Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Systems are now considered a normal sight across houses and businesses in Australia.
According to the Clean Energy Council:
1. Nationally, it is estimated that approximately 11% of all dwellings (19% of suitable homes) were fitted with a solar power system at the end of the calendar year.
2. At the end of 2012, Australia has over 2,298MW of Solar PV Capacity installed nationwide.
3. During the 2012 calendar year the contribution of renewable energy to Australia’s electricity supply broke 10 per cent for the first time this century, producing more than 13 per cent of the total – powering the equivalent of almost 4.2 million homes.
Taken from the Clean Energy Australia’s 2012 Report
GGE has been installing PV solar power systems since 2007 providing subcontracting services to many local and national companies. We can handle systems of any size, having installed both grid connect and off grid systems from 1kW to 100kW.
Our team are highly qualified and experienced when it comes to Solar. All of our A Grade Electricians are CEC Accredited. We pride ourselves on our staff training and qualifications and therefore all of our trades team also hold Construction Industry White Cards, Working at Heights certificates, First Aid and EWP.
How Solar Works:
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels capture the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Light energy is converted directly into electricity by transferring sunlight photon energy through cells of specially fabricated semiconductor crystals. The DC electricity created by the solar cells is then passed via an inverter and converted into standard AC electricity (240V/50Hz). This can then be used at your premises to power your lighting and appliances.
There are 2 main types of solar power systems, explained further below.
With a grid connected PV solar power system, the PV array is connected to an inverter that interacts with the Western Power grid/network (at the main switchboard). The electricity created by the system is first utilised throughout your premises, any excess electricity is then fed back into the Western Power grid.
Important factors to note:
Grid connected systems require the electrical network to be “active” or “live” to be operational. ie. If there is a blackout in your section of the Western Power network, the PV system will automatically shut off via the inverter. This is a safety feature of the system to prevent potential electrical shock.
A “stand alone” PV system operates in the same manner as a grid connected system however it is connect to a bank of batteries rather than the electricity network. Any excess energy created charges these batteries for later use.
Important factors to note:
Batteries are highly costly and have a limited lifespan with some requiring replacement every 5-10 years.
When it comes to choosing solar, there are a few important factors to consider.
1. Warranty – we consider this the most important factor. When buying your system, ask about the warranty of the components:
a. How long are the products warranted for?
b. Is local warranty and support available?
c. What is the process for a warranty claim? – NB – some companies require the faulty product to be returned to the supplier for testing before a warranty replacement will be arranged. This may mean having to return a product to another country. If no local warranty support is available, this lengthens the time that your system is not operating.
2. Experience and qualifications – ensure that your installers are appropriately accredited. Ask to see their “CEC Accreditation”.
3. System Size – make sure the system purchased, suits your needs. A lot of people deal with a sale representative when purchasing their system and not the designer or installer. Unfortunately, this can lead to inappropriately sized systems being purchased or misunderstandings about the true capacity of the system.