Q. What is grid power?
Grid power is the network of poles and wires connecting electricity supply to your home or business. A solar PV system is your own solar generated source of electricity.
Q. What is a Feed in Tariff?
A Feed in Tariff is the amount per kW/h your electricity retailer will offer you for any excess solar generated power you feed back to the grid. Every state has different tariffs the feed in rate is reviewed in Victoria annually.
Q. What is a solar PV system?
A solar PV (Photovoltaic) system is basically made up of mounting rail and associated hardware, solar panels, inverter or microinverters, and electrical wiring.
Q. What is a microinverter?
A micro-inverter, is a small device installed on the mounting rail behind each solar panel. It converts direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panel to alternating current (AC) electricity. A microinverter is silent and there is no moving parts. With an internet connection, the system owner can then monitor their own solar energy production. To see the many benefits of microinverters, click here.
Q. How does Solar electricity work?
Solar panels convert sunlight to DC electrical power. The panels are connected to an inverter or microinverters, which then converts DC voltage to AC mains power which is synchronised, used immediately in the home via the main switchboard, with any excess fed back into the grid via the electricity meter. When electricity usage is high, you will be using your own solar generated power and power from the grid. When usage demands are low, excess solar generated electricity goes back into the grid with your energy retailer purchasing power from you.
Q. What happens on cloudy days or at night?
Solar power production is dependent on the irradiance level of sunlight available, therefore cloudy days will affect the performance of your solar system. A solar system does not produce electricity at night.
Q. Which is the best way to face solar panels?
In the southern hemisphere, north facing solar panels are the preferred option due to more power produced over a longer period during the day. The tilt or roof angle will also affect power production also.
Q. What if my roof doesn’t face north?
The use of microinverters is a huge bonus where there is little or no north facing roof option. As each panel works individually, you are getting the maximum output available wherever each panel is facing.
Q. How long will it take to install my solar system?
It is a distributor requirement to obtain a pre-approval for every solar system prior to installation. Once approved and your system deposit is paid, installation can be completed usually within a couple of weeks depending on the weather. If you are applying for a Victoria solar rebate this should be secured first.
Q. How much maintenance is there on a solar system?
A solar system requires little maintenance, although we do recommend monitoring the following:
- Regularly check the output and operation of your inverter/s.
- Check your electricity bill for any major changes.
- At least annually, have your solar panels cleaned and system operation and safety checked by a solar experienced electrical tradesperson. Reilly Electrical & Sunvalley Solar offer a complete Solar System Inspection and Clean Service for a set fee and peace of mind.
Q. Do I need to insure my solar system?
Most insurers will allow you to include your solar system in your home and contents insurance, but you should check with your own insurance company first.
Q. Is solar going to get any cheaper?
The cost of solar systems have reduced by approximately 60% in the last decade. Industry predicts that solar prices may have have now reached a point where further cost reductions are unlikely.
Q. Is Battery Storage expensive & can I add them to my existing solar system?
Like other new technologies, batteries can be expensive. It is expected that worldwide popularity, manufacturing processes & competition in the marketplace will reduce prices in the future.
If you have a grid connect solar system already, batteries and other monitoring components can be easily added.