Are you looking to invest in the best quality solar panels in Australia? You may be thinking “what is a solar panel system?” Do not worry; this guide will go through all the basics of what solar panel systems are, how they work in addition to the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Solar panels are a very interesting way of converting solar energy into electricity for your house. This rivals traditional ways of getting electricity into our homes and is becoming extremely popular in homes all over the world, especially in Australia. If you are looking for solar panel comparison Australia then you have come to the right place; we can provide you with all the information you need to decide whether or not best quality solar panels energy is for you, Australian solar quotes, compare solar panel deals and solar panel comparison.
At first, this recent phenomenon of solar panels may confuse people. How does it work? Is it safe? It must be expensive! The advantages and disadvantages of solar panels? Best solar panel company? Solar panel systems are a modern way of supplying our homes with transformed energy from the sun which creates electricity to power our appliances. A step-by-step guide can be found below on how solar power systems work.
A four-step guide on how solar panels work:
|Step 1||Solar panels react to light from the sun|
|Step 2||Inverters transform the power into electricity|
|Step 3||Electricity flows into a net meter|
|Step 4||Enjoy the energy!|
Step 1, involves the sunlight connecting with the panels in order for the panels to then convert the sunlight into electricity. Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells (PV). PV cells take photons (light) and transfer that latent energy into voltage (electricity). PV cells start producing current electricity; they then need the inverter to convert the power generated into usable electricity.
Step 2, is when the inverters come into play. The inverter converts the usable electricity into alternating current, which can be used to power up our homes.
Step 3, alternating current electricity flows to your net meter which then measures the power that is needed and that which has been drawn from the grid. It also measures the excess power that your solar panels have collected from the sun and then sends it back to the grid.
Step 4, once the electricity runs through your net meter, it then adjusts to your home and powers all electrical applications from the television to the tumble dryer!
In recent years solar panel costs in Australia has fallen in price due to cheaper manufacturing costs and there being more competition in the market. Some 66% of homeowners said they paid less than $4000 for their solar power quote. Solar power quotes can range between $1500 and $8000 depending on the number of panels installed. Two solar panels, suitable for one adult household would have a solar panel quote between $1000 and $2000 and eight solar panels suitable for two adult household would cost between $3000 and $5000. As previously mentioned the comparison quotes depends on the size and quality of panels, different solar energy companies Australia will have different pricing.
The Australian government is trying to encourage its citizens to switch to solar hot water systems, as statistical figures reveal that heating water is the biggest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Australian households with the exception of cars.
Solar hot water systems use solar collectors which take energy from the sun and heats the water in your home. The heated water is then stored in an insulated tank for whenever you need it. If the sun is not shining then the hot water system may need a boost. This boost will happen when the temperature of water in the tank drops below the thermostat setting. Once the preset temperature is reached, it will turn itself off automatically. If you need more control over the booster, then a manual booster can be installed which will allow you to adjust time settings to your needs. Solar hot water systems may need frost protection if you live in a colder area where there is the potential of you experiencing significant frost.
It is true that solar hot water systems will cost you more than your average hot water heating system. However, the cost will be paid back as it will save you more money in the long run. The two key advantages are the fact that you will ultimately spend less on heating and you will essentially be saving money, also, you will be helping the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from your home.
So, you’re probably thinking this all sounds good but are people actually looking into solar panel comparisons? Yes, they are! Australian households installed a record 3.5 million solar panels. This is doing wonders for the environment in Australia as they are reducing greenhouse gasses big time. In 2017 there was an increase by 41% across all states compared to 2016.
There are many things to consider before purchasing a solar hot water system. One key consideration is, do you have a sun capture location in which to put your solar panels? You must make sure you have enough space to position the solar panels, they do not always have to be on the roof. However, that is the best place for them as they are typically in direct sunlight with little potential for shadowing. It is also necessary to have space for a large, hot water cylinder. A dedicated cylinder will need to be installed or added to your existing cylinder with a solar heating coil. Finally, your current boiler must be compatible with solar water heating. You will find that most conventional boilers and cylinder systems are compatible with solar water heating. The only issue, solar water heating system are not compatible with combination (combi) boilers.
There are four different forms of Solar Power Systems.
