Solar Power Savings
- Solar power is the simplest way you can reduce your electricity bills
- Solar power could reduce your bills by 30-50% (depending on individual circumstances; contact Stratco for an estimate)
- Protecting you against rising electricity costs
- Typical payback time is three to five years (depending on individual circumstances; contact Stratco for an estimate)
Patented Revolutionary Solar Technology
- Patented surface-prism technology means that the panels can generate more energy when positioned at non-traditional angles to the sun. Unlike traditional panels, it will generate energy even when installed on a horizontal and flat surface.
- Solar Skin is thin, lightweight, flexible and high quality
- Solar Skin uses an aviation-grade composite material to achieve a weight 1/3 of a traditional panel
- The flexible panels can be curved to shape
- Solar Skin has multiple certifications (IEC, CE JET, DVE, SA, CEC) and has been tested under extreme conditions for a harsh Australian climate
- Solar Skin comes with a standard 10-year product warranty and a 25-year performance guarantee
Solar Skin Installation
- Stratco will handle the entire design and installation process so you can enjoy your new patio complete with lower electricity bills
- Stratco will use CEC accredited electricians and comply with CEC guidelines and regulations for installation
- Ideally the system should be pointed north or east/west to provide optimal output, however, the system is able to generate more energy than standard panels, at a larger number of angles to the sun
- With no shade from trees or buildings on the panels during the day
- Solar Skin can be connected to a battery system as per any regular solar panels
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does solar really work?
A: Solar is a proven and reliable way of making electricity. Thousands of homes around Australia have installed solar panels as a way to generate reliable electricity for their homes and reduce the cost of their bills. Interestingly, there are all sorts of modern day devices that are powered by solar energy. Satellites, used to support mobile phone networks and GPS devices, are an important technology powered by solar energy.
Q: How much can I save?
A: The average Australian homes spends more than $2,300 P.A (SA) on electricity. Solar power could reduce your bills by up to 30-50% (depending on individual circumstances; please contact a Stratco Design expert for an accurate estimate).
Q: I'm not at home during the day, why would I install solar?
A: Working families can still benefit from installing solar. You may need a slightly smaller system however your home still consumes electricity even when you’re not at home; and you can always set your dishwasher and washing machine to run during the day! There are 110 days per year of weekends and public holidays from which most working families can benefit greatly from solar. Please contact a Stratco Design expert for an accurate estimate for your particular circumstances.
Q: Who manufactures Stratco Solar Skin solar panels?
A: After extensive investigation into photovoltaic technology, Stratco has selected Suman as our trusted supplier as they were the company with proven lightweight flexible mono-crystalline solar panel technology that met our stringent quality, performance and service standards. Suman’s panels are distributed in Australia by a company called Energus.
Q: What separates the Solar Skin panel from a standard solar panel?
A: Unlike traditional solar panels, Solar Skin is thin, lightweight and flexible, meaning that it is suitable to many more different applications and is invisible from the ground, unlike standard solar panels. This is because unlike traditional panels, Solar Skin will generate energy even when installed on a horizontal and flat surface. Solar Skin uses an aviation-grade composite material to achieve a weight 1/3 of a traditional panel and patented surface-prism technology means that the panels can generate more energy when positioned at non-traditional angles to the sun. Solar Skin can also be put on Stratco Patios and Sheds without any additional engineering required and the flexible panels can be curved to shape (conditions apply).
Q: Where are your solar panels made?
A: China currently leads the world in the manufacture and development of solar panels. China have successfully improved module performance and durability while helping modules fall in price by over 60% over the last five years. The Solar Skin panels are manufactured in China.
Q: What is the warranty on these panels?
A: Solar Skin has multiple certifications (IEC, CE JET, DVE, SA, CEC) and has been tested under extreme conditions for a harsh Australian climate. It therefore comes with a 5-year structural warranty and 10/25 year peak power output performance warranty (is it 10 or 25 years?)
Q: Who do I contact for after sales service / warranty claims?
A: To provide total peace of mind, your new Solar Skin system is backed by Stratco. In the unlikely event that you do encounter problems with your system, we will quickly handle any warranty issues directly, saving you the potential hassle of dealing with overseas manufacturers.
Q: What maintenance is required for these panels?
A: The self-cleaning nature of the panels means that dust build up is almost nonexistent. For other contaminants, such as bird droppings, a garden hose can be used to remove the offending material.
Q: What type of Inverter will be used in my Stratco Solar Skin system?
A: Stratco specifies SMA and Fronius ‘Tier One’ inverters. The standard inverter included in our pricing is the Fronius inverter. An SMA inverter is also available at an additional charge. You can request this as an additional extra.
Q: Why have Stratco chosen SMA and Fronius ‘Tier One’ inverters?
