5 Reasons Why Adelaide Homeowners Should Invest in Solar Panels in 2023

Are you considering investing in solar panels for your Adelaide home? If so, you’re not alone. The demand for solar energy in Australia is increasing rapidly as more and more homeowners seek ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their electricity bills. In this blog, we’ll explore the top 5 reasons why Adelaide homeowners should invest in solar panels in 2023.

The Evolution Of Solar Panel Technology

Solar panel technology has come a long way since the first solar cell was invented in 1954. Today, solar panels are more efficient and affordable than ever before, making them a viable option for homeowners looking to reduce their electricity bills and their impact on the environment. The biggest developments in solar panel technology over the years have been in efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

solar panels

The Components Of A Solar System

Solar panels are just one component of a complete solar system. To generate electricity from the sun, you’ll need a number of other components, including an inverter, batteries, and mounting hardware. An inverter is needed to convert the DC power generated by the solar panels into AC power that can be used by your home. Batteries are used to store excess solar energy for use when the sun isn’t shining. Mounting hardware is needed to secure the solar panels to your roof or other structure.

A full solar system typically consists of multiple components that work together to generate electricity from sunlight. In Australia, a full solar system generally includes the following components:

  • Solar panels: Solar panels are the most important component of a solar system. They convert sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) cells. The size of each solar panel can vary, but common sizes include 60-cell, 72-cell, and 96-cell panels. The number of solar panels needed depends on the electricity demand of the household or building. In Australia, solar panels are usually installed outdoors, on the roof or on the ground.
  • Inverter: An inverter is used to convert the DC electricity generated by solar panels into AC electricity that can be used in the household or building. The size of the inverter depends on the total capacity of the solar panels. Typically, one inverter is used for a residential solar system, while larger commercial systems may require multiple inverters. Inverters are usually installed indoors, close to the main electrical panel.
  • Batteries: Batteries are used to store excess electricity generated by solar panels for use during periods of low sunlight or high electricity demand. The size and number of batteries depend on the electricity demand and the capacity of the solar panels. Batteries can be installed both indoors and outdoors, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Mounting hardware: Mounting hardware is used to secure the solar panels to the roof or ground. The size and type of mounting hardware depends on the type of roof and the size of the solar panels. Most mounting hardware is installed outdoors.
  • Cables and wiring: Cables and wiring are used to connect the solar panels, inverter, batteries, and other components. The size and length of the cables depend on the distance between the components and the current carrying capacity of the system. Generally, thicker cables are used for larger solar systems to reduce electrical losses. The number of cables and wiring needed depends on the specific system design. Most cables and wiring are installed indoors, either in the attic or inside walls.
  • Charge controller: A charge controller is used to regulate the charging of batteries from the solar panels. It prevents overcharging and prolongs the lifespan of the batteries. The size of the charge controller depends on the capacity of the solar panels and batteries. Charge controllers can be installed both indoors and outdoors.

 

Regarding the independence of solar panels in a system, it is possible to attach individual components, such as inverters and charge controllers, to each solar panel so that they can work independently when one or more panels are in the shade. This is known as a micro-inverter system, and it allows for more flexibility and higher efficiency in the overall solar system. As there is a little more componentry involved it does increase the price but the efficiency and convenience gained far outweigh the investment.

Ask us your home solar panel system questions now!

The Lifespan Of Solar System Components

Solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25-30 years, while inverters and batteries may need to be replaced every 5-10 years. The lifespan of these components can vary depending on factors such as usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions. Regular maintenance can help to extend the lifespan of your solar system and ensure that it operates efficiently.

The lifespan of different solar system components can vary based on factors such as quality, maintenance, and usage. Here are the typical lifespan ranges for different solar system components:

  • Solar panels: Solar panels can last for more than 25 years with proper maintenance. However, their efficiency may decrease over time due to environmental factors such as dust, debris, and weather conditions.
  • Inverter: Inverters generally last between 10 to 15 years, but can last longer with proper maintenance. They may need to be replaced sooner if they experience high usage or are exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
  • Batteries: The lifespan of batteries depends on their type, quality, and usage. Typically, lead-acid batteries last between 3 to 5 years, while lithium-ion batteries can last up to 10 years or more. However, their lifespan can be affected by environmental factors such as temperature, depth of discharge, and frequency of charging.
  • Mounting hardware: Mounting hardware can last for the lifetime of the solar panels if properly installed and maintained.
  • Cables and wiring: Cables and wiring can last for many years if they are of good quality and installed properly. However, they may need to be replaced if they become damaged or degraded over time.
  • Charge controller: The lifespan of a charge controller can vary based on its quality and usage. Generally, a good quality charge controller can last between 5 to 10 years.

