Solar energy is the radiation from the Sun that can be used for various purposes, such as heating, cooling, lighting, […]
Solar panel technology has come a long way in recent years, and has become a much more cost-effective and reliable option for powering your home and business. Whether you’re looking for options to reduce your energy bills or you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, adopting solar energy is an excellent choice.
Solar energy is the result of emitted light and heat from the sun which is harnessed through a variety of modern technologies, including solar heating, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal electricity, solar architecture and artificial photosynthesis.
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Solar power systems are used to provide homes, businesses and even vehicles with energy, in the form of energy, electricity or heat. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding solar energy and solar panels for your home or business.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Energy ( Solar FAQs)
What are solar panels?
Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. They are made up of solar cells, also called photovoltaic cells, which are fitted in a series of rows and columns to form a solar panel.
When sunlight hits the solar cells, it loosens electrons from their atoms. This allows the electrons to move freely which, in turn, generates a flow of electricity that can be used to power homes and businesses or charge batteries.
Energy generated by solar panels can be stored in batteries, in order to use the energy during cloudy and rainy days, at night or during power outages.
What are the benefits of a solar energy system?
Adopting solar technology has multiple benefits, both for you and for the environment. These benefits include:
- Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource that can help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Solar power can save you money by reducing your electric bills.
- They are much quieter than other means used for energy generation, such as petrol or diesel generators.
- They have a long lifespan and require little maintenance once they are installed.
- Solar panels increase the commercial value of your home
What are the environmental benefits of going solar?
There are many substantial environmental benefits that result from going solar. Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions. Installing a solar system, helps you to reduce your carbon footprint and to take part in combating climate change.
Who invented the solar panel system?
The first solar panel was built in 1839 by French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that solar panels were first used commercially. In 1954, Bell Labs created the first silicon solar cell, which could convert sunlight into electricity with an efficiency of 6%.
How much does it cost to go solar in Australia?
The cost of going solar has dropped significantly over the past few decades, gradually becoming more affordable for homeowners and businesses. The average cost of a 6kW solar system in Australia is around $5,000. Combining the advantages of solar rebates and solar tax credits, the cost can be reduced even further.
How do I know if my home is suitable for solar panels?
Almost any roof can support solar panels, but the best roofs for solar are those that face north and are not shaded by trees or buildings. If your roof isn’t ideal for solar, you can still benefit from solar by installing the panels on the ground. Solar panels can also be installed on flat roofs by using special mounts and fixing systems.
How much electricity will my solar panels generate?
The amount of electricity your solar panels generate depends on several factors, including the size of your solar system, the amount of sunlight the panels receive and the angle and orientation of the panels.
In general, a 6kW solar system should generate around 30kWh of electricity per day during sunny days (completely sunny throughout the day with no clouds). This is enough to power a typical home over one day.
How do I get solar panels installed?
The most guaranteed way to install your solar panels is by going through a professional solar installation company. Solar installers are certified, trained and experienced in installing solar panels, and they can help you choose the proper system that meets the needs of your home or business.
E-Green Electrical is a local solar installation company that services the Sydney and Brisbane area. We offer a free quote service that provides you with a price for your solar installation, with no obligations. Get in touch today to see how we can help you go solar!
What maintenance do solar panels require?
Solar panels require very little maintenance. Once they are installed, you will only need to clean them occasionally to keep the surface free of dirt and dust. It is good practice to perform a yearly solar inspection to check the condition of your system.
How long do solar panels last?
Solar panels are designed to last for many years, with most manufacturers offering 25-year warranties. Usually, solar panels degrade at a pace of 1% annually, meaning your solar panels would still be 75% efficient after the 25 years warranty period.
How often should I clean my solar panels
Typically, you should clean your solar panels at least once a year. More frequent cleaning is required if your area suffers from dust or pollution. Clean panels are more efficient at generating electricity, so it’s important to keep the surfaces clean.
Do solar panels work in the winter?
