With the growing popularity of solar power systems among Australian home owners, it helps to gain a thorough understanding of what solar panels are and how a solar power system can work to your advantage. Apart from making electrical energy more affordable solar panels contribute significantly to self-sustainable life or, in the least, help in reducing the carbon footprint that we create from fossil fuels. Australian solar company called Euro Solar is also working to reduce the global carbon footprint for better future. However, a major impediment in a proliferation of solar panels is the high initial cost and that it may not be the best solution for every homeowner in Australia. Let us, therefore, examine what solar panels are and how they can help you.
Solar Panels Defined
Most solar panels are made up of PV cells or photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electrical energy. The converted power is then fed to the main electricity supply of your home with the help of an inverter.
Though the technology that drives solar panels is old, in recent years, the efficiency of solar panels has seen significant improvement. Most suppliers offer two different systems of solar panels where one is PV or photovoltaic panels, and the other is thermal panels. Thermal panels are useful only for heating water.
How Solar Panels Work
As we stated above, solar panels are by far the most environment-friendly way of producing electrical energy for our homes. Energy generated by the solar panels can be used to power appliances that are in use at home. Any excess produce energy can also be sent back to the grid to earn some cash and thereby reduce your bill from the utility company. The solar panels installation should be in such a manner that it can receive the maximum sunlight and the professional installers often determine this direction. It is important to consider how shade from trees in the neighbourhood impacts the performance of your solar panels. Particularly, this is the case when large trees in your immediate community are obstructing sunlight, and there is little that you can do to prevent that.
An inverter is necessary because the electrical energy obtained from the solar panels is DC or Direct current while the domestic electricity supply is Alternating Current or AC. Direct current is not adaptable to the local power system.
Suitability Of Your Home
Although many home owners across Australia have been enthusiastic about solar PV installation, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne together has the lion’s share of the current plants. However, this is not to say that there are no solar installations in other parts of the nation. With Australia enjoying the sunniest days across the calendar and the only reason why Western Australia is perhaps lagging behind in the solar revolution is only the lower population density in the region. Therefore, in general terms, most homes across Australia are suitable for solar panel installation. However, a professional installer can help you with the specifics impacting your home. Other than the availability of sunlight, the following are the primary considerations that would help you determine the suitability of your home for a solar power system installation.
Installing solar panels in homes owned by you is the best way. In other situations, you will need permissions from your landlord, lessee, etc. Similarly, you should ideally have freehold access to the roof of apartments and other multi-dwelling unit structures. You may also need permission from other owners if you are planning a solar system exclusively for your use. You will also want to check on other regulations that could potentially impact your plans for a solar power system in your region.
As they say, every rule has an exception and therefore, the best that you can do is consult a professional Solar Panel installer who can work with you.
If the solar panels produce enough energy for your use, you can use solar energy via the inverter and even transfer any excess to the grid. On the other hand, if solar power from your system is negligible you will continue to use energy from the grid as usual. However, in many instances, the quantum of energy produced from home installations is more than what the household can consume. Thus, by ploughing back the excess electricity for cash, homeowners have the opportunity to pay for the solar installation from this revenue gradually.
This is perhaps one of the most attractive features of solar panels. Once correctly installed and connected to your home, the solar panels hardly need any maintenance. However, you may be required to do simple cleaning up once in a month or so to remove any accumulated dirt, dry leaves and other elements that inhibit absorption of sun rays by the panels. No need of other maintenance for several years. Remember also that most solar panels have a life cycle ranging between 20 and 30 years.
Switching Between Solar And Grid Energy
Once the solar panels are installed and connected up properly, there is little that a homeowner has to worry about switching between solar energy and energy from the grid. This is automatically taken care of, and whenever sufficient solar energy is available, the system will consume that. In instances where the solar energy is inadequate, switching to grid system is also an automatic process.
Summing up, solar panels provide a source of sustainable clean energy solution for homeowners. Additional capacity can be conveniently added to an existing installation when the energy needs go up due to varying reasons. The primary concerns are the availability of sunlight such as in densely forested regions or homes surrounded by a vast array of shade trees etc. and the upfront investment needed. Government support in the form of subsidies does take care of a part of your investment, and a professional installer can guide you through the process of accessing these grants. The subsidies, however, are not uniform across the nation, and you must obtain updated information from your regional authorities