The most common type of solar system is the Grid Connect Solar. As previously mentioned, the energy converted from sunlight is used to power your appliances and excess energy is sent to the grid. Benefits of this system have already been discussed at the beginning of this article, however, there are some drawbacks to this system.
Solar tariffs can vary depending on the location of your home; it can change between different supplier you are with and which country you live in. Another drawback is that during a power-cut or a blackout, grid connect systems will not work due to safety reasons. The grid is then turned back on once the blackout is over. You can compare solar panel deals for Grid Connect Solar on our website.
You might have already guessed but these systems stand-alone and are not connected to the grid. This type of system can usually be found in remote areas where access to a mains power supply is not available. A Stand-Alone system requires backup batteries to store power. This system can be cheaper than a Grid Connect System in remote areas. You can find solar panel price comparison on our website. You can find Stand-Alone solar energy advantages and disadvantages below.
|An option for remote areas||Most systems require the use of backup batteries that only last 3 years|
|Can be cheaper than Grid Connected Systems||Batteries require large storing spaces such as sheds or spare rooms.|
|No need to purchase electricity from a retail supplier||High maintenance|
|Stand-Alone systems can power single items only||Expensive|
|More can go wrong due to more components|
|Requires expert design|
Hybrid Solar Systems are backed up by two renewable energy sources, usually wind and solar power. However, the Australian market describe the hybrid solar system as a solar powered system that is connected to the mains grid but also has a backup battery to store excess power. Hybrid solar panels comparisons can be found on our website. You can find hybrid solar panels advantages and disadvantages below.
|Electricity is still available during power cuts||Expensive|
|Retailers will buy back your excess power||High maintenance|
|Hybrid allows users to enjoy both aspects of the systems||Complex|
|Requires expert/specialist design|
Portable solar systems are usually used for powering appliances to do with farming, fishing and camping for example. This system is designed to be mobile and be taken on the road and wherever you need to be and require electrical power. The portable solar system allows energy to be provided in remote locations where access to electrical mains is unavailable. You can compare solar panel prices for portable solar systems on our website and the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy from portable solar systems below.
|Lightweight/Robust||Not suited for houses|
|Designed for a specific purpose|
The Grid Connect Solar is the most beneficial and reliable choice for most people. That being said it depends on the access you have to mains and what the purpose of the system is for. If you want it on the go and are constantly moving then the Portable Solar System could be a better option.
Finally, I will discuss the best solar panel companies. Australia is a good place to compare the best solar panel systems due to the recent trend of them being purchased by so many households.
Here you can find the top 5 solar panel systems in Australia, based on three main components: Quality/Value, Warranty and Presence in Australia.
Q-Cells originate from Germany, however, they have manufacturing plants in Malaysia as well as Germany. Both plants work simultaneously and produce identical quality products. This is number 1 due to the commitment to the quality produced at both ends of the world. It is also named best Solar Panel System due to the company’s innovation, research and development. They were first to launch new products such as market viable thin film modules.
Conergy are also a German company who excel in their manufacturing techniques. Like Q-Cells, Conergy produces top quality products consistently without fail.
Breaking the German trend is REC who are a Norwegian company who manufacture in Singapore. REC’s construction method is extremely advanced and they continue to perform high in independent tests against rival manufacturers.
Sunpower are an American company who matches the quality of Q-Cells. Their quality, presence, warranty and service are all on par with Q-Cells, however, they are considerably more expensive.
The three largest Chinese manufacturers have tied at 5th place as they are too hard to split. These Chinese brands do not invest as much into research as the above four, they tend to wait until the likes of Q-Cells and Conergy find a gap in the research and produce a new product, then follow suit. However, the quality is still at a very high standard, it is just the business plan that sets them apart.
Overall, all the above brands are leading figures in the solar industry, they produce excellent and innovative products which are helping millions of households across the world.
This article has provided an introduction to Solar Panel Systems for those who did not know the basics. It has also provided an insight to what Solar Hot Water Systems are and what you need to know about them, along with their success in Australia. It has concluded by looking at the opinions of experts for top 5 solar panel brands and evaluated each so you can make an informed choice when looking at solar panel comparisons. If you are looking to compare solar panel prices, search for the best solar panel company and find out more about solar power advantages and disadvantages, we can provide solar panel quotes online.