Solar Solutions – FAQS
What is Solar PV?
Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells by scientists, convert sunlight directly into electricity. PV gets its name from the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called ‘the PV effect.
What size system will I need to run my house?
We have a whole page dedicated to helping you answer this. Please see What size solar system do i need?
What does my system consist of?
A typical grid-connected system consists of solar panels that convert sunlight into DC electricity. This will then be fed to your inverter, which will convert the DC electricity into the AC electricity your household appliances use. You will also require a bi-directional electricity meter, which records the electricity usage taken from and sent back to the grid, and a mounting system, which will connect your solar panels to your roof.
Do I need any approvals for my home?
Generally you will only need approval in strata titled complexes where need approval from the body corporate or in heritage listed buildings that may require council approval. We handle the Synergy or Western Power approvals or applications for you.
Does my roof need to face North?
No, solar panels can be installed on roofs facing anywhere from due East to due West, North is generally first preference if available, however a well-designed system will allow for maximum solar production for your home.
What if my roof is flat?
Most roofs have a tilt, however slight pitch or tilting frames can be installed if the roof is not angled enough. As a minimum we recommend a slight pitch to assist in water runoff, which will aid in self cleaning. After the consultation we can discuss the appropriate solution for your home.
What about adding batteries to my solar grid connected system?
Batteries can be added to existing rooftop solar systems, though you need to keep in mind that often upgrades to your existing install and inverter will need to take place for this to happen. There are some exciting battery technologies coming.
Recent research indicates that while over 80% of customers enquire about battery storage, in reality less than 5% of consumers currently purchase. The reason behind this is that in most situations it just doesn’t stack up financially. This will change dramatically in coming years, battery technology and the costs to produce it are coming down… watch this space!
What can affect the amount of solar energy produced?
There are many factors that can influence the amount of energy that your solar system will produce, these include, but are not limited to:
- The amount of overcast weather and the time of the year. The middle of summer days are longer so there is increased potential for greater production
- Shading can have a dramatic effect on electricity production. It is important for potential shade impacts, such as trees and other houses, to be analysed during the design process. We have all the right tools to assist with this!
- Roof Pitch and Panel Orientation will affect your system’s output. Our team can help advise the optimum pitch and orientation to suit your home or business.
What is a feed-in tariff?
A solar feed-in tariff is a rate paid for electricity that is fed back into the electricity grid from a designated renewable electricity generation source such as a rooftop solar panel system.
What is the STC Scheme?
If you’re looking to invest in a rooftop solar system, you will be entitled to a financial incentive (a rebate) on your purchase via the Australian government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The financial incentive is issued in the form of a Small-Scale Technology Certificate, commonly referred to as an STC. Each STC carries a monetary value. When you purchase a rooftop solar system, you’ll be issued with a certain number of STCs based on the size of your system size and the location where it is to be installed. The total value of these certificates equate to your solar rebate.
At Stinson Air and Solar Solutions, will deduct the price of the financial incentive or rebate from your system and deal with the paperwork involved in applying for this incentive on your behalf.
Can I upgrade my system to add more panels if my energy usage grows?
Yes but depending on the age and installation of your existing install you may be required to replace some parts of the installation. The inverter can remain only if the size can support excess panels.
Will I still get an electricity bill after installation?
The short answer, yes. That being said, depending on the size of the system you install, you will get credited for any excess electricity that you feed back into the grid. If this exceeds your usage, then you will receive a credit from your electricity provider.
Will I need a new meter?
You will need a new meter if your current one is the old single direction spinning disc type. If you require a new meter, the charges are very reasonable and will be added to your next electricity bill. Speak to our team and we will advise the procedure and estimated costs that your electricity provider will charge.
Once I have signed up, what is the process?
When the details of the most appropriate system to suit your needs and budget are decided, we will contact your electricity provider and Western Power to request authority to install the system. Once approval has been granted, we arrange an installation date that suits you. This usually happens within 2-3 weeks.
Our team complete the installation on schedule, using our highly experienced, qualified installers. We even complete all required paperwork to ensure compliance. All that is left is for you to make adjustments to your energy usage habits to ensure you get maximum benefit from your new system and wait in anticipation to see how much you can save on your future energy bills!
There are dozens more FAQs that we could include, but we don’t want to send you off to sleep! If there is anything else you would like to know, please ask. We would love to speak with you. If we don’t have all the answers (our industry evolves at lightning speed!), we will do our best to find out the answer for you.