FAQs

Q?

Is it worth investing in a solar system?

A.

Solar power pays off - for nature, for the environment and for you.
With your own solar system you can generate electricity yourself which you then do not need to draw from a power supplier. You can use the power you generate for your own consumption. And you can significantly reduce your electricity bill every year. In many countries the power you do not consume yourself can easily be fed into the general power grid. In many regions of the world you receive a feed-in tariff credit for this. In addition, you become more independent from the steadily rising electricity costs of your power supplier, as sunshine is free of charge and is not subject to price increases.

Q?

How much money will I save with solar panels?

A.

The amount of money your household will save on power bills by going solar is affected by a number of factors, including:

• Your energy consumption and the size of your solar power system – if you use more power than your system is capable of producing, your savings will be reduced. This can be avoided by choosing the right-sized system for your needs.

• Your feed-in tariff – this is the amount your electricity retailer pays you for any excess power your solar panels generate.

• Your usage patterns – solar panels can only generate electricity while the sun is shining. This means that households that use a lot of power during the day may attract greater savings than those that consume most of their power at night. However, you will still receive a feed-in tariff for any excess electricity you generate during the day.

• Where you live – some areas of Australia receive a lot more sunlight than others, so a solar PV system in Perth will usually generate more power than one in Hobart.

HQ Solar will provide a site-specific estimate of your system’s energy generation.

Q?

How much does it cost to install solar panels?

A.

The price of solar systems has dropped dramatically over the past few years, making it an increasingly attractive option for homes and businesses.
The upfront cost of your solar PV system is affected by a number of different factors, including:
• government incentives and support schemes available
• type and number of solar panels, which affect the output of your system in kilowatts (kW)
• type and size of inverter (the part of the system that converts the electrical output of your solar panels into AC electricity for use in your home)
• type of framing equipment and other system components
• height and accessibility of roof and whether it is tiled, metal or concrete

Q?

How does solar power (photovoltaics) work?

A.

Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of direct conversion of sunlight into electricity.
The heart of a PV system is the solar cell. The incident sunlight, i.e. electromagnetic radiation, on the solar cell initiates a physical response whereby the solar cells generate a direct current. In general, a solar module is made up of 60 solar cells that are electrically connected together in the module and safely protected by a tough glass panel and a frame. Several modules together make up a powerful and efficient photovoltaic system. The electrical current produced at the terminals of the solar modules flows through the connected cable to the inverter, where it is converted to alternating current so that it can be used by electrical equipment.

Q?

How much power can I produce and consume myself with my solar system?

A.

The output of a solar system and the associated potential for self-consumption is dependent on several factors; the orientation (North, South, East or West), the inclination angle of the roof and of course on the size of the solar system.

Q?

Will I also produce solar energy, if it is cloudy or raining?

A.

Solar panels generate the most electricity on clear days with abundant sunshine (not surprisingly). But, do solar panels work in cloudy weather? Yes… but just not quite as well. On a cloudy day, typical solar panels can produce 10-25% of their rated capacity. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by the type of solar panel; some kinds of panels are better at receiving diffuse light.

Q?

What Kind of Maintenance do Solar Panels Require?

A.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance since there are no moving parts. A few times a year, the panels should be inspected for any dirt or debris that may collect on them. Always make sure you are safety conscious when inspecting panels and don’t take any