Top Questions We’re Asked About Solar
At Infinite Energy, we believe that educating our customers about the benefits of solar power is paramount to not only helping more Australians invest in renewable energy, but also to our success as a business. That’s why we place such a focus on education, to help our customers understand how our products will benefit them, and the environment.
We have put together a few of our most frequently asked questions, ranging from what makes up a solar PV system, to how investing in solar can help the environment. Read on to learn more.
What is a solar PV system and how does it work?
Your solar energy system works by converting light from the sun into energy which you can use in your home or export to the grid. Panels on your roof generate DC (Direct Current) Electricity, this is fed into an inverter which converts the DC electricity into 240 volt AC (Alternating Current) Electricity which can be used in your home.
What does a typical home solar power system consist of?
A typical grid-connected solar energy system consists of the following components:
- Panels, which convert sunlight into DC electricity and then feed this electricity to the inverter.
- Inverter, that converts the electricity produced by your panels from DC electricity to AC electricity which is what your appliances use. The inverter also records the electricity produced and some models can communicate with the internet.
- Bi-directional meter, which records energy drawn from and sent back to the grid.
- Mounting System, which is what connects your system to the roof.
What size system will I need for my home?
The size of the system you will require for your home depends on several factors, including:
- How many solar panels will fit on your roof
- Your budget
- Your normal energy usage during daylight hours
- Your future plans, for example, if you intend on starting a family and staying in the house long term, we recommend that you go for a larger system to cover your future energy needs.
Your energy consultant will help you determine the best size for your needs.
Will I still need electricity from the grid once I install a solar system?
Your solar system generates electricity during peak daylight hours and any electricity produced during this time that is not consumed will be sold back to the grid.
During the night when your solar system is not producing energy, or on overcast days when the sun isn’t shining, you will likely need to draw electricity from the grid. However, if you have invested in solar battery storage, you will be able to store some of your excess power instead of selling it back to the grid, and instead use that stored energy when your solar panels aren’t producing, such as on very overcast days or overnight.
Do I need planning approval to install solar panels?
Generally, you won’t need planning approval to install your solar PV system, however, there are a few exceptions, such as if your property is heritage-listed. If you live in a complex governed by a strata agreement, you will need approval from the body corporate. For most standard homes, you shouldn’t need approval to install your solar PV system.
Is the system installed by qualified electricians?
Yes, all of our experienced solar install teams have a qualified licensed electrician, and they are accredited by the Clean Energy Council of Australia for the design and installation of your system.
How long does installation take?
Based on a standard installation, a 3kW solar system installation can take up to 1 day, and a 5kW solar system can take 1 to 2 days. Larger systems and installations that include batteries can take 2-5 days. Your energy consultant will let you know how long your installation should take based on your specifications and home.
Will installation of a solar PV system mean that I will no longer get an electricity bill?
Unfortunately, no. Even after you install a solar PV system, you will continue to receive a bill or statement from your energy retailer. This is because, while your new solar panels will help to offset some, if not all your electricity you would normally consume from the grid during the day, you will still have to pay for nighttime power use as well as service charges from your electricity retailer. However, if the value of the electricity you have generated and sold back to the grid during the billing period exceeds the value of the electricity drawn from the grid then you may receive a credit balance on your bill.
If my energy requirements increase, can I upgrade the system?
Yes, if your energy requirements increase, you can upgrade your system. Additional panels may be added to existing systems where a larger inverter has been installed. If a larger system is required that is not supported by the existing inverter, an additional inverter could be installed next to the existing one. Your energy consultant can advise you on limitations set out by Western Power as to how big your solar system can be.
How will my new solar system benefit the environment?
Investing in a solar system can be a great way to help the environment!
Producing energy via a solar PV system reduces the need to burn carbon-emitting fossil fuels such as coal and gas, helping to reduce your household’s carbon footprint.
If you have any more questions for our energy specialists, feel free to give us a call on 1300 074 669 or get in touch with us today.