COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions that come up when considering installing a new Solar System. If your questions is not answered here, then don't hesitate to call us for a chat!
WHAT SIZE SYSTEM WILL I NEED FOR MY HOME?
The size of system you will install depends on several factors. These include:
- How many panels will fit on your roof.
- Your budget.
- Your needs, a smaller system may be enough to offset your whole bill.
- Your future plans, if you intend on starting a family and staying in the house long term, go bigger.
At Home Energy Storage we will ensure that we ask all the right questions, and gather as much information as we can to design the best Solar System for your requirements.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I SAVE WITH SOLAR PANELS?
The amount of money your household will save on power bills by going solar is affected by a number of factors, including:
- Your energy consumption and the size of your solar power system – if you use more power than your system is capable of producing, your savings will be reduced. This can be avoided by choosing the right-sized system for your needs.
- Your feed-in tariff – this is the amount your electricity retailer pays you for any excess power your solar panels generate.
- Your usage patterns – solar panels can only generate electricity while the sun is shining. This means that households that use a lot of power during the day may attract greater savings than those that consume most of their power at night. However, you will still receive a feed-in tariff for any excess electricity you generate during the day.
- Where you live – some areas of Australia receive a lot more sunlight than others, so a solar PV system in Adelaide will usually generate more power than one in Hobart.
IS THERE A GOVERNMENT REBATE WHEN INSTALLING SOLAR PANELS?
Yes there is. The government rebate is available in the form of STC's, read about more about this scheme here.
WHAT ARE FEED IN TARIFFS?
A feed-in-tariff is the rate you are paid for electricity generated by your solar PV system that you export back to the grid. The electricity produced by your solar panels is used in your home first, and then any extra electricity is exported to the grid. The feed-in tariffs offered differ from state to state, and from retailer to retailer. In some states the government regulates a minimum rate, and in other states it is up to you to negotiate a deal with your electricity retailer. It is worth shopping around to find out which electricity retailers offer better rates for solar customers. Feed-in tariffs are usually only available for solar systems up to a maximum size. This maximum varies from 5 kW to 100 kW depending on where you live and your electricity retailer. Contact your electricity retailer for detailed information.
WHAT CAN AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF SOLAR ENERGY GENERATED?
The amount of energy produced by the solar system depends on the following factors:
- Panel Orientation –A system facing due east or due west will produce around 15% less than one facing due north. Infinite Energy does not install systems on roofs facing south of east or west.
- Roof Pitch –A 30 degree pitch is optimal however you will only lose around 1% production for every 5 degree deviation from this.
- Weather – How many clear or cloudy days are experienced in your area. Australian cities are some of the best cities on earth for solar.
- System Capacity – The larger the system, the more energy will be produced.
- Shading – Solar systems hate shade, small amounts of shade during 9am – 3pm can have a dramatic effect on production. Shading outside of these hours in certain circumstances is acceptable however it’s best for us to complete a shade analysis if you have any doubts.
DO SOLAR PANELS WORK AT NIGHT OR IN CLOUDY WEATHER?
Solar panels do not generate power at night. Once the sun goes down, your home or business will start to draw power from the main grid as usual.
Solar panels still work on a cloudy day; however they will not generate as much electricity as when the weather is clear and sunny.
WHAT IF MY ROOF DOESN'T FACE NORTH?
Solar Power systems can be installed on roofs facing anywhere from due east to due west. North is best for absolute production, however a well designed system will match your solar production to your home’s electricity consumption. Home Energy Storage will design the best possible solution to maximise your solar potential.
WILL MY SOLAR PANELS PROVIDE ME WITH ELECTRICITY IN THE EVENT OF A BLACK OUT?
No. Once the voltage in the grid drops below a certain level, your inverter will shut down until the grid is back up and running. This is a requirement as power line workers could be electrocuted if you send electricity back to the grid whilst they are working.
WILL I NEED TO CLEAN MY SOLAR PANELS?
Although it doesn’t really occur to many people, solar panels can get quite dirty. There are many external influences that can make a panel dirty, including dust and road grime, salt spray and bird or bat droppings to name a few. We recommend having your solar panels professionally cleaned every 12 months, and Home Energy Solar can assist with this.
IF MY ENERGY REQUIREMENTS INCREASE, CAN I UPGRADE MY SYSTEM?
Yes. Additional panels may be added to existing systems where a larger inverter has been installed. Where a larger system is required that is not supported by the existing inverter, an additional inverter can be installed next to the existing one.
HOW WILL I BE BENEFITING THE ENVIRONMENT?
Producing energy via a solar energy system helps the environment by reducing the need to burn carbon emitting fossil fuels such as coal and gas.