Solar Panel System Install Photos

To get an idea of what to expect from a reputable installer below are some high-quality solar system installation photos, as well as some things to keep an eye out for when your solar power system and panels are being installed.

Solar Panel Installations

  • The panels should be lined up nicely
  • The rails cut nice and short
  • UV resistant conduit protecting the cabling between the rows
  • Be aware of black cables being exposed to the sun
  • Panels should not be necessarily close to the ridge so that they catch the wind
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Rails nice and neat, shouldn’t be longer than say 15cm, panels line up nicely

 

Inverter Installations

  • All cabling is neat and out of the way, so they don’t catch on anything or are easily exposed
  • Plenty of ventilation to the sides and especially above the inverter, generally at least 20cm
  • No direct sunlight on them between about 8am-4pm
  • UV resistant conduit protecting the cabling
  • Warning labels attached
  • Inverters and isolators aren’t placed where they are exposed to direct sunlight for long durations of time.
  • All parts, especially isolators, don’t have any electrically exposed entries from the top that could fill or be damaged by rain
  • Your inverter is set to detect if something goes wrong
  • The garage is the best location for the inverter if possible

Ideally, the inverter should be in a location where you pass by often so you can see if the warning light is on, which may indicate that there’s a problem with the system.

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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.