Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels for Your Home
Perth enjoys more sunny days than many other parts of Australia. Every day, the city receives an average of 8.8 hours of sun saturation. Even in winter, Perth has approximately 118 days of clear blue skies each year. The temperatures here rarely drop lower than five degrees, which means that solar systems are busy all year round.
With the government incentives and other benefits that you can gain with solar, it is easy to see why more and more people install the system for their homes.
Some roofs have different needs and limitations, such as tin roofs with different screw lines than those with troughs and peaks.
Remember, there are requirements for roofs. The first step to going solar is to inspect your roof first. Here are things to keep in mind:
If you have enough room on your roof, installation should not be a concern. Roofs, however, should not have any obstruction, including skylights, chimneys, and others. You can install anywhere from 20 to 30 panels, but EasySolar recommends to install as many as you can – reasonably, of course.
Thanks to the reduced cost of solar systems and the high price of electricity, many homeowners are looking forward to going solar. Add to that are the feed-in tariffs and the benefits you can get, it is easy to commit to solar installation.
When determining how many panels you can actually install, choose the number that can fit on your roof and the amount that the Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) permits households to install in your area.
Most homes can go with a 6.5kW system because they use single-phase power. If you have a large rooftop, however, and you have a three-phase property, you can always go for a much larger size.
As mentioned, your roof should face north so that you can get the most electricity out of all the choices. It is best for those who usually are at home during the day. You can switch your power source on-demand, such as when you use washing machines, pool filters, and clothes dryers among others. If your roof allows it, you should choose north to get the environmental benefit as well.
If it is not possible to go with a northern orientation, west is the next best option. Compared to the north though, expect the panels to produce about 12% less electricity. However, the panels can produce more power in the afternoon, reaching their maximum output an hour and a half after noontime. Additionally, just before sunset, it will generate electricity about a quarter of the maximum. West is ideal for those with air conditioning units to be used during the summer, making it an excellent option for Perth homes as well.
As with west, east-facing panels produce 12% less electricity. However, they generate more electricity in the morning, suiting those households that consume electricity during the day. For instance, if you use a lot of electric heating in the winter mornings, an east configuration may work for you. If you are out of the house in the afternoon, it may also be suitable.
For those in Western Australia and most parts of the country, the south is the worst direction of all. It is a massive mistake, just like you are installing the panels upside down. You will produce almost 30% less energy compared to north-facing panels. It gets worse if you have a steep roof.
Combinations are becoming popular though. For instance, north-west panels will produce 5% less, but it is almost insignificant. North-east panels will also produce the same amount and are suitable for those who need electricity during the day.
East and west orientation will produce less output than the combinations mentioned above. However, it is more efficient with the benefit of producing constant electric production during the day. If you have a steep roof, this configuration gets better.
If the roof spends a lot of time in the shade, it does not mean you cannot enjoy the benefits of a solar system. Ideally, the panels should get sun exposure from 9 AM to 4 PM or at least six hours of uninterrupted sunlight.
Technology has evolved though, which is why it is no longer a big of a deal if the solar panels are shaded by nearby trees, buildings, and other obstructions. Panels with 120 cells in a 60-cell frame, for instance, have many diodes that allow more flexibility in performance. However, you can expect a reduction in electricity production.
The best way to determine if your roof and location are best for solar panels is to call the experts at EasySolar. With our experience, it is easy for us to judge what you can fit and where. We keep the arrays nice and tight together, so you have cables linking the panels efficiently. It is all about the panel layout. You can get the installers to do a measure up as well. Some homes require our pros to do a site inspection.
A quick detail about inverters concerning your panels is that the inverter capacity depends on the average number of panels you have. Typically, the best option is to go for a 6.6kW package with a 5kW inverter and 24 panels. This package can provide you with excellent power for the day.
For a single-phase property, you need a single-phase inverter. If you have a three-phase property, use three-phase inverters. It can get costly, but these inverters are a requirement.
For Perth homeowners and those in other Western Australia places, the solar power system should be durable and heat-resistant. With the high temperatures in the city, the panels should continue to work efficiently through the hot summer season. If you are new to solar systems, EasySolar.com.au will guide you on what to choose and all the other essentials that you need to know.
You may want to start with the right type of solar system to buy. We recommend Australian-supported products that come with comprehensive warranties and excellent customer support. High-quality solar systems are those known as Tier-1 products, which Easy Solar sells, We trust Tier- 1 solar panels, from brands like ET Solar and Risen Energy.
The installation will depend on the design of your roof. The most crucial detail is which part of the compass your roof is situated on. For Western Australia, such as Perth, Geraldton, Broome and Albany, the panels are recommended to be installed on the north.
It may sound easy for people with north-facing roofs to have the panels installed at the front of their properties. However, front-facing solar panels on your property may not be visually appealing for you. To solve the issue, Easy Solar would use an eastern/western configuration instead.
According to the Clean Energy Council, north-facing panels are the best choice. If the north is not feasible for WA homes, the next best option is west.
It is always possible to go for an east-west configuration, which can give you the benefit of the longevity of the day. It means that you will get optimal results from the nice ambient weather in the morning, particularly in WA peaking in the evening.
The west-facing panels will keep storing energy for a longer period of the day.