The Maintenance Of Solar System Components

Maintenance of each component in a solar system is important to ensure its longevity and efficient operation. 

Here are some maintenance tasks that each component may require:

  • Solar panels: Solar panels should be cleaned periodically to remove dust and debris that can affect their efficiency. They may also need to be inspected for cracks, damage, or shading. A professional should be called to check the wiring and other components of the panel.
  • Inverter: Inverters should be inspected periodically for damage or corrosion. Fans and vents should be cleaned regularly to ensure proper cooling. The electrical connections should be checked to ensure there is no overheating or loose connections.
  • Batteries: Batteries should be inspected regularly for damage or leaks. They should also be cleaned periodically to prevent corrosion. The charge levels and voltage should be checked regularly to ensure proper function.
  • Mounting hardware: Mounting hardware should be checked periodically to ensure that the solar panels are securely attached. Any damage or corrosion should be addressed immediately.
  • Cables and wiring: Cables and wiring should be inspected periodically for damage, corrosion, or loose connections. They should also be checked for proper insulation and conductivity.
  • Charge controller: Charge controllers should be inspected periodically for damage or corrosion. The settings should be checked to ensure they are properly configured for the system. The fans and vents should be cleaned regularly to ensure proper cooling.

 

The frequency of maintenance tasks may vary depending on the specific system and environmental factors. However, it is generally recommended to have a professional inspect and maintain a solar system at least once a year to ensure proper operation and longevity of the components.

Commercial Vs. Residential Solar Systems

The components needed for a commercial solar system are generally similar to those needed for a residential system, but the scale is much larger. Commercial systems may require more solar panels, larger inverters, and more batteries than a residential system. Additionally, commercial systems may require more robust mounting hardware to support the additional weight of the panels.

A typical commercial solar system can vary greatly depending on the size and energy needs of the business or organization. Here is an example of a commercial system:

  • Solar panels: A commercial system may require hundreds or even thousands of solar panels to generate enough energy to meet the needs of the business. For example, a large commercial building may require a 100 kW solar system, which could consist of around 400 solar panels.
  • Cabling: The length of cabling needed for a commercial system can vary depending on the size of the system and the location of the panels. In a typical commercial system, the cabling could range from several hundred meters to several kilometres.
  • Inverters: A commercial system may require multiple inverters to convert the DC energy generated by the solar panels into AC energy that can be used by the business. For example, a 100 kW solar system could require three 30 kW inverters or two 50 kW inverters.
  • Batteries: Batteries are not always necessary for a commercial solar system, but they may be used to store excess energy generated during the day for use during peak energy demand or when the sun is not shining. The number and type of batteries needed will depend on the size of the system and the energy storage requirements of the business.
  • Micro-inverters: Micro-inverters are not commonly used in commercial systems, as they are more suited for residential systems with a small number of solar panels. However, they may be used in some commercial systems with complex or shaded roof configurations.
  • Mounting hardware: Commercial systems may require more robust and durable mounting hardware to support the weight of the panels and withstand wind and other environmental factors. For example, a large commercial system may require a customized racking system made of aluminium or steel.
  • Other components: Additional components that may be needed for a commercial system include monitoring systems, surge protectors, and electrical enclosures.

 

It’s important to note that the specific components and design of a commercial solar system will depend on the individual needs and requirements of the business or organisation. A professional solar installer can help determine the optimal system size and components for a commercial solar project.

Ask us your commercial solar panel system questions now!

Financial Benefits Of Solar Energy

Investing in solar panels can provide significant financial benefits for homeowners. Depending on the size of your solar system and your electricity usage, you may be able to save thousands of dollars on your electricity bills over the lifespan of your solar panels. 

The Australian government offers several rebates and incentives for people with solar panels to encourage the adoption of renewable energy. Here are some of the key programs:

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), Feed-in Tariff (FiT), Solar Homes and Communities Plan, Low-Income Household Program and the Energy Efficient Communities Program. 

It’s worth noting that the availability and eligibility criteria of these programs may change over time, so it’s important to check with the relevant government agencies for the most up-to-date information.

Ready to make the switch to solar? Contact Waterman Electrical today to learn more about how solar energy can benefit your Adelaide home.