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Is your solar system safe?

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Tuesday 8th of November 2016

Are you thinking of purchasing a solar system for your home and business and want to know which is the safest technology.

There are two types of solar systems available on the market – AC Solar and DC Solar systems.

DC Solar systems have high voltage DC wiring from the solar array to the string inverter located on a wall.  This DC wiring is prone to arc faults causing fire and often has no protection should an arc fault occur.

AC Solar systems have a microinverter on each solar panel which means there is no high DC voltage wiring.   The wiring from the solar array to the switchboard is the same as the rest of the wiring in the building and has protection.   This means that AC Solar systems are significantly safer.

Below are some examples of DC solar fires:







To find out more click here

Enphase AC battery – quick, easy and safe

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Tuesday 30th of August 2016

See how three Enphase AC batteries are installed in 30 mins.  Quick, easy and safe (no high DC voltage).

Link to video of AC batteries being installed

The Enphase AC battery is wired directly to your switchboard with 240V cabling like other appliances in the home (e.g. air conditioners, hot water system, stove, power points, lighting etc).  There is no specialised high DC voltage wiring required which is prone to cause fire or shock.

The batteries are modular so you can install as many batteries as you need.  If your energy storage needs increase in future you can simply add more batteries. Easy!

There is no need for any additional equipment such as DC regulators, interactive inverters etc which are required for DC batteries. The Enphase AC battery can be installed on ANY solar system without making any changes to the existing solar system.

The batteries are fully controlled by the Enphase Envoy S Metered which constantly monitors your energy usage, solar generation and time-of-use tariffs.  The Envoy automatically optimises the use of your solar and energy storage to achieve the lowest possible electricity bill.   There is nothing you need to do!

To determine how many batteries you need simply install the Envoy S Metered and over a few weeks it will calculate this for you based on your solar system performance and your specific energy usage.  You can then confidently know you are purchasing the ‘right size’ battery system – not too big and not too small – just right.  You also know that you can add more at anytime.



To read more about working out the right size battery for your home or business click here

Enphase Home Energy Solution

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Thursday 7th of April 2016

Enphase Energy have developed a ground breaking Home Energy Solution that is perfect for Australian homes.

Link to Enphase website

Link to video on “How it Works”


Global coal subsidies to top $US3.15 trillion in 2015

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Thursday 4th of June 2015

If you think subsidies for renewable energy technologies are high, fossil fuel subsidies are simply ‘staggering’.

The world subsidises energy consumption to the tune of more than $200,000 per second, with about 60 per cent of that going to support coal, according to researchers at the International Monetary Fund.

In a paper prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the authors found that energy subsidies are much more than previously estimated. These will rise to $US5.3 trillion ($6.6 trillion) in 2015, or about 6.5 per cent of total global output.

Of the total tab, coal’s subsidy this year will amount to $US3.15 trillion, with the global warming cost put at $750 billion and local air pollution $2.37 trillion.

Can you imagine the cost of electricity if coal subsidies were removed!

Click here to view the report

Energy Saving Plans – Cassowary Coast Regional Council

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Friday 22nd of August 2014

Evolve Energy recently completed Energy Savings Plans for Cassowary Coast Regional Council’s major facilities in Innisfail and Tully.


Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Wednesday 28th of May 2014

If you have a solar system on your roof you need to read this.

If your solar system consists of a number of solar modules connected to a large string inverter you could be at risk and need to read on.  If your solar system has micro inverters or AC solar modules there is no risk.

Since the beginning of 2014 DC Isolators supplied by Avanco, DKSH, and NHP have been the subject of national product recalls. These devices, found in all conventional DC (string) solar systems are connected between the solar array and the inverter.  These isolators have been linked to multiple fires on homes and commercial premises.  More information on these product recalls can be found here.

These product recalls serve as a reminder that no matter how much care is taken in the installation of conventional DC solar systems, the inherent risks associated with high DC voltages and currents can not be totally eliminated, and even the most reputable solar installation companies are still exposed to substantial risks when using this technology.

AC Solar systems operate at extra low DC voltage (typically less than 45 volts) and do not require the use of DC Isolators – eliminating the risk of fires due to high voltage DC circuit faults. This is one of the key factors leading to the widespread adoption of AC Solar technology around the world.

Evolve Energy only supply high quality AC Solar systems because of the inherent safety risks of traditional DC solar systems, improved performance and ease of upgrade.  Please contact us for more information ph: (07) 4035 6646

If you have a solar system with one of these DC isolators you should shut down your solar system immediately and contact your solar installer

Alice Springs Airport chooses BenQ Solar

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Tuesday 20th of May 2014

Alice Springs Airport is expanding its existing solar power facilities, with construction of a new 325kW PV system. The project, valued at $1.9 million, includes the installation of steel structures that will serve the dual purpose of mounting the solar panels and providing shaded, premium car parking.

AC Solar Warehouse was awarded a contract to supply one thousand 325W high efficiency BenQ Solar modules for the project.