The number of panels to buy will be based on how many your roof can handle. Your installer needs to provide a suggestion for the panel layout based on the look and size of your roof. Easy Solar provides the details you need, along with some recommendations when we quote our price.
A local company should be your first choice when it comes to hiring an installer. Easy Solar caters to Perth and WA homeowners and we can easily visit homes to figure out the right configuration for people’s roofs. It helps to examine the roof before the installation, saving you time and money that you would have paid the installer even if the panels are not right for your roof.
Once you have decided that you want to have a solar system on your roof, the next step is to call Easy Solar. Here’s what can happen:
A client calls and we schedule an onsite assessment.
You can send us your application a copy of the power bill, along with the date of birth of the person named on the bill. Provide a copy of the front and back of the Synergy bill.
We will take care of the approvals. You can be confident in having your solar system done within 14 working days. Homeowners are required to have their metre configured since it has to be bidirectional, which should be done before the installation.
During the day of the onsite assessment, someone should be at home, whether it is the owner, the person who called, or someone with authority on the property. This individual should sign the required paperwork and the STCs on the day of the inspection.
With our staff in your home, you will already have an idea of our suggested layout. It can change after performing a complete site check-up.
We will discuss any adjustments that should be done to achieve the maximum results. For example, our suggestion was to use a north-east configuration, but the assessment showed north-west orientation is better, you will know right away.
We double-check your electrical board to make sure it has an electrical switch to conform to the law, and we can fit the actual breaker in there. Having your solar in your property means that you have a second power source on your roof, which means you need to comply with all these requirements.
After these steps, we will tell the client other important details, including how the array will be placed.
The installation will carry on.
Three to four hours later, the system will be up and running. We try to make sure everything will be done on time, which is crucial not just to the client but to us as well.
How Much is the Return on Investment
When Going Solar?
One of the most common questions when it comes to switching to solar is the return on investment. The short answer is that it is relative to the system that clients purchase, as well as their consumption. It should be noted that just because you have a solar system does not mean you can start using power unlimitedly.
To know if you are getting the worth of your investment, you should utilise the power that the system produces. Turning on power-hungry equipment and appliances, such as your spa or pool filters, should only be done when during peak times for solar. The reason behind this technique is that solar will absorb the costs of running these appliances.
The actual ROI depends on how much you pay for your solar system. If you pay a lesser amount for it, but you save a lot on power bills, your ROI is greater than expected. You should use the system smartly. Expect your investment to pay off in two and a half to three years. However, the savings are pretty much immediate.
EasySolar.com.au clients with bills of up to $600 started to have lower consumption in the summer, paying only $100 after solar installation. Another client with $540 from the previous bills only paid $148 after solar even though he used his pool pump for most of the day. His friend with almost the same power bill went down to $78 because he did not have any power-hungry appliance. In other words, it does not take long to save money and get the investment back.
What to Know About Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS)
Those living in Perth, as well as those in the southwest region of Western Australia, use Synergy, which is the electricity provider. Since the cut on the feed-in tariff, solar system users will get a total of 7.135 cents for every kilowatt-hour they have given back to the mains grid.
Western Power through its billing arm, Synergy, will pay you a tariff when you send power that you did not use in your house back to the grid. For some people, it is not worth it because the tariff is equivalent to just seven cents. However, if you calculate it, it is worth your effort.
For you to understand better, here is an example:
If you have an extensive system and you send back 1100 units, you will get a credit back on your bill. This amount is almost the same if you have to purchase 300 units in the nightfall. You get $0.07, and you send back 1100 to 1200 back to the grid. It is equivalent to the money you have to spend if you did not get the credit. Currently, it is around $0.25 to buy a unit.
Another example is for those who rent out their place. If you have solar as your power source, it will benefit you in the long run. Many tenants see how efficient a solar system has become. You can increase your rent from $10 to $20 depending on your location because more and more renters will be glad to occupy your property.
Solar panels and inverters have great warranties backed by well-known manufacturers. This means you can rest assured that your solar system will be covered for years to come. Each manufacturer has different standards and lengths of warranty for their parts.
For solar panels, they come with two types of warranty, product warranty & performance warranty:
Product warranty is around 10-15 years, meaning if the product fails during this period the manufacturer will replace it.
Performance warranties are much longer-lasting, around 25 years. This means that the panel will be expected to perform to a high standard for at least those 25 years.
For Solar Inverters, they usually all come with a standard 5-year warranty which covers the product itself. If it breaks or fails to perform during this period you will be covered by the manufacturer.
Big brands such as GoodWe, ET Solar, Fronius, Risen Energy & Huawei are known for their high-quality solar products.
Solar Power Calulator
How much can you save with solar? We’ve put together this solar estimator for you, so you can get an idea of how much you could help not only your savings but the environment as well.
This calculator should only be used as a rough guide, before making a decision, you should contact us for a full quote.
Estimated Daily Energy Usage
Number of Solar Panels
Why Choose Easy Solar?
Our Most Popular Packages
We have a range of solar packages for you to choose from. Choose from 3.5kW, 5kW & 6.6kW systems, depending on the size of you home.
Western Australian homes are eligible for a solar rebate as part of the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme. This scheme makes solar a more attractive prospect, as the excess energy your solar system produces will be bought back. If you’d like to know more, check out our solar rebate guide.
Get in contact with us, we would love to hear from you!