Whether you’re getting solar for your home or your business, the most common place to install a solar PV (photovoltaic) system is on a roof.

About 29% of Australian homes currently have rooftop solar PV, making Australia the country with the highest uptake of solar globally, according to official government statistics.

So you might be wondering how a solar power system would be installed on your roof.

These are the 5 steps to install rooftop solar PV:

  1. Brackets (which hold your panels) are fixed to the battens underneath your roof. These can be angled for the panels to catch the maximum amount of sunlight
  2. Solar panels attach to the brackets
  3. Your solar inverter and/or battery are connected to your solar power system. 
  4. Your system is then connected to your property’s meter board.
  5. A net meter (which gets installed by your electricity provider) allows your solar power system to be connected to the grid.

If a rooftop installation isn’t suitable, the panels can be installed on a ground framework. This is also known as a ‘ground mounted system’.

How is the inverter installed?

There are 3 main types of solar systems installed in Australia. 

The most common is a string system – where all the panels are connected in series on a string. With this set up, there’s just one central inverter installed (for best performance, it needs to go out of direct sunlight and be positioned within 10m your meter box).
While string systems are generally a bit cheaper than other inverter technology, string inverters have a few drawbacks. As more panels are added, the DC voltage on your roof goes up and up and this can lead to dangers if anything goes wrong with the cabling over time. Also, the performance of the system is pegged to the lowest performing panel, so shade, bird poo, leaf litter or simply one panel underperforming can bring down the output of the whole string. 

The next generation of solar is microinverters. With this technology, there isn’t a central inverter, but rather one mini or microinverter that’s attached to the underside of every panel on your roof. These can be beneficial by allowing each panel to work independently of each other, but unfortunately they don’t perform well in extreme heat and come with moderate warranties in Australia. They’re also more expensive than the other types of inverter technology.

The latest inverter technology is called optimised inverter technology and this is the type of inverter The Energy Experts installs the most. With this technology, every panel has an ‘optimiser’ mounted behind it. This maximises the power that each panel produces. Because they work together on the string like a team, it means that any shade or reduction in performance with one panel is compensated for by the rest of the panels, which maximises solar production. SolarEdge optimisers are rated to withstand up to 85C, making them ideal for harsh Aussie summers. There’s still a central inverter to carry the load (this means there are fewer components on your roof that can fail). Again, for best performance, the main inverter needs to go out of direct sunlight and be positioned within 10m your meter box. SolarEdge optimised systems allow customers to future proof their energy needs at an affordable price.

Looking for an experienced, CEC-approved solar retailer to install solar panels on your roof? You can call The Energy Experts on 1300 516 474, email save@theenergyexperts.com.au or complete this quick online form.