Here at All Energy HQ, we have found that there are a number or frequently asked questions. Find below some of the Solar FAQ’s, along with their answers, to help you gain knowledge about how products work, factors and limitations that affect solar production and more helpful information.
Under the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), when you install an eligible system, you may claim a set number of STCs. STCs or small-scale Technology Certificates are obtained when you purchase a renewable energy system. The number of STCs assigned to you depends on the amount of electricity that is generated by your system and may also vary depending on your geographic location and the size of your system. A bigger system will naturally garner more of these certificates as it has a bigger capacity and means less electricity needs to be taken from the grid.
Solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity. Electrons vibrate within silicon cells using light photons from the sun. This electricity can then be used to supply renewable energy to your home or business. The renewable energy is harnessed and passed through an Inverter where it converts the DC current into AC. This is what is used to power your appliances. In addition, the inverter processes the AC electricity through the grid. This notifies your energy supplier that you do not require their electricity because you have your own. If your system is generating excess electricity in the sunlight hours, your energy supplier will purchase that from you; thereby off-setting your evening usage.
The angle and orientation of your roof, along with the location of your property, will have an impact on how much solar power your panels can generate. It’s important to install solar panels on the roof of your house facing the direction that gets the most consistent light, as most houses aren’t perfectly arranged in accord with the cardinal angles and there are significant considerations of trees and other potential impediments. Solar panels generate maximum power when they are positioned perpendicular to the sun, so that the sun’s rays hits the panels on a 90° angle. Let us assist you in determining the best possible location to install your solar panels. If you do have a flat rooftop, do not despair, All Energy HQ can install tilt kits that angle your panels to increase sun exposure, maximising their energy generation. This tilt will also allow for rain water to better wash away any dust or grime on your panels, further increasing the generation capacity of your solar panels.
Your grid-connected solar power systems must by law shut down if the grid loses power. The reason is that linesmen repairing faulty electricity wires must be able to do so safely, without any solar power travelling back into the grid during maintenance and repair. Your electricity if fed back into the line could create a danger to the service personnel. Therefore when there is a black out you will also be without power. Your solar power system will automatically turn on during daylight hours when the power comes back to the grid.
However, if you have a battery backup system connected to your solar system, then depending on the wiring, some internal services like the fridge could still be operated by the batteries. Smaller size energy storage systems are available, as many solar system owners prefer to store the electricity they generate and use it during rainy days or at night, rather than sell it to the energy retailers.
You can think of a string of panels as something like a piece of pipe, and the solar power is like water flowing through that pipe. In conventional solar panel strings, shade is something that blocks that flow. If, for example, shade from a tree or a chimney is cast on even one of the panels in the string, the output of the entire string will be reduced to virtually zero for as long as the shadow sits there. If there is a separate, unshaded string, however, this string will continue to produce power as per usual.
In extreme cases, a shadow does not necessarily need to fall on an entire panel – depending on the technology used in the solar panel in question, shading of even just one cell could flatten the output of the panel and in turn the entire string. Many modern panels, however, come equipped with devices called bypass diodes which minimise the effects of partial shading by essentially enabling electricity to ‘flow around’ the shaded cell or cells. Otherwise, All Energy HQ can supply and install panel optimisers for an additional cost. Optimisers ensure the panel can pass the maximum current no matter how badly the system is shaded. So if one or more of your panels is partly shaded by a nearby building or tree, the panels on the same string are not affected.
Although solar panel cleaning is easy and straightforward, without the appropriate safety equipment it can turn dangerous very quickly so hiring a professional may be in your best interest.
Normally the average bit of dust is washed away naturally by the rain. However if you are in a heavily polluted area or there are other obscuring objects on the panels such as leaves, ash or bird droppings, a thorough hose down may be required. Soapy water is fine to use along with a sponge or soft brush to avoid damaging the panels surface.
The size of the system you purchase depends on several factors. You have to think about your budget, electricity usage, how much energy you want to generate and the amount of un-shaded roof space available. Even if you have a lower budget, installing a system that supplies half your energy usage still reduces your carbon footprint. Talk to our Energy Consultants today for a recommended system size tailored to your individual needs.
At All Energy HQ, our mission is to provide our customers with the leading products and brands within the industry. Most solar panels come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years and on average last 40 years, whilst most inverters come with a 5 year warranty.
When installing a solar system, it is vital to consider the position of the panels to maximise the amount of energy produced. The optimal position of your system is on a north-facing roof angled at 30 degrees however east and west facing can still provide a minimum of 90% efficiency. Our energy consultants will determine the best possible place to install your array taking into account the amount of daylight the panels will receive and any factors that may affect production such as angle, orientation and shading.
Solar Energy is ecologically friendly, renewable and better for our health. Considered one of the most “green” electricity sources, solar is one of the best solutions for problems such as climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally the use of solar systems can reduce air pollutants that cause health problems. There is no fear of it running out or harming the environment. With cleaner air and water, we will live longer and healthier lives!
Our solar installations are conducted by qualified electricians who have been accredited by the Clean Energy Council. The date of installation is approximately 7 – 10 days after Energex approval. However, the actual installation of the solar system is typically completed in one day, depending on the size and location of the system.