Solar panels do generate electricity in the winter, however, they are typically not as efficient as they are in the summer. This is due to the fact that during winter, the sun is lower in the sky and the sun rays hit the panels at an angle, rather than a straight forward line. Nevertheless, the solar panels keep working efficiently as long as they receive sunlight on the panel.
What happens to solar panels when it snows?
Solar panels are designed to withstand snow and ice, but it’s important to keep them clear and clean so that they can continuously generate electricity.
When snow or ice accumulates on solar panels, they can create a thick layer that can block the sunlight and reduce the amount of electricity generated. Therefore, it’s important to remove any accumulated snow from the panel.
Do solar panels work on cloudy days?
Solar panels will still generate electricity on cloudy days, however at a much lower and less efficient rate than on sunny days. This is because the sun’s rays are diffused when they pass through clouds.
Typically, solar panels would still be able to generate a significant amount of electricity on cloudy days that will be enough to power your home or business.
Do solar panels work at night?
Solar panels do not generate any electricity at night, but they can still be used to power your home or business. When connected to a battery system, the complete solar panel system can store electricity generated during the day and the batteries can supply it at night.
What is the best way to store solar energy?
The best way to store solar energy is by incorporating batteries with the panels. Batteries can store the electricity generated by solar panels and provide it at night or during power outages.
How can I get the most out of my solar panels?
There are a few things you can do to get the most out of your solar panels in winter:
➜ Keep them clean: Clean solar panels are more efficient, and it is important to clean them regularly.
➜ Angle them properly: The angle of your solar panels can have a big impact on their efficiency.
➜ Install a solar tracker: A solar tracker is a device that automatically adjusts the angle of your solar panels to track the movement of the sun across the sky. The tracker can increase the amount of electricity your panels generate by up to 30%.
Can I install solar panels myself?
Installing solar panels is not a do-it-yourself project. Solar panels must be installed by a trained and certified professional, as minor mistakes in installation, cabling or connection can result in a damaged system and can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
How are solar panels installed on the roof?
The solar panels are installed on the roof by using the suitable brackets and clamps provided for the panels. The brackets and clamps are attached to the roof and the solar panels are then attached to the bracket.
Can birds damage solar panels?
Birds can damage solar panels if they build nests on them or if they defecate on the panels. The acid in bird droppings can actually etch the surface of solar panels and reduce their efficiency. If you live in an area where birds are a problem, you can install a wire mesh over your solar panels to keep them away.
Does a house with solar panels sell faster?
There is no direct answer to this question, however, some studies have shown that homes fitted with solar panels sell faster and for a higher price than homes without solar panels. The most probable reasoning is that solar panels are viewed as a valuable amenity.
What should you know before installing solar panels?
There are a few things you should know before installing solar panels:
➜ The type of roof: Solar panels can be installed on most types of roofs, but some are better suited than others. For example, flat roofs are often not ideal for solar panel installation and require more expensive setups to make the panels efficient.
➜ The orientation of the roof: The orientation of the roof will determine how effective your solar panels are. In Australia, north-facing roofs are often the most suitable for solar panel installation.
➜ The amount of sunlight your roof receives: The more sunlight your roof gets, the more effective your solar panels will be.
➜ The angle of your roof: The angle of your roof also affects the effectiveness of your solar panels. Solar panels should be installed at an angle that is perpendicular to the sun’s rays for maximum effectiveness.
➜ The climate: The climate within your area can also impact the effectiveness of your solar panels. Solar panels work best in sunny climates.
➜ Building permits: You will need to obtain a building permit from your local authorities before proceeding with the installation of solar panels.
➜ Zoning regulations: There may be zoning regulations in your area that restrict the installation of solar panels.
➜ Homeowners association: If you live in a community governed by a homeowners association, you should get an approval from the association before installing solar panels.
What is the best roof type for installing solar panels?
The best roof type for installing solar panels is a roof whose orientation gets plenty of sunlight. Flat roofs are often not ideal for solar panel installation because they do not get enough sunlight.
How many solar panels do I need?
