Dr Pierre Verlinden, Trina Solar’s former chief scientist, recently finished installing Trina Solar mono PERC panels on the roof of his new home in South Australia.

Verlinden, who left Trina Solar last year, has installed a 6.4kW system that comprises of several 295W mono PERC modules connected to a 5kW inverter. Verlinden, who is still a consultant to Trina Solar, says he will be feeding back to his former colleagues at Trina Solar his findings and consumer experience with the system.

“I chose mono PERC because my roof is not very big, so I decided to go with the most efficient solar cells – PERC mono. My roof mostly faces east-west with a small area orientated north.”

He says the system, which only took four hours to install, is producing more than enough electricity for his home. This is including the electricity needed to power the swimming pool, which is the household’s biggest consumer of electricity. “I haven’t received my electricity bill yet, since we just installed the system, but I think my electricity bill will be zero or cash positive.”

Verlinden’s home in McLaren Vale, outside Adelaide, is a newly built house, so it already came with a ‘smart meter’. This means his solar system feeds excess electricity into the grid. South Australia has a feed-in tariff where households earn money from providing electricity into the grid.

Verlinden also plans to install a TrinaBess energy storage system, so rather than feed all excess electricity into the grid, he will store it in the battery and use it at night to power his home and recharge his electric car. 

In the summer, he estimates that his home solar system will generate 40kWh of electricity per day of which 10kWh will be consumed by the pumps for his swimming pool and 3kWh for the rest of the home, leaving 27kWh for the batteries or for export to the grid. This will be more than enough to charge the electric car, says Verlinden, who estimates he will average 50kms of driving per day and requiring about 9 or 10 kWh of charging.  In the winter, the solar system will generate in average 12 kWh per day, enough for powering the house and recharging the car.

Verlinden, who is originally from Belgium but has lived in Australia for many years, says the state of South Australia, “is very progressive with more than 30% of houses having some kind of solar system on the roof.” He also says: “South Australia is 50% powered by renewable energy, mostly wind and solar. The state also has the biggest energy storage system in the world,” he adds, referring to the Hornsdale (South Australia) 100MW/129MWh storage system.

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