Your solar questions, answered
What is the function of an Inverter
An inverter transforms the DC power from the Solar panel to AC power, this is the same type of power as your mains power. It also exports any excess power back into the electricity grid. An inverter’s quality is partly measured by how efficiently it converts the DC electricity to AC electricity.
Does a larger inverter produce more electricity?
No, how much your solar PV system will produce will come down how many panels and the wattage of panels you have at your home. The function of the inverter to convert the DC power of your panels into usable AC power for your home.
What system size do we need?
There is no simple answer to this question. It will depend on many different factors such as how much electricity you need to generate via PV, however at Essential Solar our Technical Solar Advisers can personalise a system to each individual and let you know what system will provide you with the best financial return, Contact us today to speak to one of our technical solar advisers.
What is the difference between a string inverter and a micro inverters
String Inverter – Rows of solar panels are connected together into strings and the DC power is wired back to this inverter located in a central location. This will than convert the DC power into AC power for all of the panels at the same time.
Micro Inverter – This is a smaller inverter installed behind each panel. The DC power is convertered into AC power in each inverter for each panel.
There are advantages for each type of inverter. To understand what inverter would be most suitable for you at your home, Contact us today to speak to one of our technical solar advisors.
Will my solar system be battery ready?
Essential Solar can provide you with multiple options to help you be battery ready. To help us understand what would be most suitable system for you at your home, call today to speak to one of our technical solar advisers.
Which is best: Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline?
The first thing to look at is the material difference between the composition of the silicon substrate used to create Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline means ‘a single crystal’ while Polycrystalline means ‘many crystals’.
The question of which is best has been an ongoing debate in solar industry since both products were introduced to the market. Each panel has its advantages. Contact us today to speak to one of our technical solar advisers about personalising a solar system to give you the best return on investment for your home.
What is the difference between kW and kWh?
kW stands for kilowatt. This is a measurement of power. A kilowatt is 1,000 watts.
kWh stands for kilowatt hour. This is a measurement of energy.
Will my system still work in a power outage?
If you have a “grid connected system’ this means your solar will only work while the network is functioning. Due to safety reasons, when a blackout occurs your solar PV system will automatically stop producing electricity. This is due to a mandatory safety requirement in place to protect technicians working in your immediate area. Once the grid is back up, your system’s ability to generate will resume. However, we do recommend you check your system has turned back on.
If you have a hybrid system with a battery this system will need to have back up functionality connected and charge in your battery for you to have power when the network is down.
What is the best orientation of my solar panels?
The placement of panels will vary for each customer, this is dependent on which way your roof is facing, and if there is any shading or any other obstructions on your roof. At Essential Solar we have internal CEC accredited designers who will let you know the best placement for your panels to give you the most financial return at your property.
How does the amount of generation my solar will produce change with the seasons?
Your solar PV system production is variant on the amount of sunlight hitting your panels and the temperature of this. As we have shorter days in winter and more overcast days your system will produce less compared to Summer where the sun sets later and has clears sky’s. At Essential Solar we can provide you with a panel layout and yield report of what your solar system should produce each month. Contact us today to get your free panel layout and yield report.
What are the effects of shade?
Shading is critical. Minor shading can result in significant loss of energy. Since PV modules are linked together in series, the module with the lowest amount of irradiation falling upon it determines the operating voltage of the string in which it is connected. Our CEC accredited designers will be able to advise the best position for your panels and provide you with your our put estimate prior to install.
How long should my system last?
Your solar system should last longer than the warranties provided, and the life span should exceed this by many years or decades.
Is solar still worthwhile?
Definitely, producing and consuming your own power will always give you a greater return on investment instead of purchasing all of your power from your electricity retailer. To find how much you can save off your electricity bills Contact us today to speak to one of our technical solar advisers about personalising a solar system for your individual needs.
Can I sell the electricity I do not use?
Yes, the rate you receive (known as a Feed-In-Tariff) will vary by electricity retailer. From July 2019 in Victoria, the single-rate minimum feed-in tariff is set at 12 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh), Customers on the time-varying tariff should receive off-peak rate of 9.9 c/kWh, a shoulder rate of 11.6 c/kWh and a peak rate of 14.6 c/kWh.
What is a Feed-In-Tariff (FiT)?
A Feed-In-Tariff is the rate that your electricity retailer will pay you for the electricity that your solar system generates which is not used in your house, and is fed back into the grid. (See above)
Why are there so much variance in the price of solar on the market?
The price variance often comes down to the quality of the products used in the installation. Cheaper products used can mean a cheaper system price and better-quality solar products will mean paying more for the system.
Prices can also be affected by the type of service a company can provide for you. Before installation service and after installation service and support years down the track.
What is the process from purchasing to being connected with my retailer?
Essential Solar has a easy 6 step process from your solar consultation through to having your meter works completed by your distributor. Read more about our approach for a detailed explanation of this process.
Can I switch electricity companies?
In most states you can switch electricity companies or contracts and continue to receive your existing Feed In Tariff rate once your eligibility has been established. It is always worth checking the market regularly to see if there is a better option available to you. Before switching, check for any exit fees under your existing contract.
Is it true the government is reducing the rebates?
Yes, the current government incentive is called STC’s (Small scale technology certificates). The number of STC’s you are eligible for is based on the amount of electricity your solar PV system will produce and this is recovered by Essential Solar to help offset some of the costs of purchasing your solar PV system. This scheme is currently being phased out and will reduce by one fifteenth of its current rate of each year until 2030.
In addition to the Federal government incentive, Solar Victoria currently offers a rebate of $1,888 off the price of solar panels for eligible households.
Are batteries worth it yet?
Solar Batteries are in high demand and battery storage prices are reducing significantly. The question is will your solar and battery system pay for itself before the battery warranty or life cycle ends? The answer to this is dependant not just on how much power you use but also the time of day you use your power. Solar Victoria is currently offering a $4,838 battery subsidy in selected area.
To help us understand if batteries are worth it for you, Contact us today to speak to one of our technical solar advisers.
How long does the installation take?
Depending on the size of your solar PV system in most cases the installation will be completed in less than a day. For larger size systems or commercial installations, install time frame will be advised to you on the day of booking your installation date.
What warranties do I get?
Essential Solar offers a full 10-year workmanship warranty on all our installations.
We also only install Tier 1 products. Meaning all our panels have a minimum of a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. All our inverters also come with a 5 to 10-year warranty.
For more information on warranties, check out the solar brands we offer.