Complete Guide to Solar Installation
Solar installers are hugely catching up in Australia. Not only do they save on your normal electricity cost but also add value to the environment. Get a solar installation on your roof for the most obvious reasons.
Earth receives 430 quintillion Joules of energy from the sun every hour. Human energy consumption is about 0.01% of this. Solar energy is not only abundantly available but is also environmentally friendly without any pollution unlike fossil fuels or hydroelectric power or nuclear extracts. Solar installers are a device that converts solar radiation into electricity. Solar installers can be used to generate power in cameras and electric power generating systems or even a light detector. With so many advantages here is a list that will help you understand the exact use of solar installers in your everyday life.
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The advantages of investing in a solar panel
Investing in a solar panel is the best decision you can take today. This is a way of saving energy and adding your bit to the society. If you are the owner of a standalone house or living in an apartment that gets abundant sunlight during the day, then all you need to do is to fix a solar panel that would trap the solar energy needed to power your house at night.
How to install solar panels?
- The roof should be unshaded and well served by sunlight
- There should be nothing that casts shade on the roof, like nearby building or trees
- In the southern hemisphere choose to install solar panels on the north. However, you could also choose an east or west-facing side.
- You need to place the panels slanted at 30 degrees.
If you can make the following arrangement, then your house will be powered with natural energy throughout the day. You can run all your appliances with this natural power and the performance will be uninterrupted. Most households consume 30% of the energy trapped by the system, however, you would still need to fall back on conventional electricity, but with the support of solar power, you can reduce your normal power consumption to a great degree. So why not choose it?
What should you choose - Solar PV panel or Solar PV with Battery Storage?
Once you have decided that you want a solar installation, you need to know the kind of installation that you would need. There are broadly two solar installers that are ideal for a country like Australia.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system and Solar PV system with batteries.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system
This system is not supported by batteries and used in most houses. This converts sunlight to electricity and can be used for all household purposes like running the basic appliances at home. This acts as a convenient back up for saving the electric bill and the free-flowing energy in the house is indeed a great advantage for households.
Solar PV system with batteries
This is definitely more hybrid in nature. Comprising 1 in 8 solar PV installation with battery storage devices. The battery prices are still high but once the prices fall, this component will be in high demand. The advantage of this battery-operated panel is that the energy that has not been consumed by the household, will recharge the battery. The stored solar energy will flow into the grid and the power can be used whenever needed. Of course, the battery size will determine its capacity and cost. Therefore, you can consider a small battery for times that you are completely thrown off-grid. In the more remote areas, these solar installations can be given serious consideration.
What should be your right Solar PC system size
Consider the space on your roof and then zero on the solar system size. The things that you would need to check are the number of panels. Each panel model differs from the other, generating different capacity of energy. However, for homes, 1.7m2 standard solar panel of 250W-500W is ideal. Around 3-4 will occupy 4.2m2 – 6.8m2 of roof space. You have to select the unshaded roof space. The popular solar PV system is between 3kW and 10kW. So select accordingly. Here is an approximate size guide, that might come in handy, to choose the right panel w.r.t your roof size.
Incentivizing initiatives on solar installation
The Australian government, to promote the use of solar PV Systems, offers federal incentives on the upfront cost of installing 100kW capacity of solar panels. This incentive is attached directly to the cost of your system. This is how it works. Your solar system should be installed from an accredited Clean Energy Council (CEC) and they will generate a small-scale certificate (STC) certifying one megawatt/hr. (MWh) of renewable energy. The STC number is dependent on the amount of sun your area receives, location and the year of installation. Australia has 4 STC zones. Zone 1 Darwin considered sunniest and Tasmania and parts on Victoria fall in Zone 4. The STC has solar credits program that offers a point of sale discounts. These are deeming periods in the descending order for every new year. An STC created in 2017 had 14 deeming periods, while the one created in 2018 will have 13. Those entities such as electricity retailers and big pollutants have to surrender a few STCs or they are penalized. Thus, increasing the market for STCs and discount amount. You can see the current STC prices published by Greenbank Environment.
So, this is how it works. The company installing the solar system for you will claim the STC and the value through a discount to you. Your invoice or contract will reveal the total value of the STC discount.
|Panel numbers||Roof area (m2)|
Choosing the right solar installer
After fixing on the size of the panels and the system that would be most suitable for you, the next thing to decide is on the right solar installer.
Two components determine a solar system, the solar panel, and the invertor. Most solar panels offer warranty for 25 years for standard performance. The solar panel requires little or no maintenance and there are no movable parts that succumb to wear and tear. On the other hand, as you know, investors have shorter life spans and are the main powerhouse converting the DC electricity to AC for household use. They mostly survive for 5 years. With proper maintenance, some also live as long as 10 years. Some manufacturers offer a warranty for 10 years on their invertors. Micro investors are a better option as compared to single string inverters. They take the energy from each independent panel so even if a part of the panel is in a shady area, the other panels fill the gap.
Getting the right battery storage for homes
More houses in Australia are realizing that it is a good idea to invest in storage batteries with electricity cost rising by the day. There are so many home battery systems in the market, that it is somewhat confusing to pin on to the right one for your personal use. Batteries are lithium-iron and phosphate-based (LiFePO4) and lithium manganese nickel cobalt oxide (NMC). Another common type is the lead battery. These are relatively affordable and serve well in households during off-grid conditions. They come with a 10-year warranty. These come either with individual battery banks that integrate with the household solar panel system or a built-in system with the inverter and charger. The solar panel installation cost
of a battery system varies depending on the quality of the product and the product manufacturer and amounts to roughly, $800-$2,000 to $4,000 – $10,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Batteries can reduce your power bills. They store the excess solar energy and act as a power backup bringing down the power cost.