers should be installed for safety.

The inverter should be securely fixed and level. It should also be in an enclosure housing a suitably rated DC isolator. We believe it is best practice for any enclosure in direct or indirect sunlight to be rated IP66 with an access lid that protects the breakers and isolators from any UV light.

One of our pet dislikes is when installers opt to run cables externally through conduit on homes where the cable could have been concealed. This isn’t always possible due to the nature of some structure types however in most cases with a bit of patience and skill it can be done! Our installation teams are required to get permission prior to running anything externally.

The recent changes to the Australian Standards 5033 will increase the likelihood of external conduit runs, as installers are now required to run all DC cable inside any structure through heavy duty (HD) conduit. This includes running conduit through the cavity between the studs and the brick/block-work. This conduit is easily identified by its orange colour. For external conduit work installers are able to use medium duty conduit, this is grey in colour, this can be painted to match your home.

If the cable has to be run externally through conduit, a good installer will do their best to conceal external conduit runs by running them beside downpipes etc. It is important to note that all cables and conduit should be secured and protected from mechanical and UV damage.

The System Labelling

The correct labelling should be attached to the appropriate area defined in AS5033:2012. Labels should be engraved and not written in permanent marker.

The clean-up

The site should be free from all rubbish. Your home, panels and inverter should be free of finger prints and marks. The only signs that an installer has been to your home should be a shiny new solar system and a smile on your face!

The Handover

During the handover inspect the workmanship and materials to ensure they are correct and meet with your standards, after all you have to live with it. If you are not sure or you are not happy with anything, don’t sign the paperwork until you are! If you are not happy or you are unsure about anything, contact us to arrange a post installation variation inspection. This could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. After all your system is going to be on your home for 25 years!

WARNING:DO NOT GET UP ON THE ROOF TO INSPECT YOUR PANELS!

Ask to see the photos of the arrays as installers must take photos of the panels, inverter and switchboard for compliance purposes. Ask for a copy, although you should get these with your post installation pack.

The installer should walk you through your system’s operational features and maintenance schedule prior to the signoff.

The Paperwork

Know What You Are Signing!

Check everything here and pay close attention to make sure the CEC designer and installer accreditation numbers match with your information. Are the dates, system details and address correct? Have the correct amount of STC’s been assigned?

Link to STC calculator

Ask the installer to have the EWR (Electrical Work Request) reference number emailed to you so that you know you are in the queue for your import and export meter.

Note: system maintenance is important. AS5033:2012 recommends that your system should be checked on an annual basis. We have dedicated system testing and maintenance teams ready to assist with your systems maintenance.

Then sit back and enjoy your system and don’t forget to check its performance on a weekly basis.

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