A: These are two of the world’s largest suppliers of solar inverters and are highly efficient to ensure maximum power from the solar panels. They are quality products, designed and engineered in Europe but with dedicated offices here in Australia. The products are expected to last more than 20 years and they come backed by a comprehensive five year warranty program with optional extended warranties available. An LCD display is included so that you can monitor your system’s performance daily.
Q: Can I purchase the Stratco Solar Skin product as a retro-fit product for my existing Shed or Patio?
A: Currently this product is available primarily as an add-on to new Stratco Patios and Sheds. We can’t quote this product in store as a standalone item to be retrofitted onto an existing patio as there are design considerations in the patio / shed structure that may need to be taken into account to get the most from a Solar Skin system (eg size, pitch of roof, aspect). However, if you are really keen to investigate this option, we are happy to take down your details and pass on to our expert team to discuss the options.
Q: Which products can Stratco Solar Skin go onto?
A: Solar Skin is designed to go onto NEW Stratco Patios and Gable Roof sheds. It can be installed onto all of Stratco’s roof sheeting products.
Q: Can I walk on Stratco Solar Skin?
No, you are not able to walk on the Stratco Solar Skin.
Q: Where can I go to get more information about solar and Solar Skin panels?
A: You can visit the SA Power Networks on more information about household solar systems
Q: How is my Stratco Patio or Shed Solar Skin system designed?
A: Our in store Design experts will help you design your new patio or shed to best meet your requirements. They can show you designs, walk you through a number of displays and fully customise the structure to meet your specific needs and circumstances. To do this best, they will need an understanding of your space measurements and distances from house, fence-lines or other structures. You may like to bring in photos of your property as well, to assist in the design process.
Once our design expert has created your customised shed or patio design in our Stratco Design system, they will then talk you through the Solar Skin options for your chosen design. The Solar Skin design will be dependent on a number of factors including the size of your shed or patio, orientation of the structure and the roof pitch and profile. Once you’ve chosen the most appropriate Solar Skin system for your patio / shed, the design expert will be able to give you a quote. They will include drawings of your patio and shed design (although these won’t detail the Solar Skin system at this stage). This quote will include an indicative price for your Solar Skin system. This price will need to be confirmed via a site inspection, which you can book in after you have paid your deposit on your shed / patio.
Q: What happens after I have confirmed the design with the Stratco in-store experts?
A: Once you have confirmed the design and paid the deposit for your new shed or patio, an appointment will be made for our experts to come and inspect your site for the solar installation. At this time, the team will confirm the size of the solar system that can go on your new shed or patio, taking into consideration any existing structures or trees that might reduce the effectiveness of your system. They will also calculate the expected payback period and determine any additional installation requirements and associated costs. This is the point where the exact price of your Stratco Solar Skin System will be confirmed with you. This final quote will have a few exclusions – please see the COST FAQs for details on the exclusions.
Q: Can I connect the new panels to my existing solar system?
A: Technically this is possible but it is probably not something that you would want to do. If you connect to an old system then you need to bring the entire system up to date with all compliance and certification requirements. It is also likely that you will need to upgrade the inverter on your existing system to cope with the increase in power generation. This is likely to mean that you have to spend a lot of money upgrading the existing system. In addition to this, putting in a new or additional solar system will impact your current feed in tariffs. You will need to do your own research to understand the impact that this may have and whether you would want to proceed accordingly.
Q: Are there rebates still available?
A: Yes. The federal government will offset the cost of your system by approximately 30% via Small-scale Technology Certificates (STC’S). Stratco will manage this rebate on your behalf and an estimate of these rebates will be supplied with your quote.
Q: How much can I save on my electricity bill?
A: Stratco can use your average daily usage to give an approximation of how much you may save with this system. If connected to a WiFi network, your solar system which will allow you to log into a website and see in real time what your solar system is producing and what you are using. This will allow you to best use your Solar Skin to save money and to correctly size your battery system in the future.
Q: What does the in store indicative price I am given cover?
A: The price given to you by our design experts in store is an indicative price only which is NOT to be considered a formal quotation for the Solar Skin system. This price will be based on a number of factors including the size of the system that you choose and an estimate only of the STCs you are entitled to. The size is measured in kW and is dependent on the size of the roof of your new patio or shed. The price will also include an allowance for installation and an indication of the government rebates and STCs. This price will need to be confirmed after a site inspection has been conducted.
Q: What is the payback period for me Stratco Solar Skin system?
A: Our in-store experts can you an indication of the anticipated payback period for the Solar Skin System and approximate savings based on average power usage and costs. This is a very much an average estimate but gives you an idea of the type of payback period possible.
If you decide to undertake a site inspection with our expert solar team, they will be able to give you a more exact calculation based on your own circumstances. To be able to calculate this however, they will need you to provide the following information in addition to the final shed / patio design:
- Site address
- Orientation of unit – i.e. will it be facing north, South etc.
- A current power bill showing your power costs and average annual use
The results generated are dependent on the accuracy of the information provided by you and the assumptions shown or selected by you. The information you obtain from the Calculator is an approximate guide only; please be aware of the disclaimer that accompanies it.
Q: Why is a site inspection necessary?
A: A site inspection is required to confirm that your new Stratco Solar Skin system will be as efficient and effective as possible. The team will confirm the size of the system and will inspect the property for things like trees and two-storey buildings which may have an impact on the effectiveness of the system. They will need to confirm the allowance for installation and look at your meter box to confirm whether a new or upgraded meter is required and will also check the distance of your system to your meter box. You may also require additional cabling and isolators that are not included in our standard basic system. After the site inspection, we will be able to provide you with your final Solar Skin quotation. Please be aware that there are some exclusions to this quote – see below for what is NOT included in this quote.
Q: What is included in my system?
A: All systems come complete with appropriate cabling, AC-DC circuit breakers and / or switching enclosures as standard.
Q: What is NOT included in my final quote and Solar Skin System?
A: Depending on your current system, you may require a new or updated electricity meter. The decision on whether or not an upgrade is required is made by SA Power Networks requirement and therefore the cost is managed by them. Whether or not this is required will be determined after the site inspection and once an application to connect your system to the electricity grid has been made with SA Power Networks. If a change to your meter is required you will be notified and billed by SA Power Networks should you proceed with the installation.
Any changes or upgrades to your own current house hold wiring to make it legally compliant will also be outside our own quote.
Q: When do I pay for my Stratco Solar Skin system?
A: You will need to pay a deposit for your new Stratco patio / shed prior to the site inspection. The next payment will not be required until you have received and agreed to your final Solar Skin quote and you have also received your council approval for your new Stratco shed / patio. At this point, you can come into store, sign the final paperwork and pay for the outstanding material costs for both your patio / shed and the Solar Skin system as well as a 10% deposit on the Solar Skin installation cost. This is the point at which the final STC discount will be calculated. The final payment of the installation cost is due after our installers successfully complete the installation of the Solar Skin when our expert team come out for a final site inspection.
Regulation And Council Processes
Q: Do I have to get council approval for my Stratco Solar Skin?
A: You generally need council approval in SA for your new Stratco Patio or Shed, however, you don’t require additional approval for your Solar Skin. Therefore, you are able to submit your council application as soon as you have paid your deposit on the patio / shed and received the appropriate paperwork from Stratco to submit the application. Speak to your Stratco Design Expert for further information on the council approval process.
Q: Do I need to get approval from SA Power Networks for my Solar Skin system?
A: To be able to tap your system back into the SA power grid and receive payment for the electricity from your system, you require approval from SA Power Networks. Our Solar Skin experts will complete this approval request for you after you have confirmed you wish to proceed with the quote after site inspection. Your Solar Skin system will not be able to be connected without this approval.
Installation of Solar Skin
Q: How will my system be attached to the roof sheets?
A: On Outback deck or Cooldek products, the Solar Skin panels are screwed directly to ribs of the roof sheeting using weather-tight fasteners and sealing gaskets, similar to normal roofing accessories. For corrugated roof sheets, battens will be fixed to the purlins so that the fixings cannot be seen underneath. The panels are then screwed into the battens.
Q: Can I install this product myself?
A: Stratco Solar Skin requires qualified installation technicians to install and qualified electricians need to connect it. Therefore, it is not available as a DIY product. Installation will occur after you have installed your patio or shed (which you are able to DIY if you wish).
Q: Who will install my system?
A: To ensure your solar power system is installed in accordance with all Australian standards, Stratco only use licensed electrical contractors, and solar accredited installation teams (BCSE / CEC certified).
Q: When will my system be installed?
A: Once you have received council approval for your patio or shed and SA Power Networks approval for the Solar Skin system, you need to come back into stores to make appropriate payments and fill out contracts. Once this is complete, your shed or patio will be manufactured and a few weeks later it will be delivered to site. You will install your patio and shed and then give Stratco a call. We will then arrange for the Solar Skin installers to call you and arrange a convenient time for installation of the Solar Skin product. They will bring your Solar Skin kit including all the panels and wiring with them. Once installed, our Solar Skin team will come and make a final site inspection to ensure you are comfortable with the final outcome. At this time, you will make the final installation payment and sign the relevant paperwork to enable Stratco to recover the STC rebate, which has already been incorporated into the price of their kit.
Q: Who is responsible for swapping over / upgrading my current power meter?
A: At our site inspection, we will take a photo of your existing meter. SA Power Networks will then determine whether a new or upgraded meter is required. If one is required, it will be an additional expense and will be installed by SA Power networks when they come to connect you to the grid.
Q: Who is responsible for connecting my Solar Skin system to the network?
A: SA Power Networks will connect your Solar Skin system to the power network. This may take up to several weeks after the installation of the panels.