The Beginners Guide to Solar Energy
Before beginning the journey with solar energy, it is important to remove some of the confusion that can surround solar system and installation. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive list of things to know before purchasing a solar energy system.
Part One – What You Need to Know About Solar
Why Choose Solar Energy?
The top 3 benefits of solar are:
- Reduce your electricity bill. By producing your own energy from the sun, you only need to draw on electricity from the grid when you need it. With solar batteries now available, you can start storing your solar energy and become more self-sufficient.
- Renewable energy reduces your home or businesses greenhouse gas emissions.
- Solar power is a safe and reliable source of energy for your home or business.
The first step is to consider your household electricity consumption. Reflect if solar is a worthwhile investment for you. Nickel Energy can provide the necessary tools to analyse whether your consumption warrants a solar system.
Types of Solar Systems
Understanding the technical aspects of a solar system can be confusing, so it is important to know exactly what type of system you require and why.
A Solar PV System has 2 main components:
- The mounting frame, consisting of the PV panels (installed on your roof).
- The inverter, which converts power from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), to be used in your home.
There are 3 types of Solar PV Systems available:
Grid-connected solar PV systems: These are the most common roof top solar systems in Australia.
Grid-connected solar PV systems with battery backup: This option is becoming increasingly more popular as battery technology advances. By installing a solar battery along with your solar PV system, you can enjoy uninterrupted power supply. Thus, you can also use your solar energy at night (when most households need it most) and further reduce your electricity bills.
Stand-alone solar PV systems: These systems do not connect to the electricity grid and are most commonly installed in remote areas.
Solar PV Systems are currently the most affordable they have ever been. Purchasing your system up front is still the most popular way to finance a Solar PV System.
There are many variables that can affect the cost of your system. This include type and size of system, framing requirements, access to roof etc.
Feed-in Tariffs refer to the amount of money you will be paid for every kilowatt of energy your solar system feeds back into the electricity grid. Your home firstly uses the energy it has produced. Thereafter, the excess is fed back into the grid.
Feed-in tariffs vary from state to state and from different electricity retailers.
To find out what your feed-in tariff is, contact your electricity retailer. It is always worth shopping around to see which retailer offers you the best feed-in tariff rate.
The federal government currently offers Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs), to homeowners who use renewable sources. Furthermore, when you invest in a solar power system you will receive a STC based upon your system size and location.
Our expert staff are always available to discuss your needs and requirements. Speak with one of our qualified consultants to develop which plan will work best for you.
Now that you’ve identified that solar investment is worthwhile for you and your family, it is time to select an appropriate solar installer.
Part Two – How to Choose a Solar Installer
The Australian rooftop solar industry is a multi-billion-dollar sector, consequently many companies are vying for your business. Knowing how to choose a reputable solar company is an important part of your solar journey.
The Clean Energy Council Solar Retailer Code of Conduct helps consumers choose a retailer that is committed to offer a high level of quality and service. Selecting an approved solar retailer is one way to make sure you are dealing with a company that prides itself on being an industry leader.
Nickel Energy has been installing solar for 10 years. This makes us an industry leader in the solar industry and provide you high quality and service at competitive pricing.
Finally, now that you have chosen your installer, what size system should you choose?
Solar System Size
The size of your solar PV system will depend on:
- What portion of your household electrical consumption you wish to generate
- The amount of unshaded area is available for the installation of your panels
- Your budget
It is common to match your system size with your household consumption. However, our team of qualified, experienced and certified professionals will visit your home and design a system that will best suit your household.
The Installation Process
At this point, after you choose your system, we can finalise your contract and finances. We will then book your solar installation accordingly, for a time that suits you. The installation process usually takes one day. Our technicians will require access to an internal roof access for approximately 30 minutes. You will be provided with all the necessary documentation on the scheduled day. This includes documentation you require for warranty and a system user’s manual.
In addition, we will arrange connection of your solar system. As a result, this includes preparing and submitting relevant documentation required by your electricity retailer for meter installation and connection to the network.
Part Three – Maintenance and Servicing
Solar investment doesn’t stop at installation. To ensure you continue to get the most out of your solar investment, maintaining and managing your solar system needs to be a priority. In fact, it is vital to maintain your system to ensure it is operating correctly. As a result, the system performance is maintained, and the system is safe for everyone.
In our opinion, Nickel Energy recommends a professional audit and clean every 12 months. This is an affordable way to get the most out of your solar investment.
The benefits include:
- Maximise the amount of energy produced by your panels
- Maximise your energy savings
- Ensure the longevity of your investment
- Detect any emerging problems so they can be fixed early
- Maintain the manufacturer warranty requirements
Warranties, faults and insurance claims
Nickel Energy is committed to ensuring you are happy well after the installation of your solar system. We provide exceptional service to you throughout your solar journey, no matter how big or how small the job.
If you need to make an insurance claim from storm or other damage, or you think your inverter may have a fault, all you need to do is contact our experienced team on 02 6622 0088. At this point, we will promptly assist you with all your inquiries, ultimately, giving you peace of mind.
Upgrading your solar system
Solar technology continues to advance each day, which ultimately impacts the quality of rooftop solar. Even home owners who are enjoying the many benefits of rooftop solar will consider upgrading their system at some point. There are several factors to consider when installing and upgrading a system. When you initially choose your system, a Nickel Energy expert will visit your home to assess your current system and develop a plan to upgrade based on your individual needs and requirements.
This comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Solar should give you the necessary information to make informed decisions about your rooftop solar. Nickel Energy is happy to answer any further questions you may have. We want everyone to enjoy the benefits that solar energy provides.