Solar energy takes advantage of the sun’s rays to generate heat or electricity. It is an infinitely renewable resource and unique for its ability to generate energy in a quiet, clean, and consistent manner. Can’t beat the sun for being oh-so-cool!
In layperson terms, photovoltaic cells are comprised of a semiconductor material such as silicon. Added to the silicon are the elements phosphorous and boron which create conductivity within the cell and activate the movement of electrons. The electrons move across the cell when activated by the sunlight’s energy into the electrical circuit hooked up to the solar panel.
Of course everyone’s needs are different. It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use, when you use it and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. Bundaberg Solar first come to you to conduct an energy audit, look at your current electricity bill, ask you some questions about how you use your electricity and work out the best solution to reduce or illuminate these costs. This may include solar or a combination of solar and energy efficient lighting and appliances. Ultimately you make the choice on what you can afford but we can give you the expert advice you need to start making changes.
Of course this is a relative question. It depends, in part, on how much electricity you use and how efficient the appliances are that you operate. That said expect to generate excess electricity in the summer (when days are long) which can potentially offset the energy you use from the grid in the winter. A combination of energy efficient appliances and light bulbs can help reduce your homes energy bill by over two-thirds.
While both types of solar systems capture energy from the sun, solar photovoltaic systems use photovoltaic panels to produce electricity. Solar hot water, or thermal, systems capture sunlight to heat water for domestic use, to heat a swimming pool, or for a radiant heating system.
Solar panels require little maintenance – We suggest panels are cleaned once a year with warm soapy water and a soft broom. Some panels may need more cleaning in areas that are exposed to salt water, bats/vermin or debris from trees.
It is important to place panels where they will remain clear of shade and debris.
Yes. Bundaberg Solar offers finance through Certegy. Click here to find out how you can buy now and pay later with no deposit and 40months interest free.
Alternatively you may consider using a home equity loan for the purchase and installation costs of a solar system to take full advantage of federal tax deductions. Solar energy systems are viewed as a major home energy savings upgrade and there are financial tools out there that reward you for your efforts. Remember, installing a solar energy system is comparable to any other upgrade you might do to your home, such as installing a new deck or remodelling a kitchen.
Standard homeowner’s insurance policies usually suffice to meet electric utility requirements. Electric utilities usually require that homeowners who take advantage of net metering sign an interconnection agreement.
No. In Australia there is no requirement to apply for a building permit specifically for solar. Where a permit may be needed is if the homeowner is part of a town house complex that’s managed by a body corporate. In this circumstance you may need to obtain permission from other home owners and/or management. This detail will be outlined in your body corporate agreement.
Bundaberg Solar can provide the necessary documentation and diagrams to your body corporate to show the location of your future solar system on your roof and how it might impact visually for consideration.
There are solar salesmen and there are solar professionals. Big difference.
A solar salesman knows the talk but doesn’t really understand the ins and outs when it comes to electricity and solar, how it works, where it should sit on your roof to get the best benefits from the sun. They can’t conduct an energy audit on your home, won’t be able to accurately explain tariffs or switch your over for further savings and won’t be able to suggest other ways to reduce you’re power bill. They are simply there to sell you a system and walk away.
Solar professional installers can take the guess work out of installing a solar power system. If you are considering solar, a solar pro can help you determine the type and size of system that will work best and guide you through the process.
As with any major purchase, it’s helpful to compare costs and information. Seeking information from multiple professionals can provide constructive advice, set realistic expectations, and help you fine-tune the design that will work best for your application. Trust local service and someone who has done a site inspection on your solar location. There can be several added extras if a job has not been sited including grid suitability, switch board upgrades, extra costs for flat, tiled and high set roofs.
You can estimate how much a solar electric system may cost if you determine your current energy needs and costs and compare against your future anticipated use. Once you have a sense of how much energy you use, you can evaluate the cost of purchasing and installing one or both of the technologies. Bundaberg Solar can also do this for you.
Luckily in today’s market you can take advantage of multiple federal, state, and local tax credits, rebates and other financial incentives that create attractive and competitive prices for solar PV and hot water systems.
Planning, configuring, and doing any custom ordering for your solar energy system can take up to a few weeks. However, the installation process itself can typically be completed in a day.
For more on the application time please download our solar proposal which outlines this process.
You will need a photovoltaic array to capture the sun’s energy, an inverter to convert the direct current (DC) produced from the photovoltaic cells into alternating current (AC) used by your home, and a house utility meter – called a net meter – that can record both the electricity produced from your home’s power system as well as any power you may use off the grid. These three system components are then connected through a series of wiring. The photovoltaic panels are secured to your roof with panel mounts or are installed on poles that can be adjusted for sun angle.
Net meters are supplied by Ergon Energy and are an electronic means for measuring your daily usage and the amount of power you have exported to the grid.
Not with a grid connect solar system – Though you will remain tethered to your local utilities’ grid, you will not have to worry about not generating enough power. You also gain the advantage of offsetting rising utility costs. Most solar photovoltaic experts do not recommend adding a backup battery system unless there is concern about a long utility outage or the residence is in a remote location.
In bright sunlight, a square foot of a conventional photovoltaic panel will yield 10 watts of power. That’s a helpful rule of thumb for calculating a rough estimate of how much area you might need. For example, a 1000 watt system may need 100 – 200 square feet of area, depending on the type of PV module used.
The size of the photovoltaic system is correlated to your home’s energy-use needs, available space for a system, and overall costs for the system components and installation. Solar contractors in your area can help determine the best size for your solar photovoltaic system.
Unfortunately shading a photovoltaic system dramatically decreases its output. Just shading the bottom row of wafers alone amounts to an 80% reduction in efficiency. So above all, don’t shade your array!
Take a look at the position of your home on its lot – and particularly your roof. Ask the following questions:
1. Is there good northern exposure? Orienting solar panels to the north maximizes the effectiveness of energy collection.
2. Is the exposure free of trees or buildings that could shade the panels or drop debris on them? Shading photovoltaic panels dramatically reduces their effectiveness.
3. What is the pitch of your roof? Most roofs, from flat to 60-degrees can accommodate photovoltaic panels
Although northern exposure increases the effectiveness of a residential solar power system, your home may still work for solar power without having north facing exposure. Seek advice from a professional solar designer or installer to ensure success
The location of your home and the local climate will play into where you place and how you install your solar electric. Wind speeds and salt water can all affect a solar array. Understanding how those inputs effect performance will determine the types of mounts or how the arrays are angled. A solar pro like Bundaberg Solar is knowledgeable about your local conditions and can help you design that works well for you.
The average homeowner saves over $1000 a year on electricity by installing solar panels on their roof. That’s including the cost of solar panels. The most common way to go solar today is to buy now and pay later, which essentially means instead of paying the utility you pay Certergy and ultimately less to produce your own energy.
Want to find out more? Talk to us today about connecting you to energy efficient solar and stop paying too much for your electricity needs.