FAQs

Using Our Solar Panels:

How will I use the electricity from a Quality Solar energy system?
The electricity generated by a Quality Solar energy system works just like the electricity delivered by your local utility. After passing through a component called an inverter, the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar photovoltaic panels is converted to alternating current 240 Volts (AC), the type of electricity that you normally access through the outlets in your home or business facility. This AC electricity is either fed into your home for your use, or is fed back into the electricity grid if you are generating more than you are consuming. Speak to a Quality Solar specialist to learn how you can benefit.

Do I need batteries for my Quality Solar Grid Connect system?
No, excess solar energy generated on your roof is automatically fed back into the electricity mains via your inverter. Your solar system also automatically sources electricity from the grid when you are not generating sufficient electricity from your solar panels. Therefore, you effectively are using the grid as your battery.

What happens at night?
Solar photovoltaic panels require sunlight to produce solar electricity; no solar system will produce electricity during the night. With a Quality Solar Grid Connect system, your local utility will continue to supply your electricity at night.

What happens on cloudy days?
Since solar photovoltaic (PV) technology requires sunlight to produce electricity, the bulk of your solar electricity production will take place in bright sunny conditions. The amount of solar electricity produced by your panels is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight available at any given moment. Solar systems can still generate around 50% of their peak output under bright overcast conditions but heavy clouds which significantly reduce brightness during the day will further reduce performance.

What will happen during a blackout?
By law, any solar electricity system without generator backup must shut down until utility power returns in order to assure a safe working environment for utility line workers. Therefore, your solar systems will switch off until mains electricity is restored.

Why do I still need electricity from the mains?
You still need electricity from the mains because your solar panels may not produce enough electricity to supply your household’s needs every day. This obviously depends on the size of solar system you choose and your consumption of electricity. In addition, even if your solar system can generate enough power for you during the day, because the system only generates power when the sun is shining, you will need mains supply electricity whenever there is insufficient sunlight. For example for supply of electricity at night.

Is Grid Connect solar power the same as solar hot water?
No. Solar hot water uses heat from the sun to heat your water. Your Grid Connect Quality Solar photovoltaic System generates free electricity directly from the sun providing a renewable and clean energy source.

Can I hook this up to my pool?
Pools are usually heated with solar hot water panels. These are like hot water systems and the water runs through the solar panels and is heated by the sun. If you want your pool to be heated by a Quality Solar photovoltaic system, you will need your pool heated by electricity and you can use your new Quality Solar system to provide that electricity

How does it work in conjunction with ‘solar heating’ inside my home?
Your Quality Solar Grid Connect photovoltaic system will provide solar power to your home. This solar electricity can be used by any appliance in your home so it will work together, with your solar hot water service to reduce your reliance on mains supply and reduce your electricity bills.

Where else can the solar panels be placed other than my roof?
Solar Panels can be placed just about anywhere there is a constant source of sunlight with no shade. That is why your roof is often the best place to put the solar panels. The solar panels should be angled so that they face the sun for as much as possible during the day. That is why the North facing side of your roof is ideal. Of course, solar panels can be mounted on pergolas, sheds and verandas too, so long as they can support the solar panels safely and it’s a sunny spot where the solar panels can be angled towards the sun.

Investment & Rebates:

Are there any ongoing costs with a Solar Power Grid Connect System?
There are no ongoing costs after the initial investment price of the system except replacement of components outside the warranty period. The solar system generates free, clean electricity from the sun with minimum maintenance required (wash solar panels occasionally).

My home has gas & electricity, is there a difference to set up & cost?
No, if your home has a gas stove, your Quality Solar photovoltaic system just assists you even more by reducing even further, your existing electricity bills. There are no additional set up costs.

Is it legal for your electricity meter to ‘spin’ backwards?
Yes. As long as you have notified your energy retailer of your solar system (some retailers require an interconnection agreement). Your energy retailer will need to organise installation of a 2-way meter however, to enable them to read how much solar electricity you are producing, exporting to the grid (for a credit on your account) and how much electricity you are importing, or using from the grid. This is particularly important when feed-in tariffs are introduced as excess solar electricity you export to the grid will be credited to your account at a higher rate.

How efficient is my Quality Solar System in terms of value for money?
Solar Power Grid Connect Systems are proven throughout the world to be one of the most effective actions individuals can take to make a significant reduction in their household greenhouse gas emissions by diSTCtly offsetting their coal fired energy consumption.

In Australia, we have an abundance of sunlight ready to be converted into solar electricity unlike many parts of the world such as Europe which is blanketed in clouds most of the year. Therefore, your Quality Solar system is very efficient, generating free solar electricity, whenever the sun is shining.

