If you’ve ever considered installing solar power and wondered whether it was really worth it, you might want to read on. In this post I want to explain everything you need to know so that you can make an informed decision.
Let’s make no bones about this, a good solar power system doesn’t come cheap. At upwards of $5500 after rebate it’s a substantial investment in anyone’s book. That said, there are several reasons why you might want to install it in your home.
- You’re looking to improve the value of your property by installing solar panels
- You want to be more independent and less reliant on large companies supplying your electricity
- You’re concerned about the environmental impact and our heavy reliance on fossil fuels
Notice that I never wrote ‘ to save you money on your electricity bills‘ but why?
The simple reason is that solar power works best in an already energy-efficient environment. The more energy your household consumes, the more you’ll have to make up the difference using the grid. Therefore before you consider installing solar power, you should really focus on making your home as energy efficient as it can be. This means purchasing the most energy-efficient appliances, installing energy-efficient lighting, making sure your home is properly insulated and improving your own energy efficient habit such as hanging your washing outside to dry instead of using the tumble drier.
These are actions that we can all take either instead of (or as well as) installing solar panels.
So how does solar power work?
Electricity is generated when the interaction of natural sunlight against the semi-conductor material of the panels makes electrons. These DC electrons are carried through an inverter and are converted into 240v AC power (the standard current used by Australian appliances). The current travels via a disconnect switch (for safety reasons) to your fuse box. If you’re producing more electricity than you’re using, then the excess goes back into the grid. There is an import/export meter which carefully monitors the electricity you use and compares it to the electricity (if any) you’re sending back into the grid. This is how rebates or payments are worked out.
So how much sun do I need?
For those people living in and around the Brisbane area then over the course of a year around 5.3 hours of peak sunshine are generated. On an average 1.5kw solar panel system, this equates to around 8kw of electricity production every day. However a typical family house that isn’t particularly electrically efficient generates more than twice this much at 18kw per day. So to cover this amount you’d need at larger 3.4kw system and this costs more money to purchase and install. Other factors can also dictate how much electricity newly installed solar panels can produce including
- Time of day
- Time of year
- Cloud coverage
- Air pollution
As a result, location is key. Get this right and position the panels where you get the most unobstructed sunlight, then all things being equal, you should generate maximum electricity output.
Finally – to the all important question …How much should you be able to save per year using solar panels?
On average a 1.5kw installation should supply a family with around 25% of their electrical needs (a larger installation obviously more). This is based on 18kw per day. Therefore you should be looking to save around $350 per year.
If you want to know more about solar panels then speak to Static Electrics. We’ve been designing and fitting solar panels for many years and we guarantee both quality and workmanship. Contact us today on 0429 139 039 to arrange a no-obligation quote and put your mind at ease.