Frequently Asked Questions for
What is PV?
PV is short for photovoltaic (photo=light, voltaic=electricity). PV is a semiconductor-based technology used to convert light energy into direct current (DC) electricity, using no moving parts, consuming no conventional fuels, and creating no pollution.
How long has PV been around?
The photovoltaic effect was first recognised by Edmund Bacquerel, in France, in 1839. Scientists made solar cells of selenium in the 1880s. Modern PV technologies were developed at Bell Labs and RCA Labs in the mid 1950s.
Will solar panels heat my hot water?
No – solar panels provide electricity. You would need a separate PV system just the heat hot water for you.
Will it help the environment if I get solar power?
Yes it will as you are not burning any fosil fuels and are producing green, clean energy. Solar PV produces no greenhouse emissions or air pollution. The energy used to manufacture a solar system is small compared to the energy generated by the system and is paid back many times over the life time of the system.The Federal Government has set up the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) to reduce emissions. Installing solar panels can create Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) under this scheme. All solar systems are alotted an amount of STCs depending on the size of the system will determind the amount of STCs attached to each system. We will give you the value of these STCs as a point of sale discount.
Will I be financially better off by getting solar power?
Yes: By reducing the amount of KWHs that you would normanally consumme from the power grid during solar producing hours. The amount of what you will save will depend on what size system you need.
How does electricity get stored for use after sun goes down?
Generally, grid connect systems direct excess electricity produced during the day back into the local electricity grid; so there is no on-site storage as such. While the solar system is working during solar producing hours you use the power from your system which in essence stops you from drawing power from the grid, which is where your saving come in. You also receive credit for any excess power that you put back into the grid. At night time, you automatically use electricity straight from the grid. Off-grid systems store energy produced during the day in deep cycle batteries for use as required.
What happens with grid connect systems during a blackout?
The grid connect inverter will automatically shut itself off within a few milliseconds of a blackout, to avoid the potential of a dangerous “brown-out” in your home and to prevent back feeding the grid; which can pose a threat to workers rectifying a blackout.
With grid connect systems, what can I do to keep power during a blackout?
You will need battery back-up.
Can you retro-fit battery backup into a grid connect system?
What sized system will I need?
Any size grid connect solar system will help slash your power bills. To determine how large a system our assessors will work out what size system you would need. We do not over size your system as all you will be doing is sending that excess power back to the grid. “This is the last thing you want to do” Our assessors will explain this for you.
If I need to re-roof my house?
In most situations, the PV panels can be easily removed and reinstalled, with minimal, if any, changes to your roof. This will need to be done by a CEC licensed installer.
What is a solar ready roof?
A solar ready roof is one that has been constructed in such a way to allow easy installation and is also angled to promote adequate efficiency and the panels self-cleaning attributes. If you have a flat or low pitched roof the panels can be put on tilts so they are at the right angle. The only roof type that solar cannot be installed on is real Slate, Asbestos or spaineline the roof has to be structural.
Building suitability for Solar System?
Several aspects will need to be evaluated to determine if your home is a good solar site, such as orientation, space available, shadows on the space available and your current electricity usage. The best site will be one with adequate unshaded northerly or North West facing roofing. Variations on that will cut into the productivity of the system.
Can solar panels work in the shade?
The output of any panel will be reduced or cut off if shaded. However, our German Hanover panels will work in low sun such as a cloudy day, but of course the production will be reduced.
Dirt, dust, leaves, bird droppings, shadows from trees, vent pipes, etc can all cause reduced output due to shading. Wash panels down occasionally, with a hose from the ground if it has not rained for some time in dusty areas.