Investing in the solar system isn’t something that we do every day – it is a once in a lifetime purchase that needs a lot of consideration up front. As such, it is vital for one to garner as much information as they can before they can even think of tapping into solar panels.

It’s surprising how most Australians – including those who use solar panels and even those who don’t – know nothing or very little about solar energy. This shouldn’t be the case because information is power, and it goes a long way in helping us make the right decisions.

If you are considering investing in solar power Sunshine Coast, then this article is for you. We highlight information about everything you would want to know about solar panels.

Components of solar power

You should know that solar energy features three elements, including the panels, the inverter, and the mounting.

  • Panels are classified into two categories, namely monocrystalline and polycrystalline. You can buy either of the two types; however, your primary consideration should be to get a brand that will last for 25 or more years. You have an option of getting the good premium brands or good budget brands or even the no-name panels. But the latter doesn’t often last past the fifth year mark, so you should avoid them at all costs.
  • Tips: Don’t be worried about the solar panel technology. Both the poly and monocrystalline work incredibly fine in the Australian climates.
  • Inverters are also divided into two groups; microinverters (around the size of a paperback book) or string inverters, which are approximately the size of a briefcase. Microinverters are installed behind each solar panel, while the string inverters go on a wall, and connect to all the solar panels.

Mounting/racking is what securely holds your solar panels on the roof. The market offers a broad selection of mounting to pick from, each with varying prices.

Electricity usage

When your panels deliver solar energy, the electricity goes to power your appliances at home. Any surplus energy is transferred to the grid (which you get payments for). However, it is a good idea to use that energy, instead of exporting it as you’ll end up saving about 30c on every kWh. The electricity that you export attracts a “feed-in tariff’ of between 7 and 18c per kWh.

The solar rebate

You should know that the Australian government still provides the solar rebates – which are a point-of-sale discount that helps you minimise on installation costs. As of May 2018, this rebate was worth about $650 per kWh of all systems installed. For instance, a 3kW unit earns about $1,950 in rebates.

Tip: rebates depend on the number of solar panels as opposed to the inverter size – making the addition of panels beyond the inverter rating is therefore very worthwhile. Be sure to talk to your installer regarding ‘oversizing’ your panel range – if you are working with a professional installer, they’ll be able to help.

Roof direction

Before you invest in solar power Sunshine Coast, it’s important to understand the basics of roof angle or direction, to ensure you get optimal solar system placement. The sun moves from east to west; therefore, panels facing the east will generate more energy in the morning, but less in the afternoon, while the west-facing ones will do the opposite. North-facing panels produce more electricity around midday and offer the most energy.