Your solar system will generate more electricity than a comparable solar system installed in Europe, where sunlight levels are often much lower than in Australia. For example, Germany has an irradiation level of 751 KWh for every square meter per year, and Canberra’s irradiation level is 1386 KWh of sunlight for every square meter. Germany has around 250,000 Solar Power Grid Connect Systems installed, whereas there are only approximately 3000 solar systems installed in Australia. Our abundance of sunlight is there waiting for us to utilise! Contact us to learn how to harness this renewable and clean energy source and discuss any further display home savings.

What government rebates apply and how do I get the STC’s (rebate)?
There is no rebate as such it is now the sale of your STC’s (Small – Scale Technology Certificates) Quality Solar will make you an offer to Purchase the STC’s that your system will generate as at 1st January 2013 the STC’s are 1 for 1 (i.e. 4.5Kw system will generate around 103 STC’s) at the market price.

What is a ‘Feed-In Tariff’?

A Feed-in tariff is a premium rate paid for electricity fed back into the electricity grid from your Solar Power Grid Connect photovoltaic system. Although feed-in tariffs are legislated in many countries around the world, Australia is only just now in the process of introducing legislation in various states which would allow homeowners of Solar Power grid connect PV systems to enjoy the benefits of this ‘premium’ buy back rate of electricity. In Darwin the feed-in tariffs ise 1 for 1 at the current purchase price of electricity.

Solar Power Information

About Solar Electricity Systems

Solar power is a long term investment

Choosing Your Solar Panels – What Are Your Choices?
When shopping around for a solar power installation for your home (or business) one of the things that will set different installers apart is the type and brand of solar panel that they offer you.
So how do you assess what kind of panel is best for you?
Here are some of the factors you should weigh up:

  1. Solar Panel Efficiency
    When we talk about solar panel efficiency we are talking about the ratio (as a percentage) of: energy in the sunlight hitting the panel area – to – electrical energy in the wires coming out of the panel.
    Why is a high efficiency good? Well the higher the efficiency, the more Watts of electricity you will get per volume of material used in the solar panel.
    So generally speaking, the higher the efficiency the cheaper, that type of solar panel becomes for the same electrical output.
    Does that mean that you should just choose the panel type that has the highest rated efficiency percentage? It’s not that simple I’m afraid. Because some panel types cost more to manufacture than others, they can still turn out more expensive that other types with a lower efficiency.
    However, the advantage of higher efficiency panels is that generally the higher the efficiency, the smaller the panel you will need. So if roof space is at a premium, look into higher efficiency panels.
  2. Cost
    The obvious calculation here is: How many watts of electricity are you getting per dollar of panel?

But bear in mind that cheaper panels degrade at different rates, so although some panels give a great cost-performance ratio up front, look at what performance is guaranteed, 5,10 and 25 years into the future and ask yourself another question will those companies be around in 5 or 10 years to honour their warranty????.

OUR PARTNERS WILL BE

What is a Solar Electricity system?
To put it simply; solar (photovoltaic) panels convert sunlight to direct current (DC) electricity which then flows to an inverter which converts the electricity to alternating current (AC) the same as you would get from a power point in your wall. This electricity then flows into your house to run your appliances or out into the main grid to be credited against your electricity bill or both depending on how the system is metered.

What is Photovoltaic?
The word Photovoltaic comes from photo which = light, and voltaic which = electricity, and basically means electricity from light.

How does a Photovoltaic (Solar Electricity) panel work?
Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of special materials called semiconductors such as silicon. When light strikes the PV cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material, and the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. This energy is then drawn from the semiconductor as a flow of electrons – electricity.

How much electricity will a 1kW PV system provide per year?
Approximately 1,500 kWh per year in the Northern Territory

How much electricity does an average household use?
You can obtain a reasonably accurate figure of your own usage by adding up the total kWh usage from the back of your last 4 power bills. Typically a Darwin household will use between 6000-8000 KWp per year.

How much Roof Space is required for my 1kWp system and where is the best location for it?
9 square metres of roof space is required per kilowatt of Monocrystalline panels – preferably all in one block. The best roof location is one that faces due north (± 45), is not shaded by trees or other structures and has a pitch somewhere around 15° (± 15°)

What if I do not have enough space for the panels in one block on my roof or my roof does not face the correct direction?
If the panels have to be split or if the roof is outside the recommend pitch and orientation specifications your roof may simply be unsuitable for a photovoltaic installation. Installation options and any additional costs can be discussed with the installer during the site survey. We will advise you of any additional costs and any effect that the roof configuration will have on the efficiency of your system prior to installation.

Where will the inverter be installed?
The Inverter is usually installed as close as possible to the metre box however the installer will assess your individual site for best inverter placement.

Do I need batteries?
No, this is a grid connected system. That means you export excess energy your system generates on the electricity grid and then import it back later when you need it.