The number of solar panels you need depends on a few factors, including the size of your home, your average electricity consumption and the overall area climate. In general, a typical home in Sydney will need between 20 to 30 solar panels to meet its energy needs.
How long does the solar installation take?
Solar panels can typically be installed within one to two days. The actual time it takes will depend on the size of your solar system, the complexity of the installation, and the number of solar panels being installed.
Can I install solar panels on a flat roof?
Flat roofs are not best for solar panel installation, but you can definitely install panels on a flat roof using special mounts and fixing systems.
What is the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels?
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single silicon crystal, while polycrystalline solar panels are made from multiple silicon crystals. Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline panels, but they are also more expensive.
Will the solar panels damage my roof?
No, solar panels will not damage your roof. In fact, solar panels can help protect your roof from weather damage, from excessive sun and rain. Solar panels are installed on the roof using special mounts that do not penetrate the roofing material, which means there will be no holes or damaged portions.
How much money can I save by installing a solar system?
The amount of money you can save by installing a solar system depends on a few factors, including the size of your system, the climatic conditions, and your overall electricity consumption. In general, you can expect to save between 20-30% on your electricity bill by installing a solar system.
Can I go off-grid by installing a solar system?
Yes, you can go off-grid by installing a solar system. However, this is not always the best option. If you live in an area with reliable grid power, it may be more cost-effective to stay connected to the electricity grid and use solar power to offset your electricity consumption.
What is the payback period for solar panels?
The payback period is the amount of time it will take for you to recoup the costs of installing your solar system. In general, the payback period for solar panels is 8-10 years.
Will I still receive electricity bills if I have solar panels?
Yes, you will still receive electricity bills even if you have solar panels. The electricity bills measure your electricity consumption (over a certain time period) from the utility grid. Installing a solar panel system can ensure a significant reduction in the amount you pay.
You can remove electricity bills altogether if your solar system is equipped with sufficient battery storage that allows you to go completely off-grid.
How are solar panels connected to the power supply in my home?
Solar panels are connected to the power supply in your home through an inverter. The solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity, and the inverter converts it into alternating current (AC) electricity, which the appliances and systems in your home can use.
Do solar panels contribute to pollution?
No, solar panels do not contribute to pollution. In fact, they help reduce pollution by lowering the overall need for electricity from coal-fired power plants.
What are invisible solar panels?
Invisible solar panels are solar panels that are made of materials transparent to the naked eye. These materials can include glass, plastic, or film.
Invisible solar panels are often used in building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), which is the practice of incorporating solar panels into the construction of a building.
What is a polycrystalline solar panel?
A polycrystalline solar panel is a type of solar panel that is made from multiple silicon crystals. Polycrystalline panels are less efficient than monocrystalline panels, but they are also less expensive.
What is a monocrystalline solar panel?
A monocrystalline solar panel is a type of solar panel that is made from a single silicon crystal. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient than polycrystalline panels, but they are also more expensive.
What does an inverter do?
An inverter is a device that converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity. Home solar systems use inverters to convert the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC electricity, to be used by the different appliances and equipment in your house.
What is a solar tracker?
A solar tracker is a device that tracks the location of the sun in the sky and that moves the solar panels to keep them pointed at the sun, at the best angle. Solar trackers are useful to increase the amount of electricity that a solar panel system can produce.
What is a net metering system?
A net metering system is an arrangement between a utility and a customer that allows the customer to sell surplus energy generated by their solar system to the utility.
Net metering systems are often used to encourage customers to install solar systems.
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What is a power purchase agreement?
A power purchase agreement (PPA) is an arrangement between a customer and a third-party developer, where the developer agrees to install, own, and operate a solar system on the customer’s property. The customer agrees to purchase the electricity generated by the system at a fixed rate for a period of time.
How much will I save on my bills by using solar?
The amount you save on your electricity bills by using solar will depend on the size of your system, the amount of sunlight you get, the efficiency of your solar panels, the rate you pay for electricity, and other factors.
What happens if my solar panels produce more energy than what I need?
If your solar panels produce more energy than you need, the excess electricity will flow back into the grid. In some cases, you may be able to sell this excess electricity to your utility.
