Going Solar, below are some basic questions you would like to know before installing solar.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE SYSTEM
1. What size system should I install?
This depends on several factors including:
- Your budget – Australia-wide, system prices average from $3,500 for an 8 panel 1.5kW system up to around $8,000 for a 20 panel 5kW system.
- How many panels you can fit on your roof – The smallest system most company’s will install is a 1.5kW 8 panel system. Panels measure on average 1.7m x 0.9m give or take.
- How many people occupy the house – Generally, the more people in the house, the bigger the system you’ll require and the higher financial return on that system.
- If you own the property – If you rent the property, it’s probably not worth installing a system unless you plan on staying there for longer than 5 years or you have a generous landlord.
- How long you intend to occupy the property – Systems generally take at least 3-5 years to pay themselves.
2. Do I want to reduce my bill or totally wipe it out, what size system will I need to do either?
This depends also on your budget and many other factors, have our ASC Solar Consultant go through the different scenarios such as your energy bill, roof size, system size in order to guide you properly.
3. How long will it take to pay off my system?
This depends on:
- The size of the system you install
- The direction the panels face
- The percentage of that production that you’ll use yourself and the percentage you’ll export to the grid
- The Feed-in Tariff in your state
- The amount you initially paid for the system
Our Solar Consultant will guide you regarding all above questions and will also explain how the calculations work.
|4. Can you show me what affect the system will have on my bill?|
|As above, this depends on many factors, so we will try to give you our best estimate based on the information collected from you and you can compare these results across the different installers and if there’s discrepancies, ask us why?|
|5. Is shading going to affect my production? If so, by how much?|
|Generally, shading outside of the hours of 8am and 4pm won’t be a problem. Shading on one small area of the system does disproportionally affect production so consider positioning on the roof and whether or not pruning trees is worth it. If you think the trees will need cutting periodically, factor this expense in to your calculations.|
|6. Is roof pitch an issue?|
|This isn’t a big issue and not worth worrying about. A 25-degree pitch is optimal, and you’ll lose 1% production with every 5-degree deviation. This means that the difference between a flat roof and the average roof is 5% production. Generally, not worth the extra cost of installing tilt frames.|
|7. Can you produce a roof plan to show me where my panels will be placed?|
|This is essential as you’ll be looking at the system for many years to come; you definitely want it laid out in a way that looks good. Make sure you agree on the location with our solar consultant and also that the installer on the day has that same plan and that you agree to the plan on the day.|
|8. What direction will the panels face and what affect will this have on production|
|North gets the most sun during the day.|
|9. Can the inverter take more panels if I’d like to increase the system size in the future?|
|How many extra panels could I fit?.|
|Remember that you can always add another inverter in the future if you want to expand at a later date. If you don’t plan on adding panels in the near future to you existing over-sized inverter, you may not be able to get the same panels which could mean that you’ve wasted money paying for a larger inverter that you can utilise in the future.|
CHOOSING THE RIGHT COMPONENTS
|1. What brand of panels and inverter will I receive?|
|Outlining what panels and inverter you’ll receive. Check this on the day of install as well to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.|
|2. Where are the components made?|
|About 80% of panels and 50% of inverters are made in Asia, the rest generally in Europe.|
|3. Do the panels have a negative or positive power tolerance?|
|A 5% positive power tolerance means that a 100W panel will produce between 100W and 105W. A 5%+/- power tolerance means that the panel will produce between 95W and 105W. Better quality panels have a positive power tolerance. No solar cell manufacturer can produce cells to the exact specification so therefore, the higher quality manufacturers will pay more for the cells with positive tolerance while the rest with +/- will go to lower quality manufacturers.|
|4. If the panels are installed on different roof areas facing slightly different directions, will you use an inverter with an input for each different facing section?|
|This is a must; otherwise all panels will produce only as much as the weakest panel at all times, greatly reducing production.|
|5. What maintenance is involved with the system?|
|This generally involves cleaning the panels with soapy water once or twice a year depending on rainfall. A car cleaning hose will do the job nicely.|
|6. Will I be able to add an off-grid storage battery to this system in the future? If so, can you manage this for me and what is involved [time and cost]?|
|The short answer is ‘yes’. A new battery/power source will need to be interfaced with your current system. At that point of time we will simply check the specs and both the system and on the new power source before providing you with a time and price quote for interfacing them. This should not take longer than a few hours.|
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INSTALLER
|1. How many systems have you installed?|
|At ASC we’ve installed a good number of systems and we have got best CEC accredited installers on boards. For details you may ask from our solar consultant.|
|2. Do you have a physical office I can visit?|
|Visiting the company can be worthwhile and will give you a better insight on how we operate. Our office is located at 3 Barney Street, North Parramatta, NSW 2151.|
|3. Do you handle all the rebate paperwork for me, so I just have to pay the difference?|
|Yes, we do all the paperwork and you just have to pay the difference.|
|4. What documentation will I receive both before and after the installation?|
|Make sure you receive a written quote outlining all of the components that go into the system and the terms and conditions of the contract.|
|5. Am I responsible for organising connection to the grid?|
|At ASC we will organize permission to connect and rest of the stuff for you. You just need to sign the contract and we will take care of the rest.|