Solar Energy and Solar Panels
Melbourne is undergoing an insurgence in the installation and use of renewable energy for generating electricity, heating and cooling.
This is driven not only as a result of diminishing fossil-fuel resources such as coal, oil and gas but also switching to renewables makes economic sense.
The government incentives, energy utility incentives and steep rise of electricity mean that implementing renewables makes financial sense not just at an industrial scale but also for homes and small to medium sized businesses.
GRES (Global Renewable Energy) Solutions is an established renewable energy company focusing on the installation and maintenance or solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) systems in Melbourne. GRES provides a comprehensive domestic and commercial solar panel service from initial feasibility and design, through to installation and ongoing operation & maintenance. With this extensive experience throughout Melbourne, GRES has put together some communally asked questions solar energy and solar panels.
Understanding Solar Energy
Solar energy is considered renewable energy with two main types of solar energy technologies:
Solar thermal: this is using solar energy for heating with the most common use being water heating such as hot water systems.
Solar photovoltaic (Solar PV): converting sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells. Solar PV systems often found on rooftops or integrated into building designs.
More than 2 million Australian households now have solar hot water systems or solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) systems on their rooftop.
Solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) facts
Requires no fuel to operate
Produces no CO2 emissions during operation
Is silent in operation
Can be building integrated or rack mounted
Can operate for 25 years or more with virtually no maintenance
Photovoltaic cells are mounted together in a module or solar panel
Cells produce direct current (DC): the type of electricity stored and delivered by batteries. Most electrical equipment runs off alternating current (AC), as supplied by most electricity grids throughout the world. So a PV system usually needs to be augmented by an inverter: an electronic device that converts DC electricity into AC.
The majority of solar PV installations in Australia are grid-connected systems.
How much electricity do Solar panels generate?
The amount of electricity generated from the solar panels installed will depend on a number of factors such as:
Goals and reason for installing Solar Panels
Solar PV and Battery storage
One of the major issues with Solar Energy is that it is intermittent.
In a grid-connected Solar PV system, the customers sell their unused electricity to the grid, often at a very low price (usually 3-4 times of what they pay when buying from the grid).
Households and businesses can avoid this, as well the ever growing electricity price by switching to the Solar PV with Battery Storage. The excess electricity will be stored in the Battery Storage and can be used when needed, as oppose to selling to the grid at a very low price.
Recent development in Lithium-ion batteries enables the possibility of storing electricity with very high level of reliability with the cost of Battery Storage dropping sharply.
Practically speaking, households and businesses can immune themselves from electricity price hike and blackouts, which are becoming very common these days.