Commercial Solar System Cost:
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Commercial Solar System Cost

As an industry-leading provider of high-quality Commercial Solar solutions, Lumenaus has cultivated deep expertise and understanding of the intricate dynamics of Commercial Solar project delivery & how these impact Commercial Solar System Cost. Drawing from our wealth of experience, we’ve designed a comprehensive Commercial Solar Buying Guide to empower businesses in making informed decisions about their solar energy investments.

At Lumenaus, we recognize the importance of reliable and accurate information when making substantial investments like Commercial Solar System Cost. We have successfully delivered solar projects for a diverse range of commercial clients, ranging from engineering firms & manufacturers to retirement villages and general factory-based businesses making us well-equipped to guide you through the complex Commercial Solar purchasing process.

Our Commercial Solar Buying Guide encapsulates the vast knowledge and experience we’ve gathered over the years, providing you with crucial insights and key considerations when assessing Commercial Solar System Cost. We will walk you through the intricacies of understanding your energy needs, selecting the right types of solar panels, inverters, and battery storage, as well as delving into installation, efficiency, warranties, financing, and incentives.

At Lumenaus, we’re not just about selling solar systems, we’re passionate about empowering businesses to embrace sustainability and achieve energy independence. Our Commercial Solar Buying Guide serves as a testament to that commitment. As you navigate the intricacies of Commercial Solar System Cost and broader Commercial Solar Options with us, you’ll understand why Lumenaus is a trusted authority in the delivery of Commercial Solar Projects which deliver long term value and maximised investment returns.

Here are some important things to Consider relating to Commercial Solar System Cost

Standard Solar Panels or Premium?

Commercial Solar System Cost varies greatly in the Australian market and this is a direct reflection of the variation we see in product quality, workmanship and ultimately the longevity of the system.

The biggest difference in Commercial Solar System Cost is well within your control, that being your choice of Solar Panel & Inverter System, which can vary in price by as much as $0.50 per watt, or around $50,000 on a 100kW Commercial Solar System…

That’s correct, as much as 50% or more of your Commercial Solar System Cost can be dependent on which Solar Panels & Inverter System you choose, so choose wisely.

Read our article about Unlocking Commercial Solar Potential to understand which Solar Panel is Best and why.


Levelized Cost of Energy

Golden Goose or Dead Duck?

There are many cost factors which are used to calculate your Commercial Solar System Cost in terms of Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), but I’ll point out those which are dictated by your choice in Solar Panel & Inverter System.

Read our article about Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) Unveiled: Sunpower vs Standard Solar Panels.

Essentially your LCOE is a quantification of your actual cost of the total solar electricity generated over the expected working life of your Commercial Solar System, giving weight to overall solar electricity yield against cost of ownership including Commercial Solar System Cost, maintenance, hardware replacement over time etc.

Working Life & Solar Cell Degradation

How Bad could it Be, and why do we care?

Some panels are so poorly designed, typically around lowest production & materials cost, that their working life expectancy can be as little as 12 – 15 years. Even if these low-quality panels did last a full 25 years, because of their higher annual cell degradation rates (as high as 0.7%) you can barely expect to achieve 80% yield by this time. You may ask yourself what the real Commercial Solar System Cost is when choosing low-quality solar panels.

Compare this to a quality Commercial Solar System, such as the Sunpower Maxeon, which will yield as much as 92% in Year 25 and 88% in Year 40. Guaranteed for an eye-watering 40 Years by Sunpower Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd, it’s easy to justify the higher upfront Commercial Solar System Cost.

Read our article about the High Impact of Solar Cell Degradation on Solar Panel Working Life.

Solar Panel Warranties

Manufacturer’s Warranty & Investment Return Guarantee

Do you even have one?

Few manufacturers’ warranties on Commercial Solar Panels include most of the costs associated with replacing a faulty panel and this is an important factor in determining Commercial Solar System Cost.

In fact, the cost of removing the faulty panel, shipping of the suspected faulty panel back to the manufacturer, shipping of a new replacement panel to you and installation labour to install your new panel all far out-weigh even the cost of the new panel and make for a very expensive Commercial Solar warranty claim – even if successful which is something to be aware of.

Premium Commercial Solar Panels such as Sunpower naturally cover all costs associated with replacing the faulty panel, this is a reflection of their confidence in their products and one of the many reasons why Lumenaus has partnered with Sunpower. A higher upfront Commercial Solar System Cost can in this case result in a lower total cost over the lifetime of the system.