Alice Springs Airport General Manager Katie Cooper said the project was a significant one for the airport. “This investment represents a long-held commitment to continue developing our solar energy capability, and it’s exciting to see it coming to fruition,” she said. “The innovative design means we can also improve our parking facilities and offer shaded areas as an additional choice for our customers.”

Alice Springs Airport selected BenQ Solar high efficiency mono-crystaline modules for this project as they provide superior performance in high heat and have a uniform black appearance which reduces glare – an important factor when installing solar arrays near an airport.

BenQ Solar is a leading Taiwanese solar manufacturer with a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation. BenQ Solar produces high quality poly, mono and back contact DC modules, as well as the ground breaking AC Unison solar module that features a factory fitted Power One micro inverter.  Contact ph: (07) 4035 6646 for more details

Queensland electricity prices set to soar

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Queensland electricity prices will increase by 13.6 per cent from July, increasing the average household bill by more than $220 a year.

In December 2013,  Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) released its price rise recommendation for 2014.

QCA modelling revealed the annual tariff 11 bill for a typical family of four using 6133kWh per annum would increase $220.70 to $2225.67.

Why buy electricity when you can make your own for less using solar? Solar can produce electricity for approximately 1/3 of the cost of electricity from the grid, with no future price increases and price uncertainty.

BenQ Solar launch residential energy storage system

Created by Admin under News on Wednesday 13th of November 2013

Leading the way in battery storage BenQ Solar have released details of their new residential energy storage system called PowerLegato.

With residential electricity prices in Queensland above 29 cents per kWh and residential solar systems producing electricity for less than 8 cents per kWh this battery storage solution has the ability to provide 24 hour power for households at significantly lower prices than purchasing electricity from the grid.  Unlike electricity purchased from the grid, the price of electricity using solar and battery storage is not subject to future price rises.

Electricity prices in Queensland have more than doubled since 2007 and future pricing is very unpredictable.

PowerLegato is an integrated solution capable of supporting hybrid energy inputs and outputs, and ensures safe operation with its EnergyOptimizer and battery management system (BMS).

PowerLegato, AUO’s first residential energy storage system aimed at the European market, offers integrated solution supporting hybrid energy inputs and outputs.
PowerLegato, BenQ Solar’s first residential energy storage system, offers integrated solution supporting hybrid energy inputs and outputs.

PowerLegato has an intuitive, password-controlled touch panel, which is a perfect fit for owners to operate safely and efficiently.
PowerLegato has an intuitive, password-controlled touch panel, which is a perfect fit for owners to operate safely and efficiently.

PowerLegato is specifically designed to enable customers to better harness energy utilization in the current market environment, where the primary concern of using renewable energy is its stability in supply and self-consumption. The smart energy storage system includes battery modules, inverter, charger, battery management system (BMS), and energy management system. The all-in-one pack contains complete but fewer components to ensure quicker system installation.

To make it all the more compact, advanced lithium-ion batteries with high volume energy density are used to achieve ultra long battery cycles. PowerLegato also supports hybrid energy inputs and outputs. Users can switch freely between photovoltaic’s DC and grid’s AC sources. When PowerLegato is installed with a PV system, the main power supply will come from the PV system in the daytime, and PV sells surplus power to the grid after PowerLegato is fully charged. In the nighttime or on a cloudy day, the power stored in PowerLegato can be used first, and that from grid acts as a backup.

The specially devised hybrid inverter and charger architecture, in addition to the bundled EnergyOptimizer software and BMS, helps users to obtain maximized power independence and ensure safe operation and longer battery life. The system, with one switch only and an intuitive, password-controlled touch panel, is a perfect fit for homeowners to operate efficiently and safely.

PowerLegato’s ergonomic design has won iF and red dot 2013 design awards. To top it all, the sleek and stylish device has been recruited by red dot to be exhibited in its design museum in Singapore from August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014.

BenQ Solar has long been dedicated to providing innovative green solutions. The Company will continue to develop user-friendly, reliable energy management products for smart homes worldwide to assist customers in realizing energy freedom.  BenQ Solar is a division of AU Optronics which is a worldwide top 4 manufacturer of TFT-LCD panels used in electronic devices like cell phones, computer displays, and televisions.  The company was established in 1996, has a workforce of approximately 45,000 (as at May 2013) and annual review in excess of USD$13B (FY12)

For the technically minded, PowerLegato has a Peak Output of 4.5kW and Nominal battery capacity of 7.2kWh which is more than sufficient for an average Australian residence.

The PowerLegato is not expected to be available in Australia until late 2014.

Pricing and availability can be provided when stock is available.  In the meantime, please contact us and register your interest.

Reducing electricity costs for the Tablelands Regional Council

Created by Grant Behrendorff under News on Monday 2nd of September 2013

Evolve Energy recently completed Energy Savings Plans for the main office buildings of the Tablelands Regional Council located in Atherton and Mareeba.

The plans detail how electricity is currently being used and practical actions that can be taken to reduce electricity consumption and costs.  We also prepared details on how Council could produce its own electricity at a significantly lower cost reducing the amount of electricity purchased from the grid.

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