Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. They have steadily moved downward in price and offer the opportunity to save a lot of money on your electricity bill.
In fact, with a little care and the help of a good specialist in solar panel repairs, the panels can pay for themselves and give you free electricity. It is worth learning how to install them, especially as much of the work can be done by yourself.
You may be told that it is not possible, under current Australian regulations, to install the panels yourself. The truth is that you must have a qualified electrician connect the inverters as, from this point on, you are dealing with 240V AC. That means you can do the preparation work yourself if you wish.
Of course, electricity is dangerous and it may be better to let a professional handle the entire install.
Understanding Solar Power
Solar panels are made from special photovoltaic cells. These collect the heat energy from the sun. As a point of interest, sunlight is only 50% light, 45% of it is infrared radiation. The heat creating by these elements is what triggers a chemical reaction in the solar cells and creates electricity.
Once the photovoltaic cells have collected the heat energy and created electricity it is sent through the wiring. At this point it is DC. The power from all the cells are merged and put into an inverter, this converts the DC power into 240V AC power, ready for your appliances to use.
There will also need to be a special connection to the grid, allowing you to send excess electricity into the grid or use mains power if needed.
Should you decide not to connect to the grid you will need batteries and solar controllers. These split the load between what supply you need in your home and charging the batteries. When the sun has set you can use the power stored in your batteries.
Positioning The Solar Panels
You probably already know that solar panels are best positioned to face south. This means they will get the maximum amount of sunlight daily and create the highest level of electricity possible.
You can position solar panels on your roof with special fastening attachments to hold them secure. You should note you will need planning permission for these. Alternatively, they can be positioned in your garden at the right angle. You may not need permission to do this.
The key to a successful install is knowing what power you need. To do this you need to monitor your current electrical usage. This will allow you to see how much you use and when your biggest demand is.
You can then calculate how many panels you will need to generate that much power. Don’t forget the number of hours of sunlight need to be factored into these equations.
This can be complicated but it is important to get it right, fitting the panels in the rack is relatively straightforward and the electrician will do the final hook up.