Read our article about The Value of Solar Panel Warranties in Commercial Solar.

Quality Solar Panels
Low Cost Solar Panels
Product Warranty
40 Years
25 Years
15 to 25 Years
12 to 15 Years
Annual Degradation
Year 25 Performance
Year 35 Performance
Anything is Possible
Wishful Thinking
Year 40 Performance
Anything is Possible
Wishful Thinking
Removal of Old Panel
Shipping of Old Panel
Shipping of New Panel
Installation of New Panel

The Sunpower Maxeon Commercial Solar Panels are not only expected to last 40+ years, but their annual cell degradation is so low (0.25%) that Sunpower Guarantees an 88.3% yield by Year 40. This is also reflected in Sunpower’s Industry-leading Warranty which covers Parts, Labour & Performance. Truly an exceptional Commercial Solar System Cost to benefit proposition.

Read our article about Which Type of Solar Panel is Best for Commercial Use.

Sunpower Warranty

Sunpower also manufactures a High-Quality mid-range Commercial Solar Panel which comes with a Comprehensive 25 Year Parts & Labour Warranty.

The Sunpower Performance 6 Bifacial is the Lumenaus ‘go-to’ Quality Standard Commercial Solar Panel offering customers who want the complete Package without the Premium Price Tag, whilst maintaining a superior Commercial Solar System Cost to benefit ratio in vomparison with mass market solar panels.

Solar Panel Power Tolerance

Positive or Negative Power Tolerance

What’s the Difference?

Most Quality Commercial Solar Panels these days come with a Positive Power Tolerance. This means that the factory flash-test for each panel has achieved at least the datasheet nominated rating, however this can often be between 3-5% higher due to variations in the manufacturing process.

However, be aware that some lower cost Commercial Solar Panels may come with a negative power tolerance which will typically be reflected as -5%/+5% on the datasheet. In this case, any given panel in your system will perform at between 95% and 105% of the nominated power output. It is not difficult to see here that this can severely impact the true Commercial Solar System Cost.

Read our article on The Impact of Solar Panel Power Tolerance on Commercial Solar Energy Yield.

Why would this matter? Well, this could translate to significant solar production yield losses, particularly if you have a string inverter, since the Commercial Solar Panels run in a series of 20 or so per string. If only 1 panel in each string performs at 95% of it’s rated output, then all panels in those strings will be dragged down to 95%. With this in mind, it is easy to understand some of the hidden Commercial Solar System Cost which is often neglected.

Ultimately you need to decide whether you wish to either invest in the Goose which lives the longest and lays more eggs, or the Goose which lives half as long and ends up as a Dead Duck?

The Golden Goose may cost a bit more to acquire, but it will far out-live the Duck. Your Golden Goose will certainly yield more eggs and is Guaranteed never let you down as an investment for the longer term. Commercial Solar is an exacting undertaking when it comes to determining Commercial Solar System Cost.

Ready to Start Investing in Commercial Solar?

String Inverter or Micro-Inverters or is there another Option?

The majority of Commercial Solar Quotations offered in Australia comprise of standard solar panels coupled to standard string inverters. It is assumed that the quote needs to be cost-competitive in order to win the Tender, and if there are no shade issues at the proposed site then a lowest-cost solution is good enough, but how does this impact Commercial Solar System Cost?

Nothing wrong with selecting a Commercial Solar String Inverter, provided it is a quality unit. However there are a range of other benefits available to you should you select micro-inverters or solar panel-optimisers, including long-term additional solar electricity yield and valuable performance & fault-diagnosis insights as well as safety features which all impact the true Commercial Solar System Cost.

Commercial Solar Melbourne

Mismatch Losses & ‘Missed-Potential’ Solar Yield

Can you get more than your money’s worth?

With regard to the Power Tolerance of Commercial Solar Panels as I’ve mentioned, there is significant variation in performance between solar panels – even if they were produced within the same manufacturing run, due to variations in the manufacturing process.

As mentioned, if you have selected a string-type solar inverter, then you will likely have strings of 20 or more Commercial Solar Panels running in series. Since each panel will produce power at different current levels, this incurs significant system losses known as ‘mismatch’ and this also accelerates solar panel cell degradation, much to the detriment of your true Commercial Solar System Cost.

If your Commercial Solar Panels are all performing differently, and each string is only as good as it’s worst-performing solar panel, why would you not want to capitalize on these potential additional solar electricity yields, and by doing so, improving your total Commercial Solar System Cost to benefit ratio?

