Australian Energy & Solar Landscape – The 5 W’s

The Global energy scene is witnessing rapid changes brought about by two important factors:-

  • Global warming and its consequences
  • Major shift to renewable sources of energy

Global Shift to Environment

Global leaders have already taken cognizance of the potential challenges that lie ahead for the human from global warming. Global warming is no more considered a joke or a research subject. In many parts of the world, we are already experiencing unpredictable climate, regions dependent on rains going dry, deserts getting rain and such vagaries. Possibly, if we had heeded to global warming warnings a few decades ago, we could have contained or avoided some of the mysteries that the human kind is facing today. As we coin this article for you, hurricane Irma is causing havoc across Florida in the US and so far, Cuba has taken the worst brunt

Temperature scale

Temperature anomalies.

Possibly, if we had heeded to global warming warnings a few decades ago, we could have contained or avoided some of the mysteries that the human kind is facing today. As we coin this article for you, hurricane Irma is causing havoc across Florida in the US and so far, Cuba has taken the worst brunt

World Landscape for Energy

In many parts of the world, we are already experiencing unpredictable climate, regions dependent on rains going dry, deserts getting rain and such vagaries. Possibly, if we had heeded to global warming warnings a few decades ago, we could have contained or avoided some of the mysteries that the human kind is facing today. As we coin this article for you, hurricane Irma is causing havoc across Florida in the US and so far, Cuba has taken the worst brunt

As we coin this article for you, hurricane Irma is causing havoc across Florida in the US and so far, Cuba has taken the worst brunt

As we coin this article for you, hurricane Irma is causing havoc across Florida in the US and so far, Cuba has taken the worst brunt of this storm. Irma may not be a direct consequence of global warming, but it did contribute to making it more horrifying. Experts also point out that future storms could potentially stronger than ever before.

There is precious little that we, as individuals, can help contain global warming and if that is what you thought – it is time to sit up and take stock.

Thanks to major initiatives from global leaders, efforts are underway to take on global warming more seriously and usher in measures to contain its impact. Emissions from fossil fuels have been identified as the major cause of climate change and the world is now geared towards a quantum shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Energy Landscape in Australia

Time that Aussies should look at solar energy more seriously

It is not just global warming that sets the tone for Aussies to take a more serious look at solar energy to meet their energy needs. Australia enjoys the most number of sunny days around the world with Perth being at the top and Melbourne coming at the bottom with 3,200 and 2,200 hours of sunny days per year, respectively. Further, the cost of home solar installations has been dropping steadily and so have been the cost of storage batteries. This article explains the cost considerations and payback period for your investment on multiple parameters.

Australia enjoys the most number of sunny days around the world with Perth being at the top and Melbourne coming at the bottom with 3,200 and 2,200 hours of sunny days per year, respectively. Further, the cost of home solar installations has been dropping steadily and so have been the cost of storage batteries. This article explains the cost considerations and payback period for your investment on multiple parameters.

Solar

Rooftop solar is affordable and a smart option for most Australian homes.

In the last quarter of 2017, even if we take away all the incentives provided by the State, roof top solar is still affordable. This perhaps also explains why home solar installations in Australia have been growing at a steady pace even in the absence of most generous incentives closed out to new applicants.Euro Solar Group of Companies that have led in that trend have done well over time although the rebates have gone down. Home owners are also learning new methods to use most, if not all, of the solar energy

Here is a TV ad that these folks do.

Home owners are also learning new methods to use most, if not all, of the solar energy production by their home installations. This is a smart move which saves $0.20 to $0.30 per kWh depending on individual location and the retail cost of energy paid to the grid. Conversely, the feed in tariffs (what you receive for the excess output you sell to the grid) averages about $0.08 per kWh.

Prices for solar installation are stabilizing

Recent years have seen plenty of changes in the Australian solar arena. In 2011, many home owners in Australia opted for solar power encouraged by liberal state incentives. Over the next three years, prices started dropping steadily and so did the incentives. From 2014 onwards, after

Over the next three years, prices started dropping steadily and so did the incentives. From 2014 onwards, after a significant reduction in the price of Solar power systems, prices are now stabilizing at current levels. The typical cost of a home solar power installation has dropped by about 30% in 2017 as compared to what prevailed in 2012.

Most home owners today are opting for 3kW or higher capacity systems

Another pointer to the growing acceptance of home solar systems is the fact that most installations in recent times have moved from the 1kW system at the start of this revolution to 3kW or more per household. Home owners are also appreciating the value proposition offered by larger systems.

Payback periods for solar installations

The payback for solar installations varies on account of multiple factors such as the price you pay for the panels, price of storage batteries, cost of energy from the grid, and rate of feed-in tariff among others.

But a simple evaluation independent of the storage batteries, your investment in a simple home solar power system should pay itself back in about 5 years. But, given the average life of a home solar power system at about 25 years, your ROI is attractive. With storage added, the payback still hovers around 10 years. For a detailed look at the payback period under varying conditions, you can go here or here.