Where should I place the inverter?
Although the inverter should also be placed close to the solar panels, its location should be one that is easily accessible, well-ventilated, and cool.
Are there any disadvantages of installing a solar system?
The main disadvantages of installing a solar system are the upfront maintenance costs. Solar systems perform best in a sunny location and with a well inclined roof, which may not be available to everyone.
Other roof types may require certain reinforcements and fixation or even an entire roof system update, which can be quite costly.
Can I use solar panels without using the battery pack?
It is entirely possible to go solar without using a battery pack, but it is not recommended. Battery packs are used to store excess electricity that is generated by the solar panels during the day so that they can be used at night or during power outages. Without a battery pack, you lose the advantage of backup power.
Can I install a solar system now and get a battery later?
Yes, you can install a solar system now and fit a battery bank later. It is important to note that batteries are not required for most solar systems. Batteries are a requirement only for those who want to have backup power in the event of a power outage.
How can I maintain my solar panels to make them last longer?
You can maintain your solar panels by cleaning them regularly and keeping them free of debris. You should also have your panels inspected by a professional every few years to make sure they are in good working condition.
What is the life expectancy of solar panels?
Solar panels typically have a life expectancy of 25-30 years. However, the exact life expectancy will depend on the quality of the panels and the environment in which they are installed. Solar panels generally degrade at the rate of 1% per year which means that even after 25 years, they will remain approximately 75% efficient.
What happens to solar panels when they reach the end of their life?
Solar panels can be recycled, however, recycling facilities are not widely available. The best option is to contact your local recycling center to see if they accept solar panels.
Does a solar installation increase my property taxes?
No, solar installations generally do not increase your property taxes. In fact, some states have laws that prohibit municipalities from taxing solar installations.
Can I install solar panels on the ground?
Solar panels can be installed on the ground, but it is not recommended. Solar panels are more efficient when they are installed on a roof in order to receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight. Ground-mounted solar panels also require more maintenance than roof-mounted panels.
Is there a government-funded FREE SOLAR in Australia?
No, there is no government-funded free solar program in Australia. However, federal and local governments offer a number of solar rebates and incentives can help offset the cost of installing a solar system. E-Green Electrical can help your transition to solar with zero upfront deposits.
What are STCs?
STCs are Small-scale Technology Certificates. They are a form of renewable energy certificate (REC) that can be used to offset the cost of installing a solar system.
What is a feed-in tariff?
A feed-in tariff is a government-mandated price that utilities must pay for electricity generated by renewable energy sources. In Australia, the federal government has set a minimum mandatory price of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for solar PV systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW).
A feed-in tariff is a rate that your electricity retailer pays you for any surplus electricity that your solar system produces.
How do I get paid for the electricity my solar system produces?
The best way to get paid for the electricity your solar system produces is to sign up for a feed-in tariff with your electricity retailer.
Is solar energy cheaper than regular electricity?
Solar energy is cheaper than regular electricity in the long run, however, it may be more expensive due to its high up-front costs. The cost of solar has been dropping steadily over the past few years, making it a much more affordable investment.
What happens if my energy requirement increases?
If your energy requirement increases, you may need to purchase and install additional solar panels or batteries. You can also sign up for a higher feed-in tariff rate to offset the cost of the extra electricity you are using.
What is the payback period for solar installations?
The payback period is the amount of time it takes for your solar system to pay for itself. The payback period will vary depending on the cost of your solar system, its size, the amount of electricity you generate and use, and the rate you are paid for the surplus electricity your system produces.
In Australia, the average payback period is between 7 and 10 years.
What is net metering?
Net metering is an electricity billing system that credits you for the surplus electricity your solar system produces. Net metering is available in most states, however the terms may vary from state to state.
What is the difference between a solar lease and a solar power purchase agreement (PPA)?
A solar lease is a contract that allows you to lease solar panels from a solar company, whereas a PPA is a contract that allows you to purchase solar power from a solar company, at an agreed upon rate.