Solar power is the conversion of the energy from sunlight into a power which we can utilize.
A solar power system or photovoltaic system is designed to supply power to our homes and businesses.The term 'photo-voltaic' comes from the Greek meaning "the power from light". In 1839, the French physicist, Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel was first to recognize the photovoltaic effect. But it was not until 1883 when Charles Fritts built the first photovoltaic cell (with an efficiency of less than 1%, much lower than today’s efficiencies of about 16-18%).
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) modules, are designed to capture the energy from sunlight (particles called ‘photons’) and convert it into direct current (DC) power. Solar panels are made up of several solar cells and come in many different sizes and levels of power. A group of solar panels is called an array which is the main component of a solar power system.
There are many different types of solar panels available in today’s market, but the 3 most commonly used are:
Mono-crystalline solar panels (mono-Si) are made up of cells manufactured from pure silicon in which the crystal lattice is continuous and unbroken. These panels offer the highest efficiencies using minimal roof space.
Polycrystalline solar panels (poly-Si) are made up of cells manufactured from pure silicon in which the crystal lattice is manufactured from many silicon crystals formed into one cell. This is what gives it the ‘flaky’ effect. These panels offer high efficiencies using minimal roof space.
Thin-film solar panels (a-Si) are made by depositing silicon directly onto a pane of glass or plastic leaving the solar panel with a dark seamless layer. These panels offer lower efficiencies compared to mono and poly solar panels but perform better in very hot climates and if the array is subject to shading.
Are solar panels strong?
Solar panels are designed to withstand the harsh Australian environment by handling strong wind loads, supporting high snow loads and being struck by hail stones up to 25mm in size.
What is the warranty period?
We only supply solar panels from the world's leading manufacturers. All our solar panels complies with all relevant Australian Standards and are approved for use by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), the peak body representing Australia's clean energy sector.
The manufacturers all have offices in Australia making a warranty claim easy to persue. The warranty periods supplied are a 10 year product warranty and an industry leading linear* performance warranties of 25 years. *See manufacturers warranties.
How long do solar powers last?
There are many diiferent solar panel manufacturers making panels of different qualities. We only use premium quality solar panels to ensure long lasting performance, durability and reliability. Recent studies are now showing that high quality solar panels could last as long as 40 years.
A grid-tie inverter does all the hard work. It is a device used to convert the DC power ganerated from the solar panels into the AC electricity which is used in your home or business.
The grid-tie inverter is specially designed for use with solar power systems connected to the electricity grid. The inverter synchronises the AC electricity produced from the system to match the electricity grid’s voltage and frequency.
There are 2 main types of solar inverters used in today’s market:
- Transformer style inverters: are mainly high frequency transformer inverters utilise the most up-to-date technology for transformer style inverters,
- Transformer-less style inverters: operate using electronic components rather than transformers to convert the DC power. They are much lighter in weight and have higher efficiencies than transformer style inverters.
All the inverters we use are approved by the Clean Energy Council and comply with Australian Standards. Under standard AS4777, grid-tie inverters must have these two safety functions:
- Anti-islanding: a safety function that will instantly disconnect the inverter from the electricity grid when a blackout occurs or when the energy companies are working on power lines. This function is for the safety of the workers so that no electricity is back-fed into the electricity grid. When the electricity is restored, the system will automatically reconnect to the grid and start generating electricity again.
- Ground fault protection: a safety function that monitors the earthing system and instantly isolates the system to ensure optimum safety against electric shocks through the frame or railing.
What information does the inverter show?
The inverter has a front display which shows information about the solar power system, such as: how much electricity you are making right now, how much electricity you have made today and since you installed the system, if the system has any faults, the solar panel’s DC voltage and current, and the electricity grid’s AC voltage, current and frequency.
When you have your system installed, our installer will run you through the operation of the inverter and how to shut down the system in the unlikely event of an emergency as a safety precaution.
What is the warranty period?
All our inverters come with a manufacturer's 5 year product warranty which can be extended up to 25 years.
A meter is an instrument used to measure how much electricity you consume and displays it in units called kilowatt-hours (kWh). Meter(s) are mounted inside the electrical switchboard where the fuses or circuit breakers are located.
Your existing meter(s) may not be capable of reading the electricity generated by the solar power system and exported to the electricity grid so new meter(s) may need to be installed.
When the solar power system is installed and tested, we organise a Level 2 ASP (Authorised Service Provider) to change the meter and connect the solar power system to the electricity grid. A Level 2 ASP is an electrician authorised by the energy companies (i.e. Ausgrid formerly Energy Australia or Endeavour Energy formerly Integral Energy).
When one of our experts comes to your home for a free on-site consultation, they will advise you about the metering requirements.
The electricity grid is a network of interconnected power lines delivering electricity generated from power plants to consumers across the nation. When you install a solar power system you become a generator of renewable energy. Any excess electricity will be exported to the electricity grid and your energy retailer will credit you for the exported electricity.
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