Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels typically made of a semi-conductive material such as silicon, generate clean electricity by converting the energy in sunlight into energy you can use in your home. In the southern hemisphere solar PV panels are generally fitted on the roof in a northerly direction at an angle to maximise the amount of sunlight that hits the panels. Electricity produced through the panels travels through heavy duty wires and is fed back into a box called an inverter which transforms the DC electricity to an AC format. This stream is designed to be compatible so that you can feed it back into the electricity grid for a tariff. Every state has a different system in place for feed-in tariffs that dictates the return rate earned for solar electricity you supply to the grid.
Your solar inverter will provide you with information such as the amount of electricity being produced. Many quality inverters feature wired or wireless connectivity so that you can monitor the output of your system. Once the panels are installed your electricity retailer will arrange for the installation of a new bi-directional meter through your Network Distributor. The new bi-directional meter will report both the incoming and outgoing electricity.
The next step to a stable constant supply is a battery backup system. This system consists of a large rechargeable battery array, inverter and computer controller. The controller determines whether a battery should be charged or discharged, whether surplus energy should be directed to the home, to the batteries or back to the grid. This system can potentially allow your house to run fulltime on solar alone, never drawing down from the grid, even at night. In cases of excess power production the extra electricity produced is directed back into the local grid earning you money for every kilowatt hour you supply to your neighbours! However the batteries are still quite expensive, although the price is trending downwards fairly rapidly, making consumer size arrays more realistic in the near future. Companies like Tesla are eagerly working on new and improved technology in this space and the fierce competition by other large international competitors is pulling prices down. We can install your solar panels today with a battery backup system or we can set it up so that the modules can be plugged in later on once the price of the batteries has come down. This way the installation cost of the batteries (for labour) is almost nothing.
All solar installation, maintenance and repair
Solar defect rectifications
Solar removal and refitting
Inverter sales and service and warranty repairs if available
Wireless solar energy meters
Solar data monitoring
Battery charger and battery sales and service
Home energy assessments
Licensed electrician, Clean Energy Council accredited
First consider the economics. When feed-in tariffs were higher than the cost of grid electricity, it made sense for homes & businesses to try to export as much power as possible, as this would maximise savings. These days, the opposite is true: in order to maximise investment in a solar system, the system’s owner would see the most benefit from endeavouring to consume as much of the electricity that they generate as possible. This is because direct consumption of any solar power generated means less electricity that needs to be purchased from the grid (at rates between 20-30¢/kWh, depending on the retailer and region), whereas exporting the power will earn system owners credits on their power bill to the tune of only 8-10¢/kWh. What is clear is that the bias for ‘self-consumption’ virtually defines the business case for going solar in Australia today.
In NSW, feed-in tarrifs are applicable to the energy retailer you deal with, here are the main ones:
Retailer Tariff payable to new solar customers (¢/kWh)
Diamond Energy 8¢
Energy Australia 5.1¢
Lumo Energy 5.5¢
Click Energy 10¢
Origin Energy 6¢
Red Energy 5¢
When selecting a solar panel manufacturer consider the Tier system that has been put in place for Australian consumers to make reasonable comparisons. Tier 1 solar panels – Manufacturers who are in complete control over each and every stage that goes into making their solar panel. They are heavily automated and invest heavily in R&D. They have been manufacturing solar panels for longer than 5 years. Tier 2 solar panels – These manufacturers are more reliant on manual labour or human production lines. They put little or no money into research and development and have been operating for between 2 and 5 years. Tier 3 solar panels – These are companies that put no money into research and development. They have only been in operation for 1 to 2 years. They use human production lines for manual soldering or solar costs instead of advanced robotics. This represents around 90% of the manufacturing market today.
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At Westcork we have installed hundreds of solar systems. Implementing the most stringent processes, Clean Energy Council accreditation ensures that we always deliver the highest quality service when installing PV Grid connect solar systems across Sydney.
With the Federal Governments solar rebates there were thousands of solar systems installed a few years ago. Now that these cells have seen a few years of uptime we’re inevitably getting a lot of calls for maintenance and repair. Some of the issues are related to storm damage and others are product problems with the solar inverters or the isolators and breakers. So if you have a solar system in Sydney that is operating below optimal please give us a call and we can come out and get you back up and running.
Stand alone domestic and commercial packages usually range between 1.5KW – 10KW. No matter what size output your system produces we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to fix any problem thus restoring your income stream generated from it. Don’t waste time and money with a disreputable service provider, go with the most trusted electricians in the inner west – Westcork.
Our maintenance services:
Testing, Laser Temp and Manuals
Solar System run at high voltages and need quality maintenance performed by licensed electricians to maintain optimum performance and safety