Finding the perfect solar power system for your home

Finding the perfect solar power system for your home

The Australian government is encouraging the installation and use of solar power by households and small businesses through rebates and feed-in tariffs to reach the goal of substituting 20% of the continent’s energy consumption with energy from renewable sources by 2020. This article is intended to provide you with some information in selecting and installing the right solar power system for your household.

Solar Power System Components for the HouseholdThe basic solar or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts light energy from the sun into DC electric power. Many PV cells are joined together to form modules that are sold in the market. The modules are available in different wattages, say 10W to 300 watts.These modules are connected to an inverter. This helps to convert the system-generated DC electricity into alternating current.Batteries can be optionally connected to provide a source of backup power in case of any interruption.

The solar power system installed in the household can be a standalone system or a grid connected system.

Tips for selecting a solar power system for your household

Decide on the size of the power system to be installed by clearly studying your current energy bill. An average-sized family living in a three-bedroom Australian household typically uses 12 kWh to 18kWh of energy per day. Depending on factors such as state of residence in Australia and the amount of direct sunlight that is received in a day, on average, a 1kW power system would help to generate anywhere between 4-5 kWh per day.

The Australian government also offers solar rebates that should help make your initial outlay more affordable than it would be otherwise.. This is implemented by issuing Renewable Energy Certificates for every MWh of energy expected to be generated over the life of the power system. These certificates can be traded in the certificate market for cash or surrendered to the installer to realise up-front rebates on equipment. The Australian government has also implemented a feed-in tariff for grid connected systems. The energy company pays a financial credit amount for the excess power fed into the national electricity grid from the residential solar power system.

With the help of the installer it is necessary to choose a location where unobstructed and direct sunlight is available for most part of the day. In Australia, a large amount of available daylight is captured by placing the solar panels facing the northern direction. The solar panels can be placed either on rooftops or on the ground on specialized mounts.

Ensure that you buy solar panels of the highest quality. Cheaper systems may cut the initial expenditure, but low-quality systems can cause electrocution and electric fires. The number of panels that need to be bought depends on the rating of the solar power system that is required, the amount of money that is ready to be spent and the space that is available for installation. Typically, a solar panel of rating 1.5 kW would occupy 12 square metres of area.

A 1.5 kWh solar power system installed in a household will typically cost AUD 6500 in New South Wales Australia. Remote standalone systems are more expensive. The price increases proportionately with the distance to the power grid.

Once the size and layout of the solar power system for the household has been decided, it is crucial to keep the following aspects when making the purchase of the system.

  • Beware of free deals. In most cases the solar panels and inverters are set up but not connected to the main electricity grid.
  • Avoid over-enthusiastic salesmen, video presentations with no substance, and those who pressure you into taking an immediate buying decision.
  • Ensure that the salesman presents you with the right information for shifting to a solar power system.
  • Make a comparative study of all system components in the market.
  • Avoid counterfeit products that seem to cost less.
  • Ensure that the components carry genuine warranties.

There are many reasons for shifting to a solar power system for your household, from saving earth’s fossil fuel resources to reducing the electricity purchased from the energy company to the independence of generating your own power. Whatever be the reason, solar power is the right choice that you can make now to leave a green planet for the future generations.

Category: Solar Articles


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