If you are contemplating investing in solar panels in Australia, you are not alone. One in four homes of one of the sunniest countries globally have installed the system, and the trend is not looking to dwindle anytime soon. We all know or have an idea about the functioning of solar; theoretically, the sun’s energy is converted to electricity, but how do solar panels work?
We can owe this incredible power to the sun’s light particles knocking the solar cell’s atoms to release electrons. Since conductors are connected to the negative and positive sides of the solar cell, it makes up an electrical circuit. If electrons flow through the circuit, it generates direct current (DC) electricity which then flows to the inverter and converts to Alternating Current (AC). AC is what powers most appliances in your business or home.
So, what are solar panels? These consist of multiple solar cells, while several panels make up a solar array.
Types of solar panels
Once you are ready to make the switch to solar, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of solar panels. They are all unique, with advantages and disadvantages to consider. The main types of panels are polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film solar systems.
The oldest solar panel is made from pure silicon, and owing to its evolvement, it comes with the highest efficiency and performance but at a higher price. They appear black once the cells interact with sunlight, and there are various colours and designs for the back sheets and frames to choose from. The cells take on a square shape with the corners removed.
The latest panel is made from silicon fragments, showcasing a blue colour on exposure to sunlight. It’s an affordable choice compared to the former. More often than not, it features silvery back sheets and frames, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a variation. The cells are square with no gaps between their corners.
As their name suggests, thin-film panels have a thin appearance, roughly 350 times thinner than their made-of-silicon wafers counterparts. However, their frames are large, making them comparable to the two above. If you wish for cheap and flexible solar panels or portable solar panels, this newest arrival into the solar world is your best bet. They are made from different materials like Amorphous Silicon, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, and Cadmium Telluride. They can be black or blue based on the materials utilised.
Regarding solar cell efficiency
- Monocrystalline is 20 %efficient.
- Polycrystalline is 15 to 17% efficient.
- The thin-film solar panel is 11% efficient.
Benefits of solar panels
Renewable source of energy
Solar energy is available every day, and even on the coldest days, you can still harness some power. Some areas in Australia have more sun than others. For example, solar panels Brisbane, you get to enjoy the sun pretty much the whole year.
Reduces the energy bill
Opting for solar panels Melbourne makes a lot of financial sense because you will be able to lower your electricity bill significantly. However, saving as much as possible will require a suitable solar panel system size and depend on your usage. Better yet, if your system is attached to the grid, you will be paid for using less electricity than you produce.
Solar panel cleaning
From your generator to car, something well serviced and maintained works better, and the same applies to solar panels.
With a relatively clean panel, they will work effectively and may only require a few cleaning sessions yearly. If you like, a cleaning specialist can do it for you at a fee. But if you wish to save money, you can take on the cleaning task yourself. A great advantage of solar panels is that they don’t feature any moving parts, so general wear and tear isn’t something to worry about.
How to clean solar panels
- Mix clean water and soap in a bucket.
- Rinse the solar panel with a regular hose to loosen the dirt. Keep in mind that a high-pressure hose may damage the system.
- Dip your non-abrasive sponge in soapy water and scrub the entire surface until you are satisfied they are clean. Ensure you do not touch the underside or sides while avoiding contact with any wires or cables. You can use a mild detergent for resistant stains or dirt.
- Rinse with clean water, then squeegee dry it.
- Repeat the procedure with the next panel.
Solar panels efficiency
After applying the government rebate, the average solar panels’ cost is $5250 for a 5kWh panel. But different systems have different efficiency levels, and selecting a reliable retailer with high-quality components is also a determining factor. In addition, LG solar panels incorporate revolutionary solar technology with 25 years warranty and guaranteed performance.
Tesla has also been revamping its solar systems, raising their efficiency by ten per cent and even slashing the prices to make them more affordable. The latest addition to the Tesla solar panels is the Tesla T420 photovoltaic panel system. For an upgrade into the world of solar power efficiency, the Tesla Powerwall Battery System guarantees electricity so that when there are outages, you can use the stored energy to power all your appliances for the smooth running of your home. Besides, you can order more powerwall units since it is scalable according to your needs.
Select an approved Clean Energy Council Retailer
To ascertain the correct standards within the solar industry, the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has implemented various accreditation needs and developed an acclaimed solar retailer program. The approved list complies with the program’s code of conduct or rather the rules and standards, which surpass our government’s current requirements.
With a CEC retailer, some things will not find their way into your list of problems like;
- Unscrupulous sales tactics
- Poor workmanship or installation
- Undependable warranty packages
Always opt for a retailer with a physical Australian address and facility
Although you may be tempted by an external retailer’s portfolio, working from a call centre is not advisable. With an Australian presence and a proper facility, you can meet face to face and even have a tailored solution for your property. That also means they will be there for you when you face a warranty problem or need some repairs or maintenance handled.
Don’t go with door-to-door companies or telephone sales solar firms as their ‘easy’ weekly payments will end up with you paying double the price in the long run.
How to ensure a quality solar product with expert installation?
Deciding to source solar panels Sydney is just but one thing; you are faced with another daunting fact of selecting high-quality solar that can withstand harsh weather elements and ensure longevity. Companies with partnerships and accreditations with renowned industry brands is a great choice. They can offer you the best and highest quality products in the market, with extended warranties.
Factors that impact the cost of solar panel installation
Type of solar panels
With this variable, you can drill it down further to two more factors; the power density and the colour. The former is the amount of electricity harnessed from every solar panel unit. Generally, the higher the power density, the higher the price tag per watt. For colours, they can be blue or black. Blue cells with a white back sheet and a silvery flame come at a fair cost, while the price is higher for their black-celled equivalents with black frames and sheets.
Although roof mounts are a common type of installation, there are ground mounts and carport installations as well. The two may incorporate additional posts for anchoring into the ground, raising the labour and materials costs.
Type of roof
Your roof can be a metal, shingle, or flat roof; the good news is that the panel can be installed on any of them. These roofs, however, require unique labour levels and components. For instance, shingles need a particular flashing piece for attaching the panel racking to the roof system.
Solar panels are a bridge to energy independence and manageable energy bills. However, choosing a dependable retailer who can offer high-quality solar systems is crucial for longevity and efficiency.