Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
Solar panels are worth it if you consume electricity during the day. This can be in the form of lights, fridges, swimming pools, air conditioners to name a few. By installing solar, you bring this cost to zero and sell the excess back to the electrical company for a profit.
Solar energy can be stored in a battery. To do this you need a special inverter and a battery. The inverter is affordable but at the time of writing this, the battery is more expensive than the price from Ergon. On average, the cost of energy from a battery is 32 cents with Ergon costing 28 cents.
The benefit of a battery comes to those who experience frequent power outages or live off of the grid.
While the moon does produce energy, it doesn’t produce enough for the solar panels to convert into useable energy. The solution to this is either a battery or producing excess during the day and selling it back to the grid. This then gets bought back at night but will be cheaper.
Solar panels can be fitted to a flat roof. We will use mounts to angle the panels to ensure they get the most amount of energy from the sun.
Solar panels in Australia are mounted to face north. This is because we are located in the southern hemisphere and the Sun is closest to the equator. We can also tilt them east or west depending on when you use the most energy. If you’re a heavy consumer in the morning, we will face your panels east and west if you use more in the afternoon.
Solar panels absorb and convert the sun’s rays into DC electricity.
The inverter receives the DC electricity and converts this into AC electricity suitable for your home.
Your meter box sends electricity to the grid once it’s converted. It also receives electricity from the grid when you need it.
Solar panels are installed by accredited installers. Mounts are used to attach the panels to your roof and face them towards the Sun. Cables are then run through your roof to the inverter that is mounted on the side of your house. This installation process can take a few hours or a few weeks if you choose a commercial system.
This is dependant on the size of your roof and how much energy you need to be produced. We generally use 330w poly or monocrystalline panels. The type of panels solar systems use are called Photovoltaic (PV) panels – not to be confused with solar hot water panels.
We use Suntech, QCell, and Jinko. These brands are the best quality whilst keeping the price in mind.
You’ll find a lot of panels that are far cheaper but these come with added risks such as;
1: Low-quality busbars (these conduct electricity within the panel) can easily be overloaded and catch fire.
2: Low-quality junction boxes. A junction box joins the solar cells to the leads. Cheaper panels come with junction boxes with no IP rating that aren’t weatherproof. This spells disaster if water gets in since the panels are constantly conducting electricity.
3: High-quality panels use double-walled steel frames to ensure there is no movement. Cheaper panels use a thin single piece of steel to frame the panel. This frame can easily bend causing fractures to the panels thus decreasing the performance.
4: Cheaper panels don’t come with warranties to cover you when things go wrong. Often times, they’ll have hidden clauses in the warranty to stop you from getting a replacement. These panels are also sold by companies that “Pheonix”. This means they close down after selling all of their products and reopen the next day to avoid fulfilling the warranties.
Solar does work in winter but can have a decrease in performance. This is from the angle of the sun and the shorter amount of daylight. Winter can make up for this in Australia since that is our dry season. This means less cloud cover and more daylight. The total drop in performance varies but is only around 10%.
When you purchase solar panels, you’ll receive a number of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). These STCs can be sold for the going rate that day either by yourself or the installer. Often times the installer will calculate the cost of the system, minus the STCs and give you the price. Essentially they are paying full price for the system, selling it to you for the discount, and then claiming the STC’s for you. You can pay full price and claim the STC’s yourself but this is very uncommon.
Your solar panels will produce energy that your home won’t need. This is sold back to the energy company for a price set by them. Shopping around means you could between 8 cents to 17 cents per kilowatt sold. Customers often buy electricity for 28 cents. So, if you’re selling more during the day than you use at nighttime,