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Can I Add Solar Panels To An Existing Solar System?

Author
Tom Sedgwick
Updated at
Reading time
3 min

Thanks to technology from Enphase, we can now get around the previous limitations that made it so difficult to add panels to an existing system. You can now easily expand your existing system and add solar panels to a total array that is right for your energy needs.

From a technical standpoint, we cannot add panels to an existing solar installation that is older than a year or two. This is because the Australian standards have been raised, so if we were to touch your existing system we would have to replace all of the cables. We would also have to try and match the new panels to your existing ones, which is close to impossible due to the increases in performance and high-efficiency modules.

For example, Trina Honey panels were previously 250W, and they are now around 310W for around the same price. Trying to source old panels in Australia is close to impossible, and even when we can get our hands on old stock it is usually more expensive than the new panels.

How We Can Help You Add The Latest Panels To Your System

Enphase Microinverters convert solar power from DC to AC underneath each panel, which allows each panel to output power independently from the rest of the array. This means we can now install new high-efficiency modules like the 1KOMMA5° Full Black Module without touching your existing system. This makes the new system 100% compatible with an existing array and the two inputs are managed through an energy management system that we install in your meter board, which also connects your system to the internet to enable online system monitoring from any internet-connected device, including smartphones.

The 10 Key Benefits of Enphase Micro Inverter Systems

The best news of all is current households that were on the Solar Bonus Scheme are also eligible for the current federal government rebate. On a 3kW upgrade, eligible households are entitled to an incentive of around $2,500 incentive, and this comes off the purchase price of your new system.

Solar panels on roof Australia

Key Benefits of Adding Panels To Your Existing System

  • Fully compatible with existing systems

  • No new inverter needed. Your new panels come with microinverters that convert DC to AC under each panel. This means your new panels will output power independently from the other panels, allowing you to install new high-efficiency panels that do not match your existing ones.

  • Safe and easy AC cable run from the new panel array directly into your meter board – no more high voltage DC.

  • Your existing system remains untouched, which means no expensive upgrades.

  • Microinverters allow us to install panels at different orientations and angles.

  • We will install an energy management hub in your meter board and connect your existing system to the new one.

  • Your system is connected to the cloud for free online monitoring.

  • 100% Battery Ready! Looking to add battery storage in the near future? Your new and expanded system is battery ready.

  • Additional panels are eligible for the current government solar rebate.

  • Our typical lead time for installation is only 2-4 weeks.

Why Don’t We Connect Additional Panels to an Existing Inverter?

Most enquiries we get from existing solar owners are from people who expect us to connect additional panels into an existing inverter. There are a number of limitations with this approach, which is why we do not offer this service for most systems:

  • With a string inverter, new panels need to be matched to the existing modules. Older panels are almost impossible to be sourced from distributors in Australia. It is sometimes possible to order panels from the manufacturer, but typically the minimum order is a container-load; far too many panels for a residential system. Up until this revolution that has been lead by Enphase, adding solar panels to an existing system was next to impossible because of a lack of old stock in Australia. This has all changed now thanks to microinverter technology that allows us to add any new panels to your existing array.

  • A string inverter can only take up to around 130% of its rating. For example, a 3kW inverter can have up to a 3.9kW array of panels. This means that if you want a 4kW system or larger, you would need to replace the inverter, which is normally too expensive.

  • Australian standards have changed. If your system is not up to current Australian standards, we need to redo all of the wiring and some of the hardware. For systems older than around two years or so, there is typically over $1000 of work involved, which makes the upgrade too expansive for it to be worth your while.

Now that we have the new microinverter technology available to us, these limiting factors are now no longer an issue. New panels can be added without touching your existing system, with a safe and easy AC cable run connecting your new array to your meter board and to your existing solar input.

For more information and pricing, please enquire below and our Solar Team will be happy to help.

Request for a solar and home battery storage quote today to see how much you can save!

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