Miji Michael March 26, 2021
With electricity prices continuing to climb across Australia, many households are deciding to install solar power to help reduce their power bills.
Here are a few things to know about solar power that will help you to decide if solar power is the way to go. Ensure you do your research and consult the solar power experts, make this a part of your decision process.
Sunlight and Solar Batteries
Solar panels do need sunlight to work and the more they get, the more effective they become. But not every day is sunny with clear skies. There are overcast and rainy days.
The solar panels will still work on cloudy days, but the amount of power they produce can be as low as 15 – 25% of their potential output.
You will need solar batteries at night. They store energy generated by your panels during the day and can be used at other times when there is insufficient sunlight. The solar batteries have enabled households to run their home almost entirely off solar power.
Not having a battery means you revert to the power grid at night or when there isn't enough power generated by the solar panels. This means you will need to prioritise how and when you use the most electricity. It is best that you operate your high energy consuming appliances during the day. This includes your dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer. You may need to program your appliances to run during the day if you are all at work.
The cost of quality solar panels is at an all-time low, so you should be able to get a return on your investment within 3 to 5 years. A good quality system is expected to generate clean energy for 25 years or more.
Many are put off by the cost of installation, but the long-term savings could be well worth the up-front costs. The amount you save on power is all dependent on your location, the system size and the actual amount of energy used.
It is recommended that you take pictures of your roof BEFORE any solar panel installation work is done. This will help to settle any issues with leaky roofs, after installation work is complete.
Having your solar panels cleaned and serviced every one to two years will ensure they maintain their effectiveness and continue to produce the maximum amount of electricity.
Dirt, dirt, dust, grime and pollution accumulate on the panels and need to be removed because they can block the sunlight and reduce the amount of electricity generated.
Going off the grid
Having Solar Panels doesn’t mean you will no longer need power from the national grid to operate all your appliances. Solar panels are typically not enough to run a modern Australian household.
To go completely off-grid and not rely on the national energy grid, you will need to install solar batteries and back-up generators. Unless of course you are planning to reduce the number of appliances in your home. Going off grid is viable, but it can be inconsistent, and you may not have enough power when you need it most. So it’s recommended that you remain partially on the grid in order to meet your electricity needs.
Is solar panels the way to go?
If you have the budget for a good quality system from a reputable installer, then solar power is the way to go because a good quality system is expected to last for 25 years or more, and you should be able to get a return on your investment within 3 to 5 years.
There are also some companies that offer affordable monthly pricing plans, so do your research and shop around, you are likely to find one that fits your budget.