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What are the core elements of a solar power system?

At its most basic, a solar power system consists of photovoltaic panels, an inverter and the wiring to connect them to each other and to the mains power. The PV panels generate DC (direct current) electricity from sunlight and the inverter converts the DC power into usable AC (alternating current) power.

What do the various numbers attached to solar systems mean? (6.6kW, 10.7kW and so on)

These simply refer to the size of the system. The higher the number, the more solar panels there are. More solar panels mean more ability to generate electricity.

What electrical upgrades are typically required to install solar?

This entirely depends upon how old your existing electrical system is, but common upgrades that are carried out alongside installing solar include updating meters (usually done by your electricity supplier), upgrading switchboards and replacing aged wiring.

How long does the installation process of a solar system typically take?

Installing a solar system typically takes one to three days, depending on the size and complexity of the system. This process involves mounting the panels, connecting the system, and finalising all electrical installations and inspections. 

What maintenance is required of a solar system after installation?

After installation, your solar system will require some basic maintenance. Regularly clean the panels, check for shade or obstructions, and ensure the inverter’s green light is on. We’re also happy to carry out regular maintenance and inspections for you.

Does the performance of a solar panel system vary with different weather conditions?

Yes, your solar system’s performance will fluctuate with the weather conditions. On sunny days, you’ll generate more power, while on cloudy or rainy days, output may reduce. However, even indirect sunlight can produce enough energy to power your home or business (depending on your system size).

Can solar panels be installed on any type of roof?

Yes, solar panels can be installed on most roof types. At Poslec we consider factors like the roof’s orientation, age and strength; contact us and  we will offer you the best advice for your specific situation.

Is it worth investing in a battery for my home or business?

A battery is a great way to ensure you make the most of all the energy you generate through your solar panels and provides energy security in the event of a blackout. However, if these aren’t essential to you, the cost of the battery may outweigh the benefits of solar. Contact us to book a chat to discuss whether a solar battery is right for you.

What is the lifespan of a solar battery?

The lifespan of a solar battery varies depending on factors such as usage and maintenance, but generally ranges up to fifteen years.

Can solar batteries be used during a power outage or blackout?

Yes. Solar batteries provide a backup power source for your home during power outages or blackouts. They allow you to continue using electricity even when the grid is down.

How does the size of my solar panel system affect my choice of solar battery?

The size of your solar panel system determines the capacity of your solar battery. A larger system requires a higher capacity battery to effectively store excess energy.

Is it possible to add a solar battery to an existing solar panel system?

Yes; however, you need to ensure that your inverter is compatible with the battery. To ensure this is the case, hire an experienced solar installation professional like Poslec.

What is an off-grid system and how does it differ from an on-grid system?

As the name suggests, an off-grid solar system allows you to generate, store and manage your own power, completely independently from the grid – no more daily standing charges!

Off-grid solar systems are particularly suitable for businesses and those living in remote areas. Typically, a system comprises solar panels, a charge controller, a bank of batteries, and an inverter that work together to convert sunlight into usable energy.

It is critically important to carefully plan your off-grid power system, as you’ll have no backup if you run out of power. It’s essential that you ensure you have enough panels to generate power for all your needs, and plenty of battery capacity to store electricity. As experts in off-grid installations, Poslec can help ensure your system is sufficient for your needs.

Can I still use my existing electrical appliances with an off-grid solar system?

Yes you can, however, you may need to make some adjustments to your power usage and consider purchasing energy-efficient appliances to maximise your system’s performance.

How long does it typically take to recoup the cost of an off-grid solar system?

The typical payback period for an ‘on-grid’ solar panel system installation is between 5–10 years. Off-grid solar systems require a bigger initial outlay, so it may well take longer to recoup the cost of an off-grid solar system. However, this can vary depending on the size of the system, energy consumption and the cost of electricity in your area. Contact us for a full assessment of your payback period.

What happens if my solar panels produce more energy than I need?

The excess energy can be stored in your battery array for later use.

Can I easily expand my off-grid solar system in the future if my energy needs increase?

Yes this is possible, but it depends on the system’s original design and the availability of additional space for new panels and batteries. It’s important to plan for potential expansions during the initial installation. As experts in off-grid installations, Poslec can help ensure your system is sufficient for your needs now and in the future.

What solar incentives and rebates are available nationally?

The key federal government incentive in Australia is the Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs) program. STCs are issued by the Australian federal government to small businesses and households installing renewable energy systems. The number of certificates you’ll get will depend on your solar system capacity, installation date and your system’s location. Effectively, these provide a rebate on the cost of your solar installation, reducing the initial investment you need to make. 

Energy companies also ‘buy’ excess energy generated by solar systems at a set rate: this is known as a feed-in tariff.

How does a feed-in tariff work?

A feed-in tariff (FiT) is a tariff paid by electricity providers to homeowners and businesses for exporting excess power to the grid. Your electricity plan will include a set rate that your energy providers will pay you for every kWh – this can be up to 20 cents per kWh . You receive the amount owed as a credit on your electricity bill.

What state-based incentives and rebates are available in Victoria?

Victoria is one of the best states in which to install solar power due to the number of incentives available. Key incentives include: 

  • The Solar Homes Program, which provides rebates of up to $1,400 towards the installation of solar panel systems. These rebates are offered to Victorians with existing homes, homes under construction, and rental properties. Eligible Victorians can also apply for an interest-free loan for an amount equivalent to their rebate amount. The loan is required to be repaid over four years or can be repaid sooner in one lump sum.
  • Solar battery loans reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar battery, with repayments made over a four-year period. 
  • The Solar for Apartments Program is jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments to support apartment households to benefit from lower energy bills through installing solar. This program reduces the cost of installing solar PV on apartment buildings, by providing successful applicants grants of up to $2,800 per apartment. The maximum grant amount is $140,000 for buildings of up to 50 apartments.

To find out what incentives you might be eligible for, visit https://www.solar.vic.gov.au/ or contact Poslec to discuss your options.