When the sun shines on solar modules, they convert this sunlight into electricity, direct current (DC), the system inverter then convers DC electricity into alternating current (ac) for use in your home. Your home appliances (lighting, energy, fridges, washing machine, dishwasher, pool pumps etc), uses this energy instead of drawing energy from the electricity grid.
Solar systems are most effective when they are positioned north-facing roof, but this is not essential, east, and west rooves will allow about 15% less solar production than a north facing roof.
During daylight hours, a solar energy system will produce more electricity than the household uses, in this scenario, household appliances will be supplied electricity from your solar system. The excess solar energy generated by the system is fed back (exported) into the electricity grid. If you are feeding excess electricity generated by the solar system back into the grid, your energy retailer will give you credits on your accounts (REBS/DEBS in WA).
During daylight hours, a solar energy system will produce more electricity than the household uses, your solar energy system will provide electricity to your household appliances equal to the amount of energy being generated from your solar system, if any more electrical energy is required then this is drawn from the grid.
Solar Energy Management. From the two examples above, it would be a lot better to try and manage your solar energy, so for heavy electrical loads such as washing machines, dishwashers and pool pumps for example, try and plan to uses these items during sunlight hours when this energy is free, also switch off tv sets, lights etc when not being used, every energy unit of energy saved will save you money and the cost of electricity will continue to increase.
Cost or Quality.
In all retail sectors a salesperson will always try and sell the most expensive commodity because quite simply the higher the price the higher the commission, cost does not reflect quality.
All solar equipment installed in Australia must be approved by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and therefore all solar equipment installed in Australia is high quality and safe.
Solar modules (panels), Tier 1 Vs Tier 2 or 3. This is really a financial investment term for a company and its viability and does not reflect quality. If you review data sheets for various solar modules, you will find they all read very much the same, 15-year product warranty, 25-year power warranty, efficiency all about the same.
Solar inverters, again reading data sheets and you will find not much difference, warranty 10 years, efficiency all about the same.
Overall, the lower the cost does not reflect on product quality it does reflect on units sold worldwide and manufacturing overhead cost reduction.
Choosing a Solar Energy Installer, CEC advise the following.
- Are they accredited by the Clean Energy Council?
- What are the warranty terms for each product or component, (i.e., inverter, panels)?
- Do you provide an additional warranty on the installation, workmanship or operation of the system?
- Will you provide a site-specific design and performance estimate?
- If installation plans or design need to change on the day of install, do I have an option to cancel?