- Is my roof suitable for solar?
- How much solar do I need?
- How much electricity will I generate?
- How do the government subsidies work?
- How do I choose a good quality product?
- Why should I choose Solar Technology Australia?
- How do solar panels work?
- Does the direction the solar panels face matter?
- There is a big tree in my yard, does this matter?
- What happens at night?
- Will the system still work when it is cloudy?
- Will the system still work when there is a blackout?
- How long will it take to install?
- What are photovoltaic cells?
- Is solar power generation more wasteful than efficient since it costs so much to produce the materials?
- What is the maintenance on an installed solar power system?
- What is a PV module?
- What is an inverter?
Is my roof suitable for solar?
The best site for a solar PV system is a north facing roof which receives plenty of sunshine and is not shaded by trees or neighbouring buildings. The roof needs to be structurally sound and safely accessible for installation.
Not having a north facing roof does not mean a solar PV system is not suitable for your house. Even a west or east facing roof is suitable for a solar PV system. It will not generate as much energy as a north facing roof but can still help you reduce your electricity consumption.
We can design a PV system for most types of roofs and if you're roof is really not suitable, we'll tell you.
How much solar do I need?
For most people in Sydney, the capacity of their solar PV system is determined by 3 main factors: the size of their roof, the amount of energy they would like to generate and the budget for their project. A good starting point is to look at your electricity bills to determine how much energy you actually use.
During our solar consultation appointment with you, we'll discuss the options available to you, give you an accurate idea of how much energy you can generate and issue you a firm quotation for your system.
How much electricity will I generate?
With your quote, we will provide an estimate of how much electricity your system will produce based on the orientation and pitch angle of your roof, as well as unavoidable losses in the system due to dirt buildup and manufacturing tolerances in the products.
We will always set a realistic expectation of how much energy your solar PV system will generate, which is based on over 20 years experience in the solar industry in Sydney.
How do the government subsidies work?
The first thing to understand is that the government does not directly pay subsidies or rebates for solar PV systems - the Federal government has a system in place that allows the owners of solar PV systems to offset the upfront cost of their system by selling the "green certificates" created by the system.
A solar PV system will create Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) which under the Federal government's Renewable Energy Target, need to be purchased by large energy generators.
As STCs are a tradable item (similar to a company share), their price varies on a daily basis depending on the supply and demand for STCs in the market.
The number of STCs that are generated by a solar PV system is dependant on the size of the system (kW) and it's location in Australia. As a rough rule of thumb, 20.5 STCs are created per kW installed in the Sydney area.
We give you the option of dealing with the STCs yourself, or we offer you a discount off the cost of the system if you would like to assign the STCs to us.
Selling the STCs created by your system does not effect the electricity generated by the system - you own the electricity generated by your system.
How do I choose a good quality product?
We've found that the best way to choose a product is based on the manufacturer's track record in the industry. This is the only way to know for sure if the product performs well and is durable enough to last. All our products are sourced from reputable suppliers, meet Australian standards and are proven in local conditions. We also only choose suppliers that have a local support office in Australia to ensure additional support is quickly available if required.
Not all solar products are made equal, so it pays to choose carefully.
Why should I choose Solar Technology Australia?
STA is a local company based in Sydney with 20 years experience in the solar industry so we understand our clients needs.
We use industry leading solar modules, inverters & mounting structures to give you piece of mind.
Our sales and customer service staff are all Clean Energy Council accredited designers or installers.
Our solar work is carried out by inhouse Clean Energy Council accredited, licensed electricians with years of experience installing solar PV systems.
We give a 7 year warranty on workmanship for the all the systems we install.We offer a "drive-away" service for you - we supply and install a fully working system including metering
And don’t just take our word for it, hundreds of customers have been satisfied on our high standards for installation quality, workmanship and customer service over the past 20 years.
How do solar panels work?
The solar panels convert light from the sun into electricity. The output of the solar panels is direct current (DC) electricity. This is converted to alternating current electricity (AC) by an inverter so that electricity can be supplied to the household and grid.
Does the direction the solar panels face matter?
Ideally the solar panels should face north. As their orientation moves away from north the output of the solar panels will decrease
There is a big tree in my yard, does this matter?
Any shading on the solar panels will decrease their output. This decrease can be quite significant hence it is best to avoid shading as much as possible. This shading may be from trees, chimney stacks or even a neighbours large house.
What happens at night?
Solar panels require sunlight to produce electricity, hence during the night solar panels will not produce any electricity. For a grid connect system the household will get power from the electricity grid. For a remote area power supply systems the power will come from the batteries.
Will the system still work when it is cloudy?
Solar panels require sunlight to produce electricity. Under cloud, solar panels will not operate at full capacity. The more cloud there is, the lower the output of the solar panels.
Will the system still work when there is a blackout?
A grid connect system will shut down when the inverter detects a blackout. This is to provide a safe working environment for utility workers during repairs to the electricity grid.
How long will it take to install?
A typical system (1.6kW to 3kW) will require one day for installation. Larger systems will typically take longer.
What are photovoltaic cells?
Photovoltaic cells were developed at Bell Laboratories in the early 1950s as a spinoff of transistor technology. Very thin layers of pure silicon are impregnated with tiny amounts of other elements. When exposed to sunlight, small amounts of electricity are produced.
Is solar power generation more wasteful than efficient since it costs so much to produce the materials?
In the early years of the PV industry, there was a nasty rumour circulating that said PV modules would never produce as much power over their lifetimes as it took to manufacture them. During the early years of development, when transistors were a novelty, and handmade PV modules costing as much as $40,000 per watt were being used exclusively for spacecraft, this was true. The truth now is that PV modules pay back their manufacturing energy investment in about 1.5 years’ time (only a fraction of the typical warranty period), depending on module type, installation climate, and other conditions.
What is the maintenance on an installed solar power system?
Because they have no moving parts, they are virtually maintenance free. Basically, you keep them clean. If it rains irregularly or if the birds leave their calling cards, hose the modules down. Do not hose them off when they’re hot, since uneven thermal shock could potentially break the glass. Wash them in the morning or evening. For PV system maintenance, that’s pretty much it.
What is a PV module?
This is what you might call a “solar panel” that makes electricity when exposed to direct sunlight. PV is shorthand for photovoltaic. We call these panels PV modules to differentiate them from solar hot-water panels or collectors, which are a completely different technology and are often what folks think of when we say “solar panel.” PV modules do not make hot water.
What is an inverter?
An inverter is an electronic device that converts (transforms) the low-voltage DC power we can store in batteries to conventional 240-volt AC power as needed by lights and appliances. Inverters are available in a wide range of wattage capabilities.