Ideally, homeowners are better off with a storage system added, since most of us tend to use more power during the evening and night when solar power available for use is at the least across the day. A storage will also ensure uninterrupted power without dependence on the grid. Utilising most of the power generated by your solar power system is the key to optimizing your returns from the investment.

Further, in regions that experience high prices for electricity from the grid and lower price for solar power system installation, the advantages from a solar power system installation can be spectacular without any additional effort. Even in cities that have a higher average price for solar power systems, the payback period hovers around 7 years.

Getting the best from increasing competition

With more and more Australian home owners opting for solar power systems, we can expect to see healthy competition from the providers. Focused research to find the most advantageous prices will help you ensure that your overall investment in the solar power system and storage pegs lower by at least a few hundred dollars. Thanks to the digital world, you can carry out all your research from the comfort of your home too.

Go solar to save our planet and also save some cash for you in the process!

 

Roofing Expert Guide: Steel Flashing Roofing Options and Its Benefits

What is flashing and what does it do?

Before we go into details about steel flashing, let us define flashing first when employed in roofing options. It refers to the installation of impervious materials that are very light. It is done to prevent the water from entering a structure through a joint. This is also done as a form of barrier system for roofing options that is water resistant. Before the innovation in flashing has been introduced, carpenters from years ago used to employ other methods to minimise the amount of water that can enter a structure – angling the shingles on the roof, chimneys positions at the ridge, creating steps on the chimney’s side to throw the water off. Once flashing products have been introduced to roofing options, it has helped reduced the water entering through the chimney, openings found in windows and doors, vent pipes as well as walls. This is the reason why structures are now more durable, and there are very minimal mould problems.

It is common for a roof to have solar panels installed. You can get custom flashing to prevent your roof from leaking by installed solar mounts.

Materials used in flashing


Aside from steel flashing, there are other materials used as roofing options. The most common materials used are metal, impregnated paper, plastic and rubber. For metal flashing, different materials fall under this category such as stainless steel, lead, zinc alloy, aluminium, copper as well as other forms of architectural metals. Coated metals are also employed including terne coated copper, galvanised steel, galvalume, lead-coated copper, polyvinylidene fluoride and anodised aluminium. When metal is used in flashing, there should be expansion joints because metal sheets such as steel flashing could deform over time because of expansion as well as contraction. Galvanic corrosion is also a high risk when it comes to metal flashing due to chemical reaction.

Galvanized flashing – aluminium or steel?

If you are aiming for galvanised flashing, then you have two options – aluminium and steel flashing. A plethora of factors must be considered when choosing between the two. Aluminium is considered to be a lightweight material while steel is much heavier. The decision depends on the budget that you have for the flashing, the environmental condition where the flashing will be installed and the choice of the homeowners when it comes to choosing the better quality material for their home. Aluminium flashing installed on roofs is considered as one of the three materials that have a high resistance to rust – steel and copper are the two others. Aluminium flashing is widely used by people who are into DIY because the material is flexible and it is easy to work. For unprofessional carpenters, it is simpler to bend the materials and to manipulate the aluminium compared to steel. As a flashing material, it is categorised as mid-range, and its shape is not easily deformed. Steel flashing, on the other hand, is a low-cost option when choosing materials for roof flashing. The galvanised steel that is used in flashing is obtained by covering the metal with a galvanised steel coating. It is cheaper compared to copper or aluminium.

Benefits of galvanised steel flashing

One of the most popular materials that are readily available for flashing is the galvanised steel. It helps the homeowners by providing protection to the structure as well as making sure the surface of the roof is not easily damaged due to weather conditions. Galvanised steel is considered as economical choice when picking flashing materials. This is produced by covering the steel sheets with a layer of zinc as a coating. The process of coating is accomplished with the help of hot dipping or electroplating. Either of the two processes can create the desired result. There are enormous options to choose from depending on the protection the structure needs, but roll flashing can be done with sheets as wide as 48 inches if required. Fastening of the galvanised steel flashing is achieved with the use of galvanised nails. Fasteners made out of other materials are not employed to avoid the possibility of corrosion. It is also not recommended to be used along with green lumber or treated lumber because the chemicals can trigger a reaction with the steel. Galvanised steel is known to be rigid thus after installation; it will retain the shape for a long time. This is best to be used in applications where it has to conform to certain shapes and form. This flashing system can be painted if the homeowner desires without compromising the protection it provides.

Benefits of stainless steel flashing

Another commonly available material used for metal flashing is stainless steel. Stainless steel is used by many homeowners because it is not only durable but also versatile. This material can be installed in many structures regardless of the surrounding environment because stainless steel is recognised for its high resistance to corrosion and rust. The material composition also includes chromium which is beneficial in performing better. It is also proven to withstand weather damages compared to other flashing materials thus this is meant for long term use. The fundamental thing to keep in mind is that installation must be done with the right fasteners. Despite the fact that it is durable and reliable, stainless steel is still one of the most affordable options. Aside from the low cost of installation, homeowners will be able to save in the long run because of the flashing system’s durability. Together with the fact that it is for long term use, stainless steel flashing is considered to be one of the low-cost options for roofing. Less maintenance is also required on the homeowner’s part and is perfect for those that are not used to carpentry works. Once installed, the system has to be checked at least one or twice in one year to check if there are any structural defects. After the inspection is done, homeowners are rest assured that the system is intact and will continue to provide protection. Custom work can be done with stainless steel flashing, but it will cost more.

Quick Guide: How to Make Yourself Ready for Management?

Management is leadership. You are going to make critical decisions that are going to impact not only the bottom line of your organisations but also the lives of hundreds or thousands who will count on your prudent decision-making skills. If you are a talented and trailblazing manager, then your management skills and decision making will also set industry trends and usher in new changes, innovations and best practices that make things better in your industry.

That is not to say that craft is secondary when you are pursuing a top management position. In fact, in many industries, you will be in the best position to make decisions if you have a good mastery of your craft including the technical skills  and project management certification required to execute operations and processes. So the first step in climbing to the top is to attend the project management training 2016 and educate yourself with the relevant skills, especially in the technical disciplines required to be successful in your industry. However, apart from the discipline-specific coursework and practical management experience, you also need to take various managerial courses to improve your soft skills and hard skills, such as Strategic Management and Project Management Plan that will build your core as a manager.

project management training courses

Management is leadership. You are going to make critical decisions that are going to impact not only the bottom line of your organisations but also the lives of hundreds or thousands who will count on your prudent decision-making skills. If you are a talented and trailblazing manager, then your management skills and decision making will also set industry trends and usher in new changes, innovations and best practices that make things better in your industry.

That is not to say that craft is secondary when you are pursuing a top management position. In fact, in many industries, you will be in the best position to make decisions if you have a good mastery of your craft including the technical skills required to execute operations and processes. So the first step in climbing to the top is to attend the project management training 2016 and educate yourself with the relevant skills, especially in the technical disciplines required to be successful in your industry. However, apart from the discipline-specific coursework and practical management experience, you also need to take various managerial.

The Soft Skills

As many will attest, once you have the relevant technical skills and the industry credibility where you are knowledgeable about your subject through the degrees and certifications, it will take the soft skills to support you to climb to the top. The soft skills help you in unearthing and exploiting opportunities that will give you a promotion. Communication and interpersonal skills, for example, will be critical skills that will help you rise to the highest level of management.

However, you must have that “thing” in you that helps you recognise and grasp opportunities to climb the ladder and head to the top faster than your peers. Opportunities can have real life career impact, but sometimes they can simply have theoretical value in the short term and help in building your core as a manager, something that will adequately prepare you to take advantage of bigger opportunities in the future. An example of theoretical value is undertaking more responsibilities without expecting monetary value in the short term. So what does a qualified manager should cover? Let’s have a look at how you chart your way to the top.

Outline Your Career Goals

Without specific goals on what you want to achieve career-wise within a specified duration of time, your career journey can be quite jumbled up. It is important to have a goal and find mentors that will help you realise that goal.

Always Prospect for More Opportunities

Keep hunting for more opportunities to take up more responsibilities in your line of work. Don’t always expect a financial or personal reward. A sense of initiative is an important quality in a manager, and if you can display proactivity early on in your career by taking more responsibilities without incentives, you will be opening more doors of opportunity.

Find a Role Model and Mentor

Know someone at the peak of their career in your line of work. Develop an acquaintance with them and ask them to mentor you. Look at how they rose to the top and study how they perform on a day to day basis to absorb some critical management skills and philosophies that make them stay on the top.

Expand Your Expertise

Take more relevant classes and courses to expand your scope and knowledge in your area of work. You can also read lots of management books, attend seminars, workshops to simply expand your network and expertise. Expand on your core areas of expertise up to the Masters level or even higher. Constant education not only increases your value and effectiveness as an employee, but it also imbues you with the confidence necessary to take up more challenging roles.

Look for Leadership Roles

Don’t wait to be called. Look for opportunities to fill in leadership roles that will further your career and aspirations for top management. Start with small projects to hone your management leadership skills. For example, if there are certain project management roles in your company, hop onto these. Some management courses will help you in building your project management expertise so that you can manage your projects with a greater degree of success. Once you have proven your expertise through various successful projects, you not only have a spruced up resume, but you will gain trust and credibility in the upper echelon of management as well as among industry peers. It will open doors to more senior management positions.

Volunteer to fill in when your boss is away

If you have shown capacity as a manager, your boss will be eager to have you take his/her responsibilities when they are away or tied up on some commitment. Filling in and doing the job with diligence when the boss is away can help you “dial in” on what it takes to function at the higher level. It is also an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you can maturely and competently take up managerial responsibilities. When the time comes, your boss will not hesitate to give you the promotion.

In all of these steps that you need to rise to higher management, there is a common thread: initiative. Unless you are willing to move out of your comfort zone and take up the initiative and do something to improve your skills and connection with people, you are unlikely to go far. Going to the top requires grit and determination.

Preparation is always a key ingredient in this, but you must also take continuous measures to improve your value and expertise. While working on the soft skills, don’t forget the hard skills that you also need to function management effectively. Management courses can be a good starting point for someone with an ambition to climb to the top quickly and take more roles that will put your talents and enthusiasm to more productive uses.