By selecting an inverter solution which mitigates these losses and promises a range of additional benefits we can capture these extra gains while at the same time providing further value added features which standard inverter systems fail to offer.

Increased Solar Electricity Yield

Optimize to Maximize your Investment Return

If you want to maximize your Commercial Solar electricity yield, then you do have the option of selecting Micro-Inverters. However, Micro-Inverters can be cost-prohibitive when we are talking about installing an inverter under every panel on a Commercial Solar Installation, which may include anywhere from 200 to 4,000 solar panels or more?

Enter the SolarEdge Inverter System with Solar Panel Optimizers to achieve the best of both worlds, with some additional features and benefits. The SolarEdge Optimized Commercial Solar Panel System is able to extract and capture the maximum yield from each individual panel by virtually eliminating mismatch losses with the aid of Module-Level Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).

The SolarEdge system comes complete with a Desktop & Mobile App which allows you to view your Commercial Solar Panel Systems Performance, down to the Module-level including voltage, current and power data. This kind of setup can drastically improve your Commercial Solar System Cost to benefit ratio compared to traditional string designed systems.

Read our article about Solaredge Solar Panel Optimisers: Unlocking Maximum Solar Yields.

Fault Diagnosis & Visibility

Can you see for Yourself?

Another disadvantage of Commercial Solar String Inverter Systems is the inability to know or see if your system is under-performing. Should only 1 panel on any given string fail, not only would you not know about it, but every panel on that string would suffer the same fate as they are all dragged down by that one panel.

The SolarEdge Optimized Commercial Solar System allows you to easily monitor system performance down to the solar panel-level, including individual solar panel power, voltage and current. If a panel or an entire string is down, or under-performing, you will know about it.

Rapid Shut-Down Safety Feature

What is that you say?

Each Commercial Solar SolarEdge Panel Optimizer is equipped with industry-leading safety features designed to reduce modules high DC voltage to a safe level whenever the inverter or grid power is shut down.

Ready to Start Investing in Commercial Solar?

Project Delivery & Final Results

You’re happy with the quote, the price is low and you wouldn’t have a clue which Commercial Solar Panel will be included (or why?). The company is well known and the sales rep seemed to know their stuff, you think the system size is right for your requirements so a great project delivery result is assured… or is it?

Lumenaus is often the second solar company coming in after the client has been sold an undersized Commercial Solar System, and in most cases low-grade solar panels coupled to poor workmanship has resulted in much client disappointment unfortunately. 

What’s worse is that the lower Commercial Solar System Cost solution has failed to be just that, and instead has proven to yield additional expense.

Commercial Solar

Design & Engineering Expertise

Can’t we just throw some panels up on the roof & wire it up?

There is much more to designing a Commercial Solar Panel System for your business requirements than simply reviewing your electricity bill. Often clients will let the sales rep advise on system size based on either an estimation or simply because they have other quotes for that 100kW and that’s what they’ve asked for. The upfront Federal Incentive Discount promises a lower Commercial Solar System Cost, but what is often neglected is the high cost of remaining grid electricity consumption due to undersized Commercial Solar System Design.

To properly ascertain final system design, we must assess a number of variables which can often limit what you can achieve in terms of solar capacity at your site. Significant Electrical & Structural Engineering work needs to be carried out to ensure compliant & safe installation of the final Commercial Solar System design can be carried out.

Structural Engineering Certification

Commercial Solar Energy Modelling

Commercial Solar Design

Installation Standards

Don’t all CEC Accredited Installers have to work to the same standards?

Yes they do, and we wish this was the case, but unfortunately a lot of solar installers sent to Commercial Solar Project sites are simply not experienced in Commercial Solar (or properly managed) to ensure a high-level of standard in workmanship.

Poor workmanship is a contributing factor to the real Commercial Solar System Cost, particularly when rectification works are required.

Lumenaus is often contacted by clients who have had a poorly designed and sub-standard Commercial Solar Installation carried out by another retailer, seeking a high-quality expanded system which can fulfill their needs where others have fallen short. We pride ourselves in exacting standards in workmanship, project delivery and customer satisfaction.

Visit our Homepage for a complete list of Quality Commercial Solar Products & Services offered by Lumenaus.

Visit the Lumenaus Home Page for a complete list of Quality Commercial Solar Products & Services offered by Lumenaus.