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FAQ

What is PV?

PV is the shortened form of the word Photovoltaic. It is the process of converting sunlight into direct energy using conductor based technology.

What is the National Electricity Grid?

It is an interconnected network for supplying electricity from producers to consumers. When you install a solar PV system then you are by default a generator of electricity.

How does Solar PV work?

When sunlight makes contact with a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel, direct current is produced, with the inverter transforming this current from Direct Current (DC) to 240v alternating current (AC). This can be generated for home use or transferred to the national grid.

What are the varieties of solar PV panels that we have?

There are basically three types of solar PV panels.

 

  1.  The monocrystalline cells, which are cut from a silicon ingot grown from a single large crystal of silicon.

  2. The polycrystalline cells, which are cut from an ingot made up of many smaller crystals.

  3. The amorphous or thin-film solar cell.

 

What is the difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels?

 

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline serve the same function in the overall solar PV system and possess most features in common. They both absorb energy from the sun and turn it into electricity, they are both made from silicon and they are both durable. However, there are slight differences. The main difference between the two is the type of silicon solar cell they use: monocrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon, while polycrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from many silicon fragments melted together.

 

 

Is there a difference between the solar hot water system and the solar PV system?

 

Yes, there is. The solar hot water system simply uses the sun to directly heat water.

A solar PV system converts sunlight into electricity for home use or to be fed into the electricity grid. The heat output of the sun is not crucial for solar PV systems, but the amount of sunlight available definitely is.

 

Since when has PV been around?

 

Solar PV (photovoltaic) was first discovered in 1839 by French scientist Edmond Becquerel. Scientists made solar cells of selenium in the 1880s. Subsequently, modern PV technologies were developed at Bell Labs and RCA Labs in the mid-1950s.

 

Can I heat my water with solar panels?

 

No, you cannot, these solar panels are functional for electricity only. You need a thermal solar system to heat water.

 

How can electricity get stored for use after the sun goes down?

 

Generally, grid-connect systems direct excess electricity produced during the day back into the local electricity grid, so there is no on-site storage as such. You then receive credit for any power that you put back into the grid. At night time, you automatically use electricity straight from the grid. Off-grid systems store energy produced during the day in deep cycle batteries for use as required.

 

How do my panels get powered on a cloudy day?

 

On sunny days the panels obtain the best possible electricity collection but on cloudy days the panels will not absorb the same amount. The panels would only accumulate about half the output that would be acquired on a sunny day. If the electricity for a cloudy day is not enough to cover the household requirements, the system will utilize power directly from the grid. The performance of the solar PV system is affected by cloud cover. When there is not enough light to produce electricity, you will use electricity from the grid.

 

How do I keep power supply during a blackout?

 

You would need a battery backup.

 

Is it possible to retrofit battery backup into a Solar PV system?

 

Yes, battery backup systems require additional components such as a solar regulator, batteries, and an inverter.

 

What size solar system will I need?

 

Any size Solar solar system will definitely reduce your power bills, however our consultants are trained to recommend the best fit for your individual circumstances.

 

How heavy would the solar system be on my roof?

 

Solar systems are light weight but with very strong Aluminium mounting frames, while distributing a total weight of just 8 to 12 kg per square meter.

 

Should I be afraid of my property resale value?

 

When you buy a solar PV system all its' benefits including the warranties and electricity savings are directly linked to the property, so that even if you relocate, all warranties still remain, meaning the new owner becomes a recipient of the benefits.

 

Is my property suitable for a solar system? 

 

There several aspects to consider when determining if your home is a good solar site, such as available space, orientation, shadows on the space available and your current electricity consumption. The perfect site is one with adequate unshaded roof space.

 

How much will a solar power system cost?

 

Please get in contact, and our team will put together a proposal for a system that is suited to your property's needs.

 

Do solar panels work in the shade?

 

Any panel's output will be reduced or cut off if shaded, however some types of solar work better than others in shade.

