A feed-in tariff for your solar system is the rate your electricity retailer will pay you for any excess electricity produced by your solar system that is fed back into the electricity grid.
The cost of installing solar solutions is coming down while at the same time the efficiency of the technology is always improving. In most cases, a solar solution installed today will have paid off your initial investment in about five to six years, through savings in power bills. As electric vehicles become more common on the streets, generating free electricity in your home to charge your car could become an added benefit in the future. Of course both of these steps help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on fossil fuel - the ultimate goal for us all!
Rechargeable solar batteries store the ‘excess’ electricity generated from a panel array, boosting energy capacity and making power available for use at night time or on cloudy days.
Recent design improvements and price drops in lithium-ion batteries have made solar storage more viable than ever before.
Assess your energy needs before investing in a battery or batteries. There’s no point buying more capacity than you can use — surplus electricity should instead be fed into the grid for a profit.
If all the appliances in your home are electrical, they can be powered by solar.
Battery storage systems are a serious safety risk if incorrectly installed and may have implications for insurance coverage.
To keep your solar system working efficiently, panels will need to be cleaned from time to time. Aim to do this at least once a year, preferably twice. At the same time it is a great idea to check if any trees have grown branches that cast shade across your panels. If any components are damaged, always contact a trained professional to inspect your system.
Solar inverters are an essential component of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. They are what converts the direct current (DC) output of solar panels (the energy collected from the sun) into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is what is used by the appliances in your home.
Inverters can be monitored via a computer program or device app to check energy generation, consumption and correct operation of the system.
Several types of inverters are suitable for home systems.
Solar panels capture the energy of sunlight and convert it into electricity. This is known as a photovoltaic system, usually called solar PV.
Panels come in a range of different wattages and power levels.
Numerous brands are available, with new technologies and efficiencies frequently emerging. Although solar panels look similar, levels of power, quality and reliability vary greatly.
A fully-exposed rooftop is ideal for solar. Where that’s not available, make sure the panels are installed in the sunniest location.
There is a standard 10-year product warranty for solar panels in Australia, as well as a 25-year performance warranty. Be aware that some manufacturers may no longer be in business one or two decades down the track should you need to make a claim.