Questions asked all the time about Solar Panels & Solar Systems.
The size of your solar PV system will depend on, the physical unshaded area available for the installation of your panels, how much you are prepared to spend and what portion of your electrical consumption you wish to generate.
To work out what size solar PV system you require, you need to analyse your household’s daily electricity consumption. Your monthly or quarterly electricity bill measures your household’s electricity consumption in kilowatt hours. From this figure, you can calculate your average daily electricity consumption, and the average amount of electricity your solar PV system needs to produce to cover your electricity needs.
This process will be completed by your accredited designer during the design and specification stage, as part of their load analysis.
Solar PV panels produce most power when they are pointed directly at the sun. In Australia, solar modules should face north for optimum electricity production. The orientation of the panels will often have a greater effect on annual energy production than the angle they are tilted at. A minimum tilt of 10° is recommended to ensure self cleaning by rainfall.
If your roof’s slope is not ideal, your accredited designer can create an appropriate mounting frame to correct the orientation and elevation of your panel. Failing this, the designer can advise you on the difference in energy output for different tilt and orientation.
Your accredited designer will calculate the amount of energy generated by the solar PV panel from the peak sun hours available. Peak sun hours vary throughout the year.
If you have a traditional accumulation meter (with a spinning disk) this will need to be replaced with an interval meter or smart meter. This is because an accumulation meter does not record the energy you export to the grid or the electricity you import from the grid. An interval meter or a smart meter provide half hourly readings of the electricity you consume and the surplus electricity you generate.
When signing a contract with your designer/installer, you need to be informed. Important questions to ask include:
-Is the designer accredited?
-Is the installer accredited?
-What are their accreditation numbers?
-Ask to see their accreditation photo ID card
-Will your system be designed and installed by an accredited individual?