 

How does the orientation of the home affect whether or not solar panels can be successfully installed on it? 

 

Although it is best to install a solar system on the north side of the roof, it is also possible to install on the east or west facing side of a roof, provided that there is enough space.

 

Is mains electricity still necessary?

 

At other times another source, such as mains electricity or a generator is required if there is not sufficient battery back up. When there is no sunlight, no electricity is produced, so you will need to draw electricity from another source such as the grid.

 

Do I need batteries for a grid-connected solar PV system?        

 

No. However solar systems that are grid connected do not have a storage component, meaning any electricity that is not used at home is transferred to the electricity grid.

 

Can I increase the size of my PV system in the future?

 

Yes, you can if you have enough unshaded roof space, and your energy distributor in the area allows for further capacity to be added. Please contact us here to find out more.

 

What does my solar PV system do at night?

 

 It is only in the daytime that solar PV produces electricity. They are dormant at night, meaning you need another source such as electricity from the grid or a battery.

 

Can I expect a large amount of electricity from my PV system?

 

The amount of electricity that you would get depends on these three factors

 

  1. The size of the system.

  2. The efficiency of the solar cells inside.

  3. The amount of sunlight it gets.

 

What are Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs)?

 

STCs are a federal government-awarded commodity that you can use for trade. You can get these certificates when you purchase a renewable energy system.

 

What is the feed-in tariff?

 

Feed-in tariffs are fixed electricity rates that are paid to renewable energy producers for every kilowatt-hour of electricity your solar PV system feeds into the grid.

 

What are the different types of solar systems?

 

  1. The on-grid or grid-connected solar power system. This kind of solar system only generates power when the utility power grid is on. The electricity generated is first fed for domestic and business use. Any excess is fed into the grid system.

  2. The hybrid solar system. Hybrid solar systems generate power the same way as on-grid systems but use a special hybrid inverter and batteries to keep energy for subsequent consumption.

  3. The off-grid solar system. This functions by generating electricity from solar panels and using it to charge a solar battery via a charger controller.

 

What are the different types of mounting systems?

 

  1. Roof installation. This is the most common form of solar installation. It is better to maximise your unused roof space rather than occupying space around the home with your panels. ​

  2. In a situation where roof installation is not achievable due to costs and other factors, the ground installation method can be employed.

 

Can hail damage my panel?

 

All the panels that we stock are tested and proven to withstand hail impact consistent with the requirements under Australian standards.

 

What is a micro-inverter?

 

It is also called an AC panel. It is a piece of electronic apparatus used in PV cells for changing the waveform of the electrical current. The micro-inverter has a 'micro inverter' on each panel which converts direct currents into household electricity.

 

Solar optimizers, what are they?

 

It is a DC to DC to technology invented to maximise the energy intake from solar photovoltaic or wind turbines.

 

Can I add more panels to my already installed solar panel?

 

Yes, if these are your reasons for wanting to do so:

 

  1. If you recently could not access a premium feed-in tariff and want more solar capacity.

  2. If there is unused space on your roof and you still want to take advantage of it.

 

And for some other technical reasons.

 

Does it cost me any amount to change my meter over?

 

There are additional charges for smart meter installations and connections. This amount varies between states and energy retailers.

 

Is there a difference between single phase and three phase electricity?

 

Electricity is either connected to a single phase (230 or 240 volts), which is largely used for domestic consumption, or a three-phase, which is 400 or 415 volts. Three-Phase electricity is best used for intensive consumption such as in commercial situations. A single phase connection is more suitable for small or medium home consumption.

 

Does temperature affect the output or efficiency of panels?

 

Yes, extreme temperature can cause a solar panel’s output to decrease. This is due to the electrical circuit changing the speed at which the electrons travel. 

 

What amount of sunlight do the panels need to receive?

 

The amount of energy generated by a panel is directed proportionally to the amount of energy it receives from sunlight. Solar energy specialists calculate amounts of energy generated by the solar PV system.