Loading...
Solar Panels for Home 2017-12-02T10:23:31+00:00

About Solar Panels

Jump To

Do Solar Panels Save Money?

Yes – solar panels can be one of the best investments you ever make helping you save serious money and adding value to your property.

Investing in solar energy makes sense if you buy good quality equipment that’s designed to last. We’d encourage you to consider more than just the upfront cost. You also want to look at how much energy your system will produce and therefore how much money it will save you.

This is where The Energy Experts can guide you in choosing the right solar panels for your home.

How Long Does It Take for Solar Panels to Pay Themselves Back?

For good quality mid–range solar panels/inverter, you’ll find that the Return On Investment (ROI) is as little as 3.8 years. For high-end equipment, the ROI is closer to 5 years, although high-end systems will save you more money over the longer term due to their higher performance and slower rate of degradation.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

A solar panel system uses light to generate electricity which you can then use to power your home. Here is how it happens:

• The sun’s light (photons) is absorbed by the solar panel

• The silicon and conductors in the panel convert the light into Direct Current (DC) electricity which then flows to the inverter.

• The inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) into Alternate Current (AC) which you can use in your home or business.

• Any additional electricity that’s not used by your home or business is then fed back into the grid (if you have battery storage, you can send your additional electricity to your battery bank and draw down on this at night when your panels aren’t producing electricity).

• When you need more power than your solar system can produce, you draw this from the grid.

What’s the Best Way to Use Solar Panels?

The Energy Experts can give you all the tips and tricks to getting the most out of your solar power system. For example, using your most electricity-hungry appliances during daylight hours can have a dramatic effect on your electricity bill.

Even if you’re not home during the day, with a delay start function, washing machines, dishwashers, clothes dryers, air-conditioners, pools and spas can be programmed to run at the time that your panels are producing the most power.

If you don’t use much of your overall power during the day, you might consider getting a battery storage system, which allows you to feed your surplus solar power to your battery bank and draw down on this at night when your panels aren’t producing.

Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

Solar panels still work on low-light, overcast, cloudy days. They just don’t produce as much electricity as they do on bright, sunny days. Where possible, follow the sun and use heavy-duty appliances on bright sunny days.

How Do I Know What’s a Good System and What’s Not?

There’s huge variation in the quality of solar power systems in Australia, so it makes sense to know what to look for when buying a system.

The trick is to buy equipment (panels and inverter) that’s made by major companies that have been manufacturing solar panel components and inverters for at least 10 years.

The general rule of thumb is ‘you get what you pay for’.

There are some incredibly cheap systems available, but be mindful that what’s far more important than the upfront cost is the amount of electricity your system will generate over its lifetime – and as a result, how much it will save you. You’re better off paying a bit more for a high-performance system, than not paying enough for an inferior one

More than 90% of solar panels these days are made in China. TrinaSolar, Jinko, SunTech and REC are reputable Chinese brands, but many others are best avoided.

The Energy Experts preferred panels are the US-designed and made SunPower 327W and 360W modules and Korean-made LG NeON2 330W and 350W moduleswhich are independently ranked as the most efficient commercially-available solar panels in Australia.

Higher-performance panels produce around 30% more electricity and take up approx. 30% less roof space than conventional panels. If you start thinking of your roof space as an asset, it’s easy to see why high-output panels make sense.

Both SunPower and LG panels perform better in shady/low light/cloudy/rainy conditions, as well as in cold/frosty and hot/humid conditions (not to mention beautiful, sunny days). They’re also more durable, they degrade slower and come with a longer warranty than conventional panels. The 25 year performance and product warranty includes both the labour and/or transport for replacement panels.

If you’re thinking battery storage, panels performance is critical. For example, with high-output 350W LG NeON panels, 36% fewer panels are needed to produce the same amount of power as a conventional 260W panel. In this case, only 16 LG 350W NeON panels are needed to achieve a 5.7kW system (rather than 25 conventional panels to achieve the same system size). More power; less space. Smart.

Take a look at the LG Beginners Guide to Solar to get a good understanding of the importance of high performance panels.

You don’t want to cover your roof with inefficient panels. You’ll want to give yourself space to grow with electric cars soon to become mainstream and most households preparing for the installation of a battery storage system. Your roof real estate is now more important than ever before.

The Energy Experts is proud to be an approved LG Dealer and works with the Illawarra’s preferred SunPower Partner. We can assist with both commercial and residential solar power enquiries.

