There are a few things that need to be considered to determine what size solar power system best suits your needs:

How much electricity you consume

If you household consumes a substantial amount of electricity it will require a larger solar power system to offset your electricity bill than if you consume a smaller amount.

What time of the day you consume it

Electricity is measured in half an hour intervals. If you generate more electricity than you consume in that half an hour interval, the remaining electricity will be sold to the energy retailer. 

In QLD, VIC, SA, NT and TAS, the amount of electricity you consume throughout the day is not relevant to determine you size system to install as the current solar feed-in tariffs exceeds the normal price you pay for electricity.

Whereas in NSW, ACT and WA, solar power is best suited for households that consume a reasonable amount of electricity throughout the day as the current rate the energy retailers offer could be as low as 6 to 8 cents per kWh depending on which state you live in. This will substantially increase the payback time of the system.

The orientation of the solar panels

A solar power system will generate more electricity when the solar panels are directed towards the sun. By positioning solar panels to face north will expose the panels to the greatest amount of sunlight. Sometimes this may not possible as there might not be sufficient roof space available facing north.

In recent years, solar panel technology has dramatically improved in the efficiency of solar panels making them capable of capturing more sunlight at wider angles. This means solar panels can even be mounted on the east or west facing roof space with only minimal losses.

The tilt angle of the solar panels

Generally, solar panels are mounted onto your roof making the tilt angle the same angle as the roof. An optimum tilt angle is anywhere between 25o to 40o from horizontal. If the solar panels are to be mounted on a flat roof, we would use a tilt frame to obtain the optimum angle for the highest performance.

Any shading of the solar panels

Shading from trees, buildings or other objects can dramatically decrease the system’s performance. Solar panels should be mounted in such a way to avoid any shading if possible, at least between the hours of 9 o’clock in the morning and 4 o’clock in the afternoon when the solar power system will generate most of its electricity. 

If shading is an issue, a ‘shading analysis’ will be performed to determine the best possible location to mount the solar panels for the best performance.

Dirt buildup on the solar panels

Just like shading, dirt can decrease the system’s performance by building up on the solar panels. However, rain will sufficiently clean the solar.

The ambient temperature

Very high ambient temperatures will decrease the performance of the system. In certain areas of Australia such as Darwin and Alice Springs, it is recommended to use thin-film solar panels because they will perform better in extremely high temperatures compared to mono-crystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.

Future expansion of your system

A solar power system can be expanded at any time as long as there is sufficient roof space for mounting the extra solar panels. This can easily be done by installing a larger capacity inverter when you initially purchase your system to allow for future expansion.

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