The Basics of Solar and How It Works

So you're looking to take control of your own energy using solar?

We'll make it super simple and easy to understand so that you sound like a solar pro in no time.

Solar panels catch sunlight which causes the flow of a direct current (DC). This DC is raw untapped power and cannot be used in your home. It must first be converted to AC power which is the role of the inverter. Whatever you produce on the roof is instantly converted to AC at the inverter and will provide power to your appliances in the home in that instant.

If you don't produce enough power from the roof in every instant, you will begin drawing what you need in excess from your normal grid connection. This happens automatically and constantly in real time. You'll never be left without power unless the grid experiences a black-out. Batteries can provide a source of emergency power supply to continue powering your home in these moments.

Sometimes you will produce more energy than you consume. In this instance net metering will allow you to be credited for this excess energy in the form of a Feed-In-Tariff. This is then credited onto your electricity bill and acts as a form of savings on your energy account. These credits can off-set the power you purchase from the grid when your solar is off (nighttime or during really rainy days).

Many homeowners and businesses think that solar is un affordable due to a large up-front costs. This is far from the truth. More than 75% of homeowners and business elect for special no up-front cost pay as you go finance solutions that allow them to access solar today so that they can reduce their electricity bills. This makes sense because instead of paying the electrical bill they are instead paying off an asset they own. They make savings immediately on the bill while also hedging against further energy price increases.

Solar rebates are still available in 2024 and make solar a no-brainer. You will find that most systems qualify for thousands in government rebates which covers the installation costs. Couple this with pay as you go finance for the equipment and most find themselves winning with solar and batteries from day one.

Two types of solar exist. On-grid and off-grid. On-grid is a typical setup in an urban area. Major electrical distributors provide a connection to every home or business. If you have an On-grid setup, it's usually best to keep it that way, while also taking advantage of solar and batteries. This is because of the precious Feed In Tariff mentioned earlier which helps supplement your solar earnings and cover other incidental costs. The grid provides a degree of back-up protection in-case your solar or battery go flat.

Off-grid solar is usually only an option for those that cannot get a grid connection. This is usually in a rural area where installing a transformer or a pole to connect can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and isn't financially feasible. Off-grid solar then provides all the energy requirements of the property. This does come with limitations and needs to be carefully designed with the end purpose in mind.

The industry standard for measuring a unit of consumed electricity is a Kilowatt-Hour (kWh). You will often see this referenced on your bills. I.e you are charged $0.40c/kWh. All solar monitoring also shows this standard unit of measurement.

In summary, solar is about capturing a small piece of the suns energy and converting into usable electricity for your home or business. You can either use it straight away, store it in a battery, or sell it back to the grid for a feed-in-tariff. The common goal for many seems to be reducing reliance on an ageing and costly grid and building value into your home so that you can enjoy peace of mind.

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