Auswell Energy shares some technical tips to consider before buying solar.
Buying a solar system can be a daunting task especially if it’s your first time. There are multiple guides online including the Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) guide to buying solar, but usually, you have to look in multiple places for the more technical solar tips. This post compiles some of our previous technical solar tips all into one hand spot.
Shade, no matter how small, can greatly reduce the efficiency of your solar panels. It’s important that you assess nearby multi-storey buildings or foliage that can cast a shade on your solar panels. Be mindful of where shade falls on your roof all year round or request your installer conduct a shade survey before you start designing your solar system.
If there is shade on your roof, there are a few ways to mitigate shade cast onto your solar panels:
- Removing obstructions – The most logical course of action to mitigate shade is to remove these obstructions. This can be trimming or removing trees that are in the way. Of course, you can’t remove a neighbour’s tree or even their building if they cast a shadow, and you’d be hesitant to remove a chimney or antenna that’s on your roof, so there are other options for you.
- Orienting – Your solar panels away from shade can make a huge difference in your solar energy production. But you should be aware that orientation can also affect your solar panels; the best direction to
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face your solar panels in Australia is North because your panels will be exposed to the sun all day. For more information read our previous post Which Direction Should I Face My Solar Panels where we compare different solar panel orientations.
- Mounting – Mounting your solar panels isn’t necessary unless your roof is flat. But it’s possible to mount your solar panels so that it faces away from shade or elevates your panels out of shade that’s cast by your own roof. You can also mount your panels at a pitch that’s optimal for winter. Winter sun tends to cast long shadows that can last for a good portion of the day. For more information, read our post What Effect Does Roof Pitch Have on Solar Panels?
2. Accessories to optimise output
Accessories like microinverters can be helpful to avoid the shaded spots on your roof, but they may not always be necessary. If your roof can fit your entire array on a single façade, then microinverters may be an expensive and unnecessary accessory. If you’re unsure, talk to a trusted solar installer today.
3. Solar panel type
Solar panels are fast evolving from its initial boom in the 2000s and this means there is new and improved technology that is much more efficient. The type of solar panel you intend to install depends on your budget, size constraints, and even your preferred aesthetic.
Monocrystalline solar panels, although more expensive, can be a better option for those who have limited space on their roof because these panels are much more efficient.
For more information read our post comparing Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panels.
4. Cable Sizing
This is a topic we haven’t previously discussed, but it’s important to ensure that your solar installer is installing cables that are appropriately sized for your system. Smaller (skinnier) cables run the risk of exporting less solar power, which can cause your inverter to drop its power output regularly due to high voltage caused by the resistance of skinny cables.
5. Battery sizing
You need to ensure that your solar panels are producing enough energy to fully charge your solar battery for most days of the year. You can calculate what size battery you need by calculating your energy consumption at night-time. You can do this by monitoring your energy use through your meter or bill.
Contact Auswell Energy
Auswell Energy is a trusted provider of residential solar power installation on the Gold Coast, and in the Brisbane and Tweed Heads areas. Our experts will help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint with our efficient solutions. Find the perfect solar installation option for your home with our range of choices.
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