It’s Spring in Australia and we solar owners are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Thanks to the earth’s 23.5 degree axial tilt, we’re seeing a big increase in daily solar production, and it's happening very quickly. The days are getting longer and the further south you live, the more extreme the difference will be. There may be improvements to any shading issues you may have on your property as the sun rises higher in the sky on its trajectory. It’s the time for solar nerds to celebrate <does a happy dance>.
This good news means that there’s a decent chance that you will be able to increase the amount of time that you use your 'free' solar energy during the day. (Noting that some solar owners will be receiving very high solar feed-in-tariffs, so it may make more sense financially to avoid using their solar energy in order to export it back to the grid for a good price).
If you haven’t checked recently, we recommend looking at your current production levels in your Solar Analytics Dashboard to see exactly when your solar starts to ramp up, peaks, and drops off again. And just to throw another spanner in the works, South-Eastern States switched to Daylight Savings hours over the weekend.
If you’ve been used to your Winter solar production curve, it might be time to update your solar profile chart.
Appliances to consider 'load shifting' to make the most of your 'free' solar energy or lowest tariff:
- Pool pump
- Hot water cycle washing machine usage
- Hot water
- Electric Vehicle charging
Also check which tariffs will affect you during your solar production hours so you can plan to run your appliances during the cheaper tariff period (in case you don’t have enough 'free' solar for your appliances). It’s so annoying when there’s a little cloud cover or Grandma pops the kettle on at the same time as your wash cycle, inadvertently drawing from the grid – at peak rates!!!
It’s also worth noting if you're on time-of-use tariffs, that some of the Electricity Retailers (for example those in the Ausgrid network), have removed peak tariffs in Spring (September and October) and Autumn (April and May). This means that you may only have two tariff periods during this time – shoulder and off peak.
Here’s a great example of a Winter production curve and the current solar profile of a property with a 1.5kW system in Sydney with some significant morning shading:
Beautiful day - unfortunately not much solar production. And you can see the sharp increase at noon after some serious morning shading.
Much better! There's still that sharp increase after the morning shading, but production starts much earlier, and the peak lasts much longer.
You can see how the solar production drops right off over the Winter months and is now picking up again:
How's your solar production tracking? Don’t get caught out – check your Solar Production tab on your Dashboard.