Solar Installation Tips For New Build Homes - Goliath Solar & Electrical

Solar Installation Tips For New Build Homes

If you’re considering solar power for your new home, you want to get it right from the get go. A new build offers the chance to optimise your set up, but you want to make sure you’ve done your homework. Proper consultation with your architect, builder and solar expert during the planning process is the best way to avoid common installation issues or roadblocks, and we are here to help! 

Here are our top tips for navigating your way forward to a sunny future in your dream home.

1. Roof Design

The first thing you need to check with your home builder is whether your roof will support at least 7.92kW of solar panels (18 panels) with a 6kW inverter (as per Finn Peacock’s suggestion on SolarQuotes). Incredibly – in this day and age when an all-electric future is certain to become the norm, there are still developers and homebuilders getting away with building brand new ‘slender roof houses’ without provision for supporting solar resources. In 2023 the average size system Goliath Solar & Electrical has installed for it’s clients has been 7.92kW for single phase homes and 13kW for three phase homes which is around 18 – 30 solar panels installed with annual electricity savings from $2,000 – $3,000+!

The good news is that if you find your new home needs roof modifications at the planning stage, it can easily be included as a build contract variation, usually at a cost of a few hundred dollars, and noted as:

“Upgrade roof trusses (including calculation and design) to accommodate future roof solar panels supplied and installed by Owner after handover”.

Simple. But crucial!

Another great thing to discuss with your architect and solar experts is tailoring the design to your roof. They can also help identify possible shading issues from neighbouring properties, as well as solutions for optimal placement of antennas, skylights, ventilation, etc on other areas of your roof line.

We suggest getting all your roof spaces supported for panels so North, East, West and South. This way you’re not limited to the size of the system you have installed. If a 13kW solar panel system can fit, get 30 panels approved as this will help you produce more electricity in cooler months to charge a battery and EV car such as Tesla offer.

2. Pre-Wiring For Solar

We always advise pre-installing your solar system wiring while your home is under construction. We can very simply pre-wire the house for solar, meeting all Solar CEC standards, before the walls are gyp-rocked. This is much simpler and more cost effective to do at the beginning of a build than after, and also ensures there are no visible solar cables in your home.

A few technical things to be aware of…

– Solar cables run at up to 600V DC in your home and are live at all times, except for when the sun goes down or you switch your solar panels off, and they cannot be protected by a circuit breaker or safety switch.

– For this reason there are strict regulations on how and where to run the solar cables, and they have to be protected by specific heavy duty solar conduit. It’s important to note – not all builders or electricians are across these industry standards as they’re not necessarily solar experts.

– We recommend engaging a CEC approved electrician, (ideally from the same company who will install your solar system) to do your pre-wiring. This way you can be sure it’s compliant and will avoid any extra costs that tend to crop up when mistakes are made.

– It also helps to know which solar system you plan to install before wiring, to ensure the correct cables are laid.

3. Solar Inverter Location 

Inverter, Switchboard & Battery

The great thing with solar panels on a new build house is you have the chance to decide where all your services will be located. Our advice is to position the inverter as close to the switchboard as possible. Usually we suggest placing them on a southern wall or inside your garage, which can also be an ideal spot to position a battery in future. Please be mindful any battery installation requires bollards to protect it as per Australian standards, this is a non negotiable!

Consumption Monitoring

It is a requirement that all systems in SA installed from 1/7/23 have installed with their inverter a consumption monitoring device. These products also allow you to see the live electricity usage of your home and these devices are seperate to your inverter. Imagine these as another circuit breaker and cost from an extra $300 for single phase homes and $600 three phase homes. Each inverter manufacturer has a different name for their own product. Fronius product is called a Fronius Smart Energy meter, SolarEdge label it a Modbus meter, Enphase an envoy and Sungrow consumption meter.


Don’t forget – your monitoring system will need a data connection and the internet can be connected via wi-fi or hardwiring. We recommend running a data cable to the inverter / switchboard location. That way you’re pre-wired for the day of install and your system can be connected to your home internet on the spot.


All new meters installed now are easily re programmed remotely by a request from your solar installer. So no need to stress if you didn’t have solar approval prior to meter request through builders application for power to site. Part of our service is for Goliath to gain pre approval from SA Power Networks

Type of Inverter

We design a solar system for all our clients based on their current and future needs. Most of our clients are sticking with more reputable DC European made inverters as you can AC couple a battery like a Tesla to any inverter in the market. Fronius now have their Gen 24 Primo (single phase) and Symo (three phase) inverters available as DC hybrid inverters and well matched with BYD battery. Just be mindful this BYD battery can only be installed inside a garage or under cover.

4. Switchboard & Three Phase Power

We understand that in the not too distant future you will likely add big appliances to your home, and with this in mind it makes sense to install a bigger switchboard with more breakers and greater capacity than you currently need. It will certainly save you lots of money down the track, as replacing a switchboard is a costly exercise.

Whilst most house run on single phase power, there is a limit to how much solar a 10kW capacity system can export to the grid, hence how much you can save on your power bill and also how much power your home can use at anyone time. This can limit yourself as single phase in SA wont allow yourself to run your aircon, oven and charge your ev at the same time as you will be using more power than you home can handle.

In simple terms, if you have the option to install three phase power, even in a modest home it opens up the opportunity to generate more power and savings and you’ll be generating enough extra energy to charge larger appliances in future.

It’s also wise to consider laying 3 phase cabling from your switchboard to wherever you would place a charger for your electric car (the future is closer than you think!). It won’t be long before this is a reality for most of us, and it will cost heaps less than installing cables later.

5. Safety & Scaffolding

We take safety seriously, if you’re building a multi story property, it’s a good idea to ask your builder to allow the solar company on site to install your panels while the scaffold is up as it’s not always possible to add scaffold after handover. Good news though is if this isn’t possible Goliath can organise safety rail protection for our installers at a lower cost scaffolding with costs between $500 – $2,000 depending on roof size

6. Electric car (EV)

With more and more electric car options coming into in the market it’s only a matter of time before you will have one parked in the garage. In terms of future proofing for an EV majority of the wall chargers work similar and require the same ac cabling. When ever you charge your car if the sun is shining your solar will look to charge your car before exporting to the grid so therefore filling your car from the sun! Best to let your builder know that you would like a provision for future ev so this can be done during the build process. Also great news as Fronius has now released their own brand of ev charger called Wattpilot. Along with your Fronius inverter and Fronius Smart Energy meter installed it’s smart enough to charge your car from excess solar!

7. Timing & STCs

The timing of your solar install will influence the STCs rebate which in turn will have an influence on your system cost. The STCs are only created once the system is fully installed and operating and will reduce the cost of your installed solar system. So unfortunately you can’t lock in the STC’s by paying a deposit or signing on the dotted line.  

For instance in 2023, a 6.6kW solar system installed will get you 73 STC’S @ $38 each = $2,774. In 2024 the same 6.6kW solar system installed will only get you 64 STC’s @ $38 each = $2,432 so you’re looking at nearly $342 less if you wait until 2024 to get your system installed.

In terms of pricing please add an extra $70 per kW installed to our current pricing based on the variables involved.

What Now?

With a little forward thinking you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your solar system performance and savings well into the future! If you’re looking to build a new home in Adelaide, Goliath Solar & Electrical is ready to help you achieve the benefits of building a solar-ready property. 

To learn details specific to your property, please contact us.

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