5 Myths About Solar Panels

 

Solar can be a tricky concept to get your head around. Terms such as inverters, photovoltaics, solar irradiation, and feed-in tariffs are enough to confuse anyone who is a first-time solar researcher!

With so much misinformation on the internet, it often can be tricky to sort through what is a fact and what is a myth.

So, here are the top 5 common solar panel misconceptions and myths, debunked.

1. Solar Panels Are Expensive And Have A Low Return On Investment

Myth or Fact : Myth

Solar has never been more cost-effective than right now. With so many government rebates, subsidies and incentives, the upfront cost of solar installation has been drastically reduced.

Dependent on your energy use, system size and battery options the average payback period (or return on investment period) is usually between 3-5 years.

Feed-in tariff rates also allow you to earn credit on your electricity bills, which means you can save even more!

If you are interested in seeing how much solar could save you, visit our solar calculator!

Not seeing a return on investment?

When individuals say that solar isn’t saving them much money, it is usually because they are not using their system correctly. If this is you, here are some of the reasons your solar system isn’t saving you much money.

  • Solar panels are not facing the optimal direction (North facing is best for solar output).5 Myths About Solar Panels
  • The solar panels are in shade.
  • Not using enough power during the day.
  • Inverter faults.
  • Poor wiring.
  • Increased power usage.
  • Misreading your power bill.
  • Changes to your electricity tariffs.

2. Solar Panels Won’t Work During A Blackout

Myth or Fact: Fact

This one is true! Your solar system will be automatically switched off during a blackout if your system is also connected to the grid. This is done for a very good reason, and that reason is safety!

If solar systems are not also shut off during a black out the live feed of electricity from your solar system could harm repair crews as they cannot monitor where the energy is coming from.

In addition, the main grid stabilizes the irregular flow of energy generated from your solar system. When a blackout occurs these irregular levels of energy have no stabilizer and could end up damaging your inverter, appliances and equipment.

While it is possible to get blackout protection for your solar system, it can be an expensive solution to an event that may only happen once or twice a year.

An easier solution however can be the addition of a solar battery. Batteries can back up power from your solar panels and be used when the grid is unavailable.

3. Solar Panels Don’t Work In High Temperature

Myth or Fact: Myth

Solar panels do still work in high temperatures however when the temperature rises above 25 degrees, they start to lose their efficiency.

For every degree above the 25 degree recommended temperature, solar panels lose half a percent of power output, which is a minor factor and one which shouldn’t affect your power bills.

4. Solar Panels Don’t Work When It’s Cloudy

Myth or Fact: Myth

On cold, cloudy and rainy days solar systems will still produce electricity.

However, because clouds block the level of sunshine that reaches the earth, solar systems will produce less energy than on a sunny day.

5. Solar Panels Use More Energy To Manufacture Than They Produce

Myth or Fact: Myth

The power generated by a solar system easily offsets the embodied energy used to manufacture it. It only takes 3-4 years to repay the manufacturing energy used to create the solar system and any energy produced after that only reduces your carbon footprint.

In conclusion, solar panels do not use more energy to manufacture than they produce.

Are You Considering Installing Solar?

The best way to get the solar panels that suit you is to compare solar quotes from multiple, experienced CEC accredited installers in your area. This is to ensure you are getting a system that is tailored to your needs and property, not what the installer wants to sell. 

Solar Market partners with top solar installers across Australia and will match you up with 3 local solar installers so you can start saving sooner. If you need more help, take our 2 min quiz to find out what kW solar panel system you need and the costs involved.

Request 3 Complimentary Solar Quotes

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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