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Here are some answers to the most commonly asked solar questions.
What direction should my panels face?
Solar panels produce the most power on a north facing roof – or as close to it as possible. However, panels that face east or west will typically still maintain 85% efficiency or greater.
Is there still a rebate on solar energy systems?
Yes there is, anyone who purchases a solar power system is eligible for an ‘STC’ discount, which is a point of sale discount available as part of the Renewable Energy Target. The amount of discount applicable varies depending on the size of the solar system, with the discount available on all systems 1.5kW and bigger. The typical discount for most systems is between $1200 and $4500.
How much do I get paid for the power I feed to the grid?
South Australian energy retailers currently pay between 6c and 8c per kWh (unit) of solar power that you feed to the grid. You only export solar power to the grid when it is over and above the power that your home is using at the time. With careful system design, and some small changes to power usage behaviour, you can greatly maximise the free power used directly by your home, which gives you the highest possible solar savings.
What happens when the sun goes down?
Once the sun goes down, your house automatically switches over to mains power until the sun comes up again. Your solar inverter controls this automatically.
What happens if there is a blackout?
In the event of a blackout, your solar system will shut down (this is a legal requirement). Once mains power returns, your system switches back on automatically. In the future when batteries become a viable option, you will be able to add these to your existing solar system, giving you power during a blackout.
How much do your solar systems cost?
This can vary quite a lot depending on the size of the system installed, the brands of solar products used, and the type of property we are installing the system on. Our solar systems start at around the $3000 mark, which is for a 1.5kW solar system with a German made solar inverter. Adelaide homes typically suit solar systems in the 3kW – 5kW range, which will generally cost somewhere between $4500 – $7500 after the applicable ‘STC’ discount. Contact us and we can give you more information.
How much will a solar system save me?
I’ve heard about ‘Micro Inverters’ – what’s the difference between these and wall-mounted inverters?
Both ‘wall mounted’ or ‘string’ inverters (DC), and Micro Inverters (AC) have benefits in certain situations, it depends on the type of property that you have. In most cases, a German Made SMA ‘Sunnyboy’ string inverter is by far our most recommended option. For homes that have large amounts of shade, or very unconventional rooflines, Micro Inverters can be a good option.
We recently wrote a detailed comparison of the two types of solar inverter that you can read here.
Our free on-site roof measure and inspection is the best way to work out which option in best for you and your home.
Contact us and we’ll be happy to explain in more detail, or visit you at your home for a free quote.