WHAT SIZE SOLAR PV SYSTEM SHOULD I INSTALL?

WHAT SIZE SOLAR PV SYSTEM SHOULD I INSTALL?

by Aaron Ware

UNDERSTAND YOUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION

This is the first step to take when determining if solar is a viable investment. This process should be completed by your accredited designer during the design and specification stage as part of their load analysis. As a home owner, you can sell your excess electricity generated back to the grid. However, it’s important to weigh up the financial incentives on offer, which maybe quite low. The most benefit is gained by ‘self-consumption’, which means offsetting the higher retail tariff that you would pay by using power generated by your system instead of drawing power from the grid. Accordingly, you should match your system size to your household consumption. The designer of your system will help you choose a Brisbane solar system that suits your needs. The rate for any power exported will depend on your electricity retailer and which state or territory you are in.

WHAT TYPE OF PV MODULES OR INVERTER SHOULD I BUY?

When comparing Brisbane solar quotes, the difference in prices between products can be overwhelming. When making the decision that best suits your budget, there are a few important things to consider:
• What are the product warranties? Your Brisbane solar retailer will provide a manufacturer’s warranty on the products. The warranty period will often vary between the panels, inverter and other system components. Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailers have committed to provide a five-year whole of-system warranty.
• Will the solar retailer be able to honour these warranties? If the solar PV retailer goes out of business, your warranties could become invalid. In this case, you will need to contact the importer or manufacturer directly to arrange repair or replacement. Make sure you have their details too.
• Does the manufacturer have a service office in Australia? Manufacturers that have support offices in Australia, or dedicated importers/registered agents of the products may offer better backup support if a component fails.
• Are the PV modules and inverter Clean Energy Council-approved? All PV modules and inverters must meet Australian Standards and be on the Clean Energy Council-approved list in order to be eligible for any government rebates.
• Are the PV modules imported through an approved channel? Be wary of PV modules that may not have been imported through channels approved by the PV module manufacturer. The manufacturer may not honour the warranty in this case. Check with your retailer who the importer was and whether they are approved by the manufacturer.

PV MODULE AND INVERTER STANDARD

Solar panels and inverters on the Clean Energy Council approved list meet all relevant Australian Standards. This is a minimum requirement. A range of independent PV module rating systems exist that set quality and performance standards above the minimum. These can provide more information when you are choosing which modules to buy. For more details on these independent tests.
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