Learn About Solar Systems

Learn about solar power for residential properties

Learn about solar power for residential properties, how it works, why it’ll save you money and what you need to know before installing at your property.

What is a solar system?

A solar system (also referred to as a PV system or solar power system) is designed to convert sunlight into electricity using solar panels and other various components.

Solar systems installed at residential properties will typically have solar panels placed on the roof so they are exposed to the maximum amount of sunlight available. The solar panels absorb the sun’s rays which they convert to Direct Current Energy. The Direct Current (DC) Energy is then converted into Alternating Current (AC) Energy once fed through the solar system’s inverter.

Once converted to AC electricity a household will run off this instead of energy from the electricity grid or battery.

The amount of electricity a solar system can produce is dependent on the system size, environmental factors, daylight hours and efficiency of the system purchased.

A house that has a grid connected solar system will pull from the electricity grid as a secondary source of electricity, if the solar system is not producing enough energy. A household that has an off-grid solar system will pull from a generator or battery as a second source of electricity.

Note: A grid connected system can also have a battery installed depending on what inverter the solar system has. 

Excess energy generated

If you have a solar system, any generated energy you use is essentially free and any excess energy is sent to the grid, unless you have installed battery storage. The excess energy that goes to the grid is then reimbursed to the solar system owner in the form of a Feed-in Tariff (FIT). This FIT should appear on your electricity bill as a credit.

A solar system typically performs at it’s best on a sunny, clear sky, 25 degree day but will still produce energy in cloudy overcast conditions. Solar panels do require some form of sunlight to absorb the suns energy and so do not produce energy at night. 

Find out more about Grid Connected or Off Grid Systems Here

Energy usage habits

Best practice when you have a solar pv system is to alter your energy habits so that you use the majority of your electricity during the day, when your solar system is generating energy. Doing this will minimise your use at night which will reduce your reliance on the grid and further reduce your bills.

Get some tips on how to adjust your energy habits and maximise your solar savings

TIP: PV stands for the word “photovoltaic”, meaning; to convert light into electricity.

Considering installing solar and generating your own free energy? Get Obligation FREE Quotes!

Where in your solar journey are you?

Download Your FREE Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition

Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy-saving tips and more!

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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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