Welcome to another episode of Solar Outsiders brought to you by Alan Kemp of Queensland Solar and Lighting. In this episode, we’ll chat with Lewis ‘The Solar Pest’, we’ll discuss panel prices in the market, and we’re going to chat with Hyundai about their panels.
Our Chat with Lewis
The new Growatt 10kw Single Phase Inverter 3mppt
Lewis has the new Growatt 10 kW single-phase released in Australia (episode published August 2, 2021). Traditional monitors needed a Smart Meter, however current models only need a CT. Consumption monitoring will work with either.
Consumption monitoring is available for the new 10 kW Growatt with 3mppt and 4 strings. It should offer consumption monitoring like what current TLX Growatt models offer.
Price of Solar panels rising for Q3 2021
Pricing is going up, in fact, some solar power panels have already seen increased prices. It is possible for companies to lock in an exchange rate with the bank for a short period of time, but the price is expected to rise through Q3. Lewis hopes the AUD will stabilize and prices won’t continue to rise.
Big National solar companies feeling the pinch hard
According to Lewis, the only thing that can bring solar panel costs down is the Australian dollar. He finds that all companies across the industry are feeling the same pinch. Australians may have a little bit cheaper prices because of the lack of a China tax. However, if you’re in the market, both Alan and Lewis recommend buying as soon as you can.
Aluminum price rise – Rail going up
Similar to the cost of panels, aluminum is also on the rise. Some aluminum is extruded in Australia but we’re still likely to see around a 15% increase in costs, especially compared to the 20% increase in panels.
In general, the cost of most things is increasing, and customers and suppliers are feeling the impact.
Hyundai Solar Panels explain their status in the Australian market
Next in this episode, Alan talks with Peter from Hyundai about the Hyundai solar panels that we sell in Brisbane that are available in Australia.
Are the Hyundai panels related to Hyundai cars?
In short, no. Previously, they did belong to the same group however, after the founder passed away the original group was divided. There are now 3 groups. They are:
- Hyundai Motors
- Hyundai Heavy Industry (Hyundai Energy Solutions)
- Hyundai Corporation
They are now considered a brother company, and they are a private company.
How strong is the 25-year warranty in Australia?
Alan reports that some people have claimed Hyundai panels are not really Hyundai. So how strong is the warranty? According to the spokesperson, Peter, the company comes with 80 years of experience and reliability.
Hyundai Heavy Industry also manufactures things like large ships. So, they’re experienced in durable products that weather the elements extends beyond solar panels.
Some people say Hyundai sold panels, left Australia for a few years, and is now back. Is that true?
Yes. Peter says the sales team underwent a major restructuring. The time when they “left” was the time they were restructuring their sales efforts. But despite a pause in their Australian presence, all warranties were still upheld. Customers could still contact Hyundai regarding their warranties and their products.
How does distribution work?
Hyundai has a manufacturing base in Korea, but they also have a facility in China. They can export internationally from either facility; however, they typically export from the facility in China. They do this because the Chinese facility is more cost-efficient than the Korean facility. The Korean facility tends to focus on domestic and U.S. fulfillment.
Are there any new Hyundai products coming out soon?
There will be a 415w available in Q4 or Q1 of 2022. Covid issues currently prevent Hyundai from setting up facilities in Australia. Their plan is to establish a local office and warehouse to service Australia.
What’s the difference between the VG and the UF?
They’re different cells. The VG is the M6 166 power cells while the UF is 168 cells. The cells are different sizes for both. This results in a larger panel with similar wattage. Precision in the VG is higher than in the UF but the UF is cheaper.
Are there any issues with the VG panels?
According to Peter, Hyundai does not experience any issues with the VG panels. According to Alan, the cables were too short and the installers were not happy with the product. However, Hyundai has moved to 1.5-meter cables.
Fronius Solar inverter Customer Service Call
Last on this episode is a customer call. Alan calls a customer that’s requested Fronius inverter servicing. They have been a customer for almost 3 years. Here’s the transcript from that call:
Customer: Sunday, there was a noise coming from the inverter and it was only picking up about 5 or 6 kW instead of 3 or 4 thousand kW. I followed the procedure and switched the thing down, switched on the AC inverter, and the main DC power connection. I left it for about five minutes and switched it back up. It all kicked up back in and off she went. She’s been the same ever since.
Alan: You don’t need to service them. So, what happened there could have been high grid voltage in the area. They won’t connect during that time. But keep an eye on it, because I know sometimes it can happen all summer long. As more production and the days get longer, they’re producing more power and sometimes the grid doesn’t really know what to do with all the voltage in it from all the other systems. If it keeps doing something let me know.
Customer: I’ve been keeping an eye on it a lot.
Alan: The other thing, it’ll put an error on the screen. They’ve got a big screen on them, so you can check the error codes. If you ever see an error code on the screen let me know.
Customer: The thing that attracted my attention first was the noise. It was quite uncharacteristic, it’s normally silent. At that point I figured, well I’ll switch it down and then switch it back up again and you see that cured it.
Alan: I might have sold you a lemon.
Customer: I doubt it. They’ve got a pretty good reputation. The only problem I’ve had is in communicating with the Germans. There was an option to get an extra five-year warranty and I had to go through the email address. They were shitty about the whole thing; the customer service was pretty piss-poor.
Alan: To be honest, we don’t really recommend them that much anymore because of that.
Customer: Yeah, I was given an option for an additional five-year warranty extension. I can’t remember what the amount was. I asked for a quote, and I looked at it and thought that was a bit much. Next thing, they sent me a brilliant invoice. I only asked for a quote. They were demanding payment and sent them two or three emails back to calm them down and say I asked for a quote. I didn’t ask for an extended warranty.
Alan: I haven’t recommended them for 18 months now.
Customer: Well, I checked out all the various things online three years ago and they were up in the highest listing performers.
Alan: Well, they still are but the Chinese are now really cracking into them. Well, luckily, we got in with you. If it shows up as an error or something let me know. Take a video and then just send it to me.
Customer: I’ll take a video if it happens again.
If you’re experiencing issues with your solar panel system or solar inverter, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips to help you get back up and running:
- First, check your solar panels. They should be free of debris and have no signs of water damage. If they don’t look like they’re working properly, try cleaning them with a dry cloth. If they’re still not working, try replacing them.
- Next, make sure that everything is plugged in correctly. Solar panels need to be plugged into the converter so it can transfer electricity from the sun into usable power for your home or business. If anything looks like it’s not connected properly, check all connections and make any needed corrections.
- Finally, if none of these steps work for you, contact us for assistance! We’ll do our best to help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise with your system and get things running smoothly again as soon as possible!
You can also check out our guide for navigating system repairs. If you’d like to listen to the full recorded call, make sure to check out our YouTube video. Thanks for tuning in, we’ll see you on the next episode of Solar Outsiders.