. you should be OK.. Initial Considerations
- You should fit your build with the maximum solar capacity allowed on a single phase home (in most parts of Australia). This is 6.6kW of solar with a 5kW inverter, and is usually the best value per kW due to the way the rebate works.
- If you want more than this (up to 20kW) then you need to ask your builder to install a 3 phase power supply. You should get it installed at the outset as it will be quite expensive to put in after.
- A solar system can generate about 150W per m² of roof. So for 6.6kW you want about 50m² of roof space. Ideally North facing, but East and West can work too.
Discussions with your architect/home builder
- Solar inverter placement. Will there be room for a switchboard next to it, and is it shaded from the sun? You could place it in your garage. In the garage consider you may need a fire proof wall for wall mount batteries. But as long as the battery is sited 30cm away from any wall adjoining a habitable room you should be OK.
- Think also about a good place to add future batteries. It should be in a shaded spot near the switchboard and inverter.
- TV aerial and internet transceiver (rooftop wireless) should be out of the way of any solar. Preferably a south facing roof.
- Pre-install the conduit for your solar system during the build. An electrician can easily put the conduit for solar in the before the walls are in place.
- Pre-wiring is especially useful for small roof faces.
- If the inverter is far from the switchboard pre-wire the main cable between them.
- Also you should put in a data cable from the switchboard to the inverter, and a data cable from the house modem/router to the inverter. This gives you a hard wire to the data communications of the inverter which is much more reliable than wi-fi.
When speaking with your electrician you could say:
“So we want to put the inverter in the garage. Can you put in a conduit from there the roof? Also can you run AC from the main switchboard to where the inverter is? Also run a data cable from the inverter to the smart meter as well as between the modem/router and the inverter.”
- Make sure to future proof with a bigger switchboard with lots of room for extra breakers.
- Thinking about the future again you will want to prepare for your electric vehicle requirements. It will be much cheaper to put in 3 phase cabling in your switchboard now, capable of having at least an 11kW connection or even more!
- You will want to have a solar-ready electricity meter installed from the outset.
- If building a multi-storey house definitely put your solar panels on the roof before the scaffolding comes down. Otherwise you’ll be paying twice for the scaffolding! Also consider and plan for Work-safe requirements as scaffolding will most likely need to go up to the top gutter. (not just to the first floor wall access). Guardrails if scaffold wasn’t warranted
- Make sure every roof face can support being filled with solar panels as some new homes cannot support a good sized solar system.