Frequently Asked Questions

I have heard a system is only as efficient as its lowest performing panel?

This is dependent on what type of inverter you have. On a standard string inverter the efficiency of the system can be reduced overall if there is shading on part of the system. If shading is foreseen to be an issue then micro inverters or panel optimizers are used to help each panel work independently, this however does come at a higher price.

Why do people oversize systems?

Rarely do solar panels operate at 100% capacity, particularly on cloudy days so oversizing allows you to make up for any losses. This is also a benefit to anyone on single-phase power as they are restricted to having a 5KW inverter.  A 4.6KW inverter with 6KW worth of panels will use produce almost as much as a 6KW inverter with 6KW worth of panels.

Can I get Australian made panels?

At this current time there is no Tier 1 companies producing solar panels in Australia.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels.

Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?

Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.

How much will solar panel maintenance cost?

Typically a maintenance inspection by an accredited solar installer is $200 – $300. This involves inspection of the connections, cables, panels, rooftop mounting, DC isolator switches and inverter. In the case where the installer doesn’t leave a maintenance schedule SAPN recommends an inspection be done every 5 years.

What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

Solar power, like other renewable energy resources, has many environmental and health benefits. Going solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change, and also results in fewer air pollutants like sulphur dioxide and particulate matter, which can cause health problems.

Are batteries still too expensive?

Just as solar panels have done, the cost of battery storage is reducing at a dramatic rate. A few years ago it wasn’t a viable option and in some cases it still isn’t, but we have found that small sized batteries used to offset peak power costs can now provide a return on investment in less than 5 years.

Is there an issue if the panels are made in China?

It is a common misconception that only cheap panels are produced in China when in fact many Tier one companies produce there.  Seraphim for instance manufactures in China, America & Japan but as their production line is all automated the process and quality is exactly the same in all of their factories. It’s the process, not the location that matters.

Will the cost of solar still come down in the future?

With government incentives and current feed in Tariffs now is the ideal time to buy solar. Much of the price falling has already happened over the last 10 years and as incentives get wound back the price you pay in 5 years will likely balance to be the same as price you pay today, meanwhile the cost of grid electricity will continue to rise and with our finance option you can start saving immediately.

How does solar impact my property values?

Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.

Do solar panels work in a blackout?

If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.

How long will my solar power system last?

Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and have no moving parts within the panels themselves therefore they require little to no maintenance for the 25 to 40 years that they will be on your roof. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly.

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