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What Is The Price Of A 3kW Solar System In 2024?

Author
Tom Sedgwick
Updated at
Reading time
3 min

While larger systems are becoming more common in Australia, a 3kW solar system is suitable for smaller homes or those with limited roof space and low energy needs. These systems are affordable, with good quality options starting around $4,500-$5,000. Upgrading to a smart system or high-efficiency panels adds a bit to the cost but can be worthwhile.

A typical 10-panel array can potentially save you up to $300 per quarter on your electricity bill. With affordable solar prices and highly-efficient panels, you could see a return on your investment in just 4-5 years.

The Price of a 3kW Solar System

To give you a general idea of the price of a 3kW solar power system, here's the breakdown:

Basic System (around $4,500): This includes good quality panels (like Trina Honey) and a reliable inverter (like SMA). These components translate to roughly $85 per month over five years (after government incentives).

Smart System (around $5,000-$7,000): This features top-tier panels (like REC Alpha Pure) and advanced monitoring with Enphase microinverters. Due to Enphase's advanced features, more than 80% of our installations utilise it.

These prices include everything: the panels, inverter, installation, connection to the grid, and government incentive of around $1500. These estimates might vary based on other factors. A site inspection is recommended to confirm the exact cost.

West Hoxton 3kW

Is A 3kW Solar System Enough?

We understand the concern about 3kW systems being outdated. While 3kW systems were common a few years ago, technology has advanced significantly. Panels are now more efficient (up to 415W from 250W), and their price has dropped. This advancement means you get more power for less money.

Think of it like buying a computer - a great model from 2015 might not be the best choice today. Similarly, a 3kW system may not meet your current needs.

The average system we install now is closer to 8kW, with many reaching for 6kW. Here's why larger systems are becoming the new standard for Australian homes:

  • Solar power is more affordable than ever: The price per watt of solar panels has dropped dramatically, while their efficiency is higher. Generating your electricity can be cheaper than what you pay to the grid.

  • Government incentives reward bigger systems: Many government rebates favour larger solar installations. It provides a higher financial boost to offset the upfront cost.

  • Future-proofing your home's energy needs: Are you considering buying an electric car or adding battery storage? A larger solar system ensures you have enough power to fuel your future needs without needing additional upgrades later.

The Output of a 3kW Solar System

On average, a 3kW system in Sydney will produce around 12 kWh of electricity each day. This number will vary depending on the season. During long summer days, solar panels generate more power. On shorter winter days, solar panels generate less.

This 12 kWh is produced during daylight hours, typically peaking around midday and following a bell curve (see the photo below). To maximise the benefit of a 3kW system, your household's daily electricity usage should ideally be around 24 kWh (or roughly a quarterly bill of $400-$600, excluding off-peak hot water heating).

A solar system generates the most power when the sun directly hits the panels. For a north-facing array in Sydney, this peak production happens for about 4 hours in the middle of the day.

As the graph shows, clouds can cause a significant drop in power output. On the other hand, a well-designed system facing west can capture some late afternoon sun in summer, extending its operating hours.

3kW Solar System in Sydney

Don't be surprised if your 3kW system doesn't always hit its maximum output. As the image shows, several factors influence how much power your system generates at any given time. These include the time of day, season, and even the angle of your roof.

For instance, in Sydney during summer, flat panels might be ideal for capturing the high midday sun. However, a system tilted at 20 degrees, like this example, will reach peak output in spring and autumn. As a result, on a sunny December day, this system might only reach 2.37kW at its peak.

But here's the good news! At 1KOMMA5°, our expert design and installation ensure your system performs optimally. Even though the peak output wasn't reached, the total daily output for this system was an impressive 19.9 kWh, well above average. Our well-designed systems typically generate around 30% more power than expected over their lifetime.

Reducing Your Power Bill With A 3kW Solar System

The more solar energy you use directly at home, the bigger the impact on your electricity bill. Aim to use around 70% or more of the power your system generates as it's produced. This can significantly reduce your power bill.

flexible solar array

Here are some things to keep in mind about these savings estimates:

  • These figures are based on using 70% or 100% of your solar power at home.

  • We assumed an average electricity cost of $0.28 per kWh (including GST) and a feed-in tariff of $0.12 per kWh (the rate your energy provider pays you for excess solar power).

  • We factored in a 3% annual inflation rate for electricity costs.

  • Solar power generation is based on Clean Energy Council Guidelines for a north-facing roof with no shade.

The Benefit of a 3kW Solar System

Clean Energy Council guidelines estimate that a north-facing system with no shade will generate around 4,271 kWh per year, which averages about 11.7 kWh daily. If we based it on our previous installations in Sydney, this could lower this average further.

If you pay around 35 cents per kWh and use your power strategically during peak hours, a 3kW system could save you up to $1,281 annually on your electricity bills. West-facing panels might even increase these savings.

If you pay more during peak hours, a 3kW system could save you up to $1,281 annually on your electricity bill, assuming an average rate of 35 cents per kWh. West-facing panels might even offer further savings.

If you have a flat rate plan (around 28 cents per kWh including GST), a 3kW system could save you around $37,000 over its lifetime!

Even if you don't utilise all the solar power your system generates during the day, the excess energy automatically feeds back into the grid. Your energy provider typically compensates you for this contribution through a feed-in tariff (FIT). It's usually around 12 cents per kWh and credited to your electricity bill.

Monthly Benefit of a 3kW Solar System

3kW Solar Panels

With the technological advancement, we're witnessing a decrease in the cost of high-efficiency panels. We leverage this advancement by using Trina's cost-effective Split Cell range for our 3kW solar systems in Sydney. These top-notch panels deliver impressive power output, making them a great value option for your home.

When it comes to designing your system, we offer two options to suit your needs and budget. Our standard setup utilizes a string inverter, which efficiently manages the power generation of your 9 Trina panels.

If you're interested in a more advanced system with enhanced monitoring and potential shade tolerance benefits, we can also configure your 3kW system with microinverters.

3kW Solar Inverters

3kW Micro Inverter System

As Australia's leading installer of Enphase microinverters, we specialise in designing solar systems that maximise your energy production. Our expert design team creates customised arrays to fit your roof and needs, ensuring optimal performance in all conditions.

Microinverters offer more flexibility in solar panel design. Since each panel works independently, you can arrange them in various directions and angles. For instance, some panels can face north while others face west. You can generate solar power throughout the day this way. This method can maximise your self-consumption, especially during peak hours if you're on a time-of-use billing plan.

Enphase microinverter IQ7

3kW Standard Solar Inverter

String inverters offer a cost-effective option for your 3kW system, especially if:

  • Your roof faces north, east, or west and receives full sun. Even a little shade on one panel can significantly reduce the entire system's output with a string inverter.

  • You have space for at least 12 panels (1.7m x 1m). Ideally, you'd want 7 panels per string (series connection) for optimal inverter performance.

Splitting the panels into smaller strings (less than 7 panels) isn't recommended. While we can explore options like dual input inverters or adding extra panels for a more efficient system, a full-size string (7+ panels) facing the sun directly is the best approach.

Not sure if a string inverter is the best fit? Explore more about our complete guide to solar inverter. Or, you can request a quotation below and talk to our solar experts.

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

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