As an engineer, Steve Drane appreciates detail. Each element within a project is just as interesting to him as the outcome itself. When choosing a solar provider and the right solar system to suit his four-bedroom family home in East Ryde, it is fair to say he left no stone unturned. “I approached the process with a critical, enquiring mind,” he says.
After sourcing three quotes and meeting with representatives from each company to explore his detailed list of questions, Mr Drane was confident he’d found the right match with One Power. “I had about 20 questions ranging from inverter performance to details on solar panels from different manufacturers and general performance and warranty issues. Some, I now realise, were more detailed than I needed to know the answer to,“ he says. “David from One Power came around to my house and gave me as much time as I needed to go through all of these questions. I felt really empowered that I could ask difficult questions and get them answered.”
It wasn’t just David’s extensive product and industry knowledge that impressed Mr Drane. One Power was also the only company to recognise the Drane’s required some minor customisation to any proposed system in order for it to deliver optimal results. This was due to the property’s odd-shaped roof and some shading from nearby trees.
One Power installed a Canadian KuPower 300w solar system with 22 panels and a Sungrow SG5K-D 1PH inverter on the Drane’s home. Five of the panels were fitted with optimisers to compensate for the lack of full sun exposure in one area.
The benefit of the optimisers is clear when comparing the performance of the family’s solar system with that of a close friend who purchased a larger system from a different provider. “The advantage is we are not losing performance. Especially in the winter months when part of the roof is under more shade,” says Mr Drane. “My friend who installed a bigger system with no optimisers and is getting poor output due to his shading. For three months of the year he is experiencing less than ideal performance.”
The cost savings delivered since the solar system’s installation nine months ago have been significant. The family’s energy bills have been slashed by half. Mr Drane regards this as a big win considering the high heating demands of the1960’s style house which is not at all energy efficient due to its age, design and structure.
The original decision to invest in solar was driven by a desire to be less carbon-intensive and to reduce the household energy bills. The results achieved show it has been a great move. “I would absolutely recommend One Power if you are considering solar because of their ability to communicate and help you gain a deeper understanding of what you are installing,” says Mr Drane. “In fact, I recommended them to my father. He then purchased a system from One Power and has also had a great experience.”