18 November 2013


It is the month of November, and winter in Melbourne is finally showing signs of being over. We’re not sure about you, but we always feel that it overstays its welcome on both seasonal sides. If you live in Melbourne, you know that winter means thick cloud cover and not a whole lot of sunshine. It means harsh winds, a hail apocalypse or two, and sizeable heating bills. At the Home Show in August, we found out you also believe it means that solar energy won’t really work for you. Well, ladies and gentlemen of the southeast, we’re here to unveil the truth.



You see, throughout the year, solar panels are exposed to a great deal of ultraviolet light, even if it’s not sunny every day. So even factoring in Melbourne-style cloud cover, you can still benefit from a good quality solar energy system. At TCK Solar, we use the German designed and manufactured SMA inverters, to squeeze every bit of power out of the SOLON panels to help you through the winter. We can see how solar energy wouldn’t be of much use if you were using an inverter with low efficiency, and indeed this is perhaps how the rumour came about in the first place.

SMA inverters run with consistent efficiency of up to 99%, even in Melbourne where it’s often cloudy. Another reason why we chose SMA inverters is because they are designed to run at high efficiency for decades, so they can keep up with our solar panels and other system elements, which as a system are designed to last for 40 years. You can even see via a Bluetooth connection to your computer how efficiently the system is operating. We’d imagine any of your friends or family who have one of our solar systems installed at their home can happily show you (or feel free to ask us for an example), as they are usually quite proud that their system runs up to 28% more efficiently than alternatives.

When we install solar energy systems, we provide our customers with full training on how to read information provided by their system. We will also provide you with access to the Sydney-based SMA support team, so you always have help and advice on call should you have any questions. We are proud of the quality of our systems and encourage you to gain insight into just how hard they’re working for you.



We often choose these days to install SOLbond panels flush against flat roofs of modern homes and businesses to catch overhead rays with the added advantage of increasing insulation. In winter, these panels act as a blanket, trapping in warm air and further reducing your energy usage. If you have shading around your panels, we may assess the benefits of using SOLraise to help you get the most from your solar energy system—there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to solar.

SOLraise panels operate individually from each other, whereas traditional systems operate in a string. This means if one panel is shaded and running at a low output, the rest of the panels drop down to the same low output. Using independently operating SOLraise panels eliminates this problem and maximises the efficiency of your system, which is particularly important through the winter season when every glimmer of sunshine helps.

So there you have it Melbournians, even in cloudy climates, quality solar energy systems still deliver great value and can still have payback periods well under seven or eight years. (And despite the hail apocalypses, they’ll last for decades). Everything beyond that is money in your pocket. Plus, if you generate more power than you’re using, you can get eight cents per kWh feed-in tariff. Not to mention dollar tags on the value of your home and peace of mind that you’re reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the future environment for the benefit of you and your family.

So, any other rumours you’d like us to dispel?