Solar Panel Myths

The development of solar panel technology has come a long way since solar systems were first introduced back in the day.  However, those who haven’t explored or followed the solar market and the development of technology may still have some misconceptions about solar panels, preventing them from reaping the benefits of saving with solar.

Let’s explore some of these misconceptions and break down the barrier between you and saving with solar.

Solar Panels Require A Lot Of Maintenance

cleaning-solar-panels

In terms of maintenance solar panels require very little. In fact, as solar panels have no moving parts usually the only maintenance required is a general clean from dirt and leaves to ensure the solar panels are receiving the most sunlight as possible.

Cleaning solar panels is recommended a few times of year unless you notice your roof receives a lot of leaves from nearby trees. Cleaning services are available however a standard garden hose will usually be able to remove the majority of leaves and dirt accumulated. Just avoid cold water on hot panels as this may cause cracking!

Solar Panels Will Ruin The Look Of My Home

Solar panels are no longer the clunky and unattractive slabs that they have been in the past. The two most common types of solar panels “monocrystalline and polycrystalline” are both sleek, dark (black or blue) and a subtle addition to a roof.

If you’re working with a bigger budget there is also the option of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) which are customisable photovoltaic materials that can be designed to look like conventional building materials. This means you could have BIPV customised to look like roof tiles.

Solar Panels Are Worthless Without Battery Storage

If you are opting for a grid-connected solar system, battery storage is an optional component. Battery storage allows you to store the excess energy your solar panels have generated during the day, to use at night. Whilst battery storage gives you more independence from the grid, the expected return on investment is currently not ideal for the average household.

However, this is not the case with a solar PV system without battery storage. A solar PV system without battery storage can reduce your electricity bill hugely (in some cases by 80%) however to do this you will need to adjust your energy habits to using the majority of electricity during the day when the solar panels are generating the most amount of electricity.

Read Tips On How To Do This Here!

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

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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.