The Benefits of Solar Panels
Using solar panels is a very practical way to produce electricity for many applications. The obvious would have to be off-grid living. Living off-grid means living in a location that is not serviced by the main electric utility grid. Remote homes and cabins benefit nicely from solar power systems.
No longer is it necessary to pay huge fees for the installation of electric utility poles and cabling from the nearest main grid access point. A solar electric system is potentially less expensive and can provide power for upwards of three decades if properly maintained.
Besides the fact that solar panels make it possible to live off-grid, perhaps the greatest benefit that you would enjoy from the use of solar power is that it is both a clean and a renewable source of energy. With the advent of global climate change, it has become more important that we do whatever we can to reduce the pressure on our atmosphere from the emission of greenhouse gases. Solar panels have no moving parts and require little maintenance. They are ruggedly built and last for decades when properly installed
Last, but not least, of the benefits of solar panels and solar power is that, once a system has paid for its initial installation costs, the electricity it produces for the remainder of the system’s lifespan, which could be as much as 15-30 years depending on the quality of the system, is absolutely free! For grid-tie solar power system owners, the benefits begin from the moment the system comes online, potentially eliminating monthly electric bills or, and this is the best part, actually earning the system’s owner additional income from the electric company.
How? If you use less power than your solar electric system produces, that excess power can be sold, sometimes at a premium, to your electric utility company!
There are many other applications and benefits of using solar panels to generate your electricity needs – too many to list here. But as you browse our website, you’ll gain a good general knowledge of just how versatile and convenient solar power can be.
Where can I buy solar panels?
Well, right here on this website, of course!
Our solar panel brands include the most respected manufacturers in the solar panel business.
These brands include such names as LG Electronics. We feature only the highest quality solar panels and Inverters from manufacturers with a proven track record in solar panel technology. You can be sure that at Quality Solar NT we know solar equipment
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Electricity
Solar photovoltaic, or PV cells, convert sunlight to electricity. This electricity is direct current (DC). For most households, solar electricity could replace a large part of the electricity produced by fossil fuels. Since 2000, global PV production has been increasing at around 50% per year.
In central Victoria there are on average about 4 hours of sunlight per day, so a 1 kW PV system, on average can be expected to produce about 3 kWh per day. This is about 20% of average household consumption.
Why Install PV?
- Once installed and operating, a PV system produces zero greenhouse gas emissions. So, as less electricity from fossil fuels is consumed, the owner of a PV system can reduce his/her carbon footprint. A 1kW system will save about 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per year.
- Solar electricity also helps to lessen some of the other social and environmental impacts caused by generating electricity using fossil fuels e.g. high water usage.
- The cumulative effect of installing a number of small solar PV systems can soon become very significant. Remember the song “From little things, big things grow”!
- Generous rebates are currently available and several new schemes are being developed to make it easier for you to become involved.
Solar PV System Components
The panels: the cells on the flat panels which are the most visible part of the system, convert the energy of the sun into electrical energy. The panels should be oriented to the north (or slightly to the east or west of north) so that they capture as much sun as possible. The panels are usually mounted directly or using angled frames, on any suitable roof (house, church, hall, school, factory etc.) They can even stand on the ground. The more panels installed, the more electricity is produced.
The inverter: this “box” converts direct current (DC) into 240 volt alternating current (AC) which is the form of electricity which we use every day. Up to 5% of the electricity generated is lost during conversion.
Types of Systems Grid Connected Systems
- These systems can operate in areas where buildings can be connected to the main electricity grid.
- The equipment includes the PV panels, the framing and wiring for the panels, the inverter and an electronic digital dual read meter (smart meter).
- During the day, the panels will produce electricity and this electricity is feed onto the Power and Water grid via the Smart Metre. All electricity that is produced by your PV system is metered and likewise all the electricity that your home uses is metered. The easiest way to explain the process is to say that Power and Water is like a big battery you charge the battery during the day and you use the electricity from the battery at night. On average, a 1kW system in Darwin produces about 4 kWh per day.
Stand Alone Systems
- These are usually remote area systems where mains electricity is not available.
- In addition to the panels etc. listed above, the equipment includes a bank of large storage batteries.
- Quite often there is also a back-up generator, fuelled by either petrol or diesel.
- The electricity generated by the panels is stored in the battery bank.
- Because it is stand alone, there is no external metering.