What is a residential solar power system and how does it work? How many solar panels does it take to power the average home? Is residential solar costly? Read our brief guide to learn all you need to know about residential solar panel systems in Australia and how to make the right purchase decision.
Solar panels for residents:
It’s not just small businesses that have something to gain in securing solar panels. Australian residents benefit greatly from investing in solar and debunking the mystery of energy efficiency. And it’s really not as hard to crack the code as you’d think.
The basics: how does solar power work in Australia?
Australia has the highest solar radiation per square meter of space and some of the best solar energy resources in the world. In an average year, we produce 10,000 times more solar radiation than our total energy consumption, and currently, we only use 1% of electricity generated through solar. We get some of the best sun exposure here in Australia and it works wonders for solar power. That’s why the Australian government keeps rolling out incentives and rebates for it.
How do solar panels work?
Solar panels allow photons – or particles of light – to knock free from atoms and generate electricity. There are a variety of solar panels that function in a range of ways; however all utilise energy from the sun to create electricity, doing so with ZERO emissions!
How popular are rooftop solar systems in Australia?
Rooftop solar systems are becoming more and more popular throughout Australia. Data shows that as of the 31st of December 2020 more than 2.68 million rooftop solar power systems have been installed in Australia – meaning one in four homes now have solar panelling. We are currently leading the world in the residential uptake of solar.
What makes up a solar power system?
There’s a lot more to solar power systems than just the solar panels. Solar panels need to be attached securely to mounting frames. Cables, switches, and monitoring equipment are crucial to ensure the safety and efficiency of your system. The solar inverter and battery enable flow into the grid and storage of your efficient power. Without one, you might be at a loss.
The basics: roof direction/angle for optimal solar generation:
A fully exposed rooftop is the ideal for solar generation, or panels placed in the sunniest location of the roof. It is generally believed north is the best direction to face your solar panels for maximum output, however it is also possible to get a small boost having them face slightly away from due north, either east or west.
What size system do I need?
It’s a good idea, when planning for solar power, to consider how much electricity you use and when you use your electricity most often. You can calculate how many panels you need by multiplying the household’s hourly energy use by the peak sunlight hours for your home and then dividing that by a panel’s wattage. Or keep in mind that a 5kWh system is generally considered a good, entry-level system and a 10kWh system would help most homes get close to wiping out their electricity bill.
Know that a well-sized solar power system can help you reduce the amount of energy you purchase from the grid, reducing your electricity bills and saving you money.
How does solar power save you money?
Solar power is an incredible addition to your home and the cheapest source of energy for more than a dozen countries. It’s an easy way to offset your energy costs and become more self-sufficient. Excess energy can be directed into the grid for a feed-in tariff, or it can be stored in a rechargeable battery for later use instead.
Understanding Australia’s solar rebates and incentives:
The Federal Solar Rebate is available in Queensland. Any purchase of solar panels will qualify for the rebate if the modules and inverter receive approval by Clean Energy Council, and a CEC accredited installer performs the installation. The rebate is based on the size of the system and Nuway Solar can explain this to you on site.
Solar Payback Periods
In general, a system without batteries has a 3-5 year payback period. A battery included for any time will extend this period. The average payback period of solar in Australia is just 4 years.
Selecting good quality solar equipment?
In selecting good equipment, there’s just a few things to consider outside of professional installation and standard. Consider the investment of a premium level installer; there’s generally a standard 10-year warranty for solar panels in Australia however not all businesses will stay open long enough for you to make a claim. You also need to consider, early, your options regarding solar inverters and batteries. Your inverter needs to be able to reliably direct currents into the electrical grid, and if you do choose to have a battery for even the worst blackouts, you need it to be secure.
Different types of solar panels:
There are three main types of solar panels:
1.Monocrystalline: Single, pure silicon ingot. Good appearance, especially with full black design. Expensive, but the best performance
2.Polycrystalline: Blocks of molten silicon. Originally dominant solar technology, but has poor uniformity with pixelated blue cells on white background. Outdated technology, relatively expensive.
3.Thin-film: Thin layers of photovoltaic material. Good appearance with even grey colour. Less efficient than monocrystalline, cheaper due to low performance.
The choice of which solar panel you use is entirely dependent on application. However, most residential and commercial rooftops utilize monocrystalline panels, due to the greater efficiency. It’s good to consider this as your investment.
Solar panel maintenance:
Solar panel systems are extremely durable and require little to no maintenance over their lifetime, which can span 25 years or more. To ensure a long life, it’s recommended that you give it periodic cleaning to make sure dirt, leaves and other debris don’t obstruct the sun’s rays. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for any trees that might branch out and begin to form a shadow. You want to make it as available to sunlight as possible.
Selecting a ‘good’ solar installer:
In order to make the best decision for your home, only use companies that come to site for an accurate assessment of the site and of the requirements of the system. There are plenty of companies out there that just want to slap a generic system on your roof for profit. Also make sure you go with a company that provides after sales support; to make sure you get the most savings out of your system.
Looking for solar panel installation?
If you’re considering installing solar panels or batteries for your home in South East Queensland, NuWay Solar can help you with high-quality, trusted installation, done quick and easy. The local, family-owned business that has been installing commercial and residential energy systems for over 9 years. Our team are experts at assessing the best system for you. Finance packages available.
“Sales: Found John knowledgeable re his product helpful and courteous.
Installation: Team was punctual tidied up when finished and explained all phases of install
Follow up: Organised Meter change and grid connect with a follow up visit for any questions I may have had. 5/5” – Terrence