As the energy prices around us continue to rise and concern regarding increasing utility bills mounts, more and more Australians are switching to solar. They are jumping on the green energy bandwagon and want to make the most of the current offers not to mention enjoy the reduction in their electricity bills. But there are many things to know before you install a solar power system.
This article explains how solar panels work and the numerous things to think about such as solar rebates, feed-in tariffs and more. It will also help to compare solar panel prices Sydney.
How does a solar PV system work?
The photovoltaic effect is the ability of certain materials to produce electricity when the light hits them. Solar panels use this concept to convert energy from the sun to direct current. An inverter then changes this to alternating current which helps power appliances around our homes.
Solar Panel Efficiency
The efficiency is just the amount of solar panel’s electricity output which is measured in watts when compared to the surface area. Normally, if the efficiency is higher, the more power you can get from a certain area and this might lower your installation costs as well. However if you lack the roof space, it might be better to purchase low-cost panels with reduced efficiency and just use many of them.
This might be a surprising bit of information, but although solar panels are to be placed on rooftops, their efficiency decreases as it gets warmer. So, it is normal to find that you get a reduced amount of power from them on an extremely hot day compared to a mild day. Another factor that affects efficiency is incorrect installation. The must be installed carefully so that there is plenty of air flow to help the panels cool down.
Choosing an installer
According to The Clean Energy Council (CEC), both systems and installers should follow certain standards before they are allowed to serve the general public.
Individual Stores can also be a part of the CEC’s agreement, which shows their willingness to follow safe practice protocols.
So it is better to look for an accredited company that strictly abides by the code of conduct, has a good reputation and honest work ethic.
How much solar capacity will you need?
These days you don’t get much money from transferring excess power back into the grid. So it’s important that you maximise your own use of solar power and minimise how much is sent into the grid.
You can access essential information about the daily energy use by going over old energy bills.
If you find that you don’t use a lot of energy during the day then its best to get a smaller system. Otherwise, opt for a larger one.
Solar panel purchasing checklist
• Turn off your appliances when not in use and use the dishwasher/washing machine only when there is a full load to save up to 30% off your utility bills.
• Consider what type of energy you are currently using and the amount you require for optimum functioning.
• Ensure your roof is in the right direction. Panels that are north-facing produce the best results.
• Check to make sure there are no trees, power lines or other structures shading your roof.
• Check with the local councils to know about the permits needed before you go about installing a Solar Panel.
• Get several quotes from installers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
• If you can’t afford to pay for the system upfront, think about other options like solar leasing.
• Make sure the installer has the compulsory certification and the panels meet the set standard.