What happens in a power outage, will I still have power?
No this system is grid interactive therefore the house must be receiving power from the grid for the system to be operating. In the event of a grid power outage the inverter will automatically disconnect. This is a safety requirement so that your system is not feeding electricity back into a grid that is not live.

Do I need to install a new electricity meter?
Yes, a new meter will be required to be fitted so your solar power system can feed into the grid

What is the weight of the panels on the roof?
Between 12 and 18 kgs per square meter. This should not create any problems for your existing roof structure.

What maintenance does a grid-tie PV system require?
Very little, the solar panels should be visually inspected and if necessary cleaned once a year

What happens if I get shading from trees?
We will advise you on the effect if any that the shading will have on the efficiency of your system and what action needs to be taken.

What happens if I live outside of the installation areas?
All travel outside the 100km radius from Palmerston our standard installation areas will be charged at $1.00 per KM.

Who should I contact for maintenance or breakdowns?
Please contact Quality Solar NT info@qualitysolarnt.com.au

What size system can I install?

As of 1 July 2012, Power and Water has limited the maximum size of domestic PV systems which can be connected to the power network without undertaking extensive investigations. The maximum size that can be installed on a residential dwelling is a 4.5kW array and up to 10.0kw array on three Phase before an investigation is required.

You will be given the opportunity to upgrade your system at the time of your site survey.

Quality Solar can facilitate the application for a larger system if required. From experience these are approved when 3 phases are available.

Can I increase my system capacity by adding additional solar panels at a later date?
Yes, however the inverter is carefully matched to the capacity of your solar panel array. If you add extra panels at a later date you will most likely need to install a larger inverter also.

Can I install an off-grid system?
Yes, Please contact Quality Solar NT info@qualitysolarnt.com.au to arrange a quote

What warranty do I get on my system?
The system has a standard 10 or 12 year equipment warranty, and there is a 25 year warranty on the performance of the photovoltaic panels.

OUR PANELS

How durable are the solar panels on the roof?
Quality Solar systems are very durable. Our solar panels have passed very strict performance standards and criteria to protect the solar panels from strong winds, hail damage and environmental exposure. After all, they are designed to be installed on roofs, and built tough to withstand the harsh Australian environment. That is why our partners can offer a 25 year warranty on the solar panels.

Do Quality Solar energy systems come with a warranty?
Quality Solar have a limited warranty on solar panels of 25 years.

How long does a Quality Solar energy system last?
Quality Solar modules typically last for more than 30 years, provided proper maintenance tasks are carried out as specified. Electrical equipment such as the inverter will typically have to be replaced during this time period.

How much experience do you have installing Solar Systems?
Installers who sign off on the finished installed solar system must not only be qualified electricians but must also have solar Power Grid Connect Photovoltaic System qualifications endorsed by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). Quality Solar use only accredited installers for this job to ensure the job is carried out to the highest Standards with experience is second to none and you can be sure, that the Quality Solar photovoltaic system you choose will be installed to the highest professional standards.

Are my solar panels resistant to hail?
Yes. All solar photovoltaic panels have been extensively tested and will withstand a 25mm hailstone at terminal velocity. They are very resistant to storm damage. The tiles on your roof are more likely to be at risk of damage before the solar panels.

Are my solar panels covered under my home and contents insurance?
Quality Solar recommends that you contact your insurance provider and get the solar photovoltaic system added to your policy.

Will a Quality Solar photovoltaic System cover all my electricity needs?
Depending on your energy consumption and the size of the solar system you decide to put on your roof. In most cases, a solar system can be appropriately sized to meet all of your electricity needs, but it isn’t necessary for a solar system to cover all of your needs in order to be cost-effective. Our Solar Consultant will assist you in deciding what size solar system is best for your home.

How much electricity will a Quality Solar energy system produce?
The amount of solar electricity generated obviously depends on the number of panels on your roof, weather conditions and any shading or dust which may settle on your solar panels (before being washed off by rain). These factors can all reduce performance of the solar panels. Our solar consultant will go through these factors with you to assist you to understand.

Going Green:

There is nothing we can do about global warming, so why bother?
Every person and every household contributes to the problem of global warming and climate change, but every person can reduce their carbon footprint on the environment too. When individuals take action, together, we can make a difference. Every kg of greenhouse gas you save going into the atmosphere with your new Quality Solar system is helping the environment and helping to save the planet.

More and more people like you are taking action, and making a difference every day, together we can help reduce global warming and climate change.

How much CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) will my solar power system save?
The average household in Australia generates about 14 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. Every kWh (kilo watt hour) of electricity you purchase from a traditional coal fired electricity utility provider pumps about 1kg of carbon dioxide into the air we breathe.

A 2000KWp Solar System will save almost 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide being pumped into the environment whilst saving you money on every kWh produced.