A solar system is made up of a number of key components, all of which combine to generate electricity, regulate and control the flow of the electricity and to connect and mount the solar system to your building.
Panels – Solar PV panels on roofs of homes and businesses generate clean electricity by converting sunlight into usable electricity. This conversion takes place within the solar cells and is a process that requires no moving parts.
Inverters – A solar inverter is one of the most important elements of the solar system. It converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a 240V alternating current (AC). This AC electricity can be fed into your home to operate your household appliances.
Long lasting solar systems for the Australian climate require high quality inverters. Unfortunately, lower quality inverters and panels have failed to perform under Australian conditions in large numbers and failed in as little as 2 years.
Batteries – Since 2015 solar storage batteries have reduced steadily in cost to the point that pay back is coming down from more than 10 years towards 7 years and less. In future years most residential solar systems will include a battery as part of the solar system package. Discuss with us if batteries are feasible in your circumstances, or if you should get a “battery ready” system.
Solar systems are mounted to roofs with a mounting system using various railings, frames and tiles or tin feet. Most mounting systems are made of aluminium with stainless steel hardware and are designed to accept a variety of solar modules on a variety of roof types. Aluminium rails with clamps attach the solar panels to the rail and connection brackets fix the rail to the roof (see diagram below). Superior mounting systems are manufactured with higher grades of aluminium and stainless steel, often resulting in less weight on the roof and lower levels of corrosion over longer periods of time. Quality mounting rails may also feature robust anchoring points and design solutions that speed-up the installation time of your solar system.
RATING YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM
Your solar system is rated according to the number of watts it can produce per hour. This rating is rarely achieved in full during real life conditions as dust particles, clouds and other natural issues will affect the quality of light that your PV panels receive. For example 16 x 330W solar panels will create a 5.28 kW solar system. In regards to overall system output on an average day with intermittent clouds this system will produce approximately 3-4 kW per hour in the best sun irradiation hours of the day. The system will only achieve 5kW per hour on a very sunny day, in the middle of the day and clear sky, for example after rain.