LG NeON2 320W Solar Panel

Your Inverter

Your inverter is one of the most important components of a solar power system. As far as brands go, it’s best to buy a European-designed and made inverter, such as SMA or Fronius. These have been independently proven to be the most efficient and reliable string inverters on the market.

DC Optimisers or micro-inverters are a good way to go if your roof is partially shaded or if your panels need to be oriented in more than 2 different orientations. We’re very comfortable recommending SolarEdge DC Optimisers and Enphase micro-inverters.

Both DC Optimisers and micro-inverters are slightly dearer than string inverters, but they’re around 20% more efficient and come with a longer warranty (25 years on the DC Optimisers, 10 years on the micro-inverters). They also have lower operation and maintenance costs and panel level monitoring, which means you can see the individual performance of each panel … and each panel operates independently to the others. This means that if shade or bird droppings affect one panel, it doesn’t affect the rest of the system, which is what happens with string inverters. The other good thing about DC Optimisers and micro-inverters is that you can install more panels on a limited roof space, by installing closer to obstructions/shade.

Fronius Inverter

Fronius Inverter

SMA Inverter

SMA Inverter

SolarEdge DC Optimiser

SolarEdge DC Optimiser

Enphase Micro-inverter

Enphase Micro-Inverter

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

This very much depends on the size and type of system you buy. We can help you choose the most effective solar power system for your requirements.

Your usage System size Will save you Mid-range system
(after rebate)
Premium system
(after rebate)
Payback
Small user
($250-$400/qtr)
3kW system $300/qtr $4,900 $5,900 4.5 years
Medium user
($400-$600/qtr)
5kW system $500/qtr $6,900 $8,400 3.5 years
Large user
($600-$800/qtr)
7kW system $700/qtr $9,200 $11,500 2.8 years
XL user
($1000-$3000/qtr)
10kW system $1000/qtr $11,900 $15,200 2.9 years

Batteries

Currently, battery storage systems cost anywhere from $7,900-$12,400 for 6.5kWh – 14kWh of storage. Our preferred brands of Lithium-ion battery storage are Tesla Powerwall 2 and LG Chem.

From the copious research that we have done to-date, we believe the most reliable and efficient brands of lead acid batteries for off-grid or stand-alone systems are Selectronic and Ecoult.

For more information on battery storage systems, take a look at our battery storage page.

Who Should I Choose To Install My System?

Just as important as the quality of the components you choose is the quality of the installation, as many corners can be cut by unscrupulous installers.

We recommend having your solar panel system installed by a company that’s been installing solar panels for at least 5 years, is accredited with the Clean Energy Council and consistently receives good (independent) reviews on solar comparison websites.

Are There Still Rebates Available?

Yes. The Federal government is still making a generous contribution towards the cost of systems (around 30% of the overall cost – around $3,800 for a 5kW system; less for smaller systems; more for bigger systems). You only want to pay for your system once (i.e. not have to replace components in 5-10 years’ time) so it pays to choose wisely.

Do I Get Paid for the Electricity My System Produces?

Yes. You get paid for any surplus power that your system produces – between 5-10c/kWh, depending on which energy provider you’re with.

What makes the most sense is to use the bulk of your free solar power during the day. Or get a battery storage system, so you feed any surplus solar power to your battery bank to draw down on at night when your panels aren’t working.

Rather than send your surplus solar power to the grid, we can also arrange for the installation of a solar energy diverter, which allows you to divert your surplus energy to your electric hot water system or underfloor heating system. You can have one of these installed at a fraction of the cost of battery storage. Get in touch today for a quote or more information about one of these devices.

Solar Panel Quotes

The Energy Experts fast-track the solar quotes process for you by sourcing multiple competitive quotes on your behalf from local, professional companies.

We’ve cherry picked installers in your area that have a reputation for excellence and who are very competitively priced.

NEED MORE HELP WITH FINDING THE RIGHT SOLAR PANELS?

Contact The Energy Experts on 1300 516 474 to receive a free quote/initial consultation about solar panels for your home.

We cover the following areas: St George and Sutherland Shire, Wollongong, Illawarra, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, NSW South Coast, Macarthur, Wollondilly, Southern Highlands, Goulburn, Canberra, Capital Country, Central Coast, Newcastle, NSW Mid North Coast, New England and Blue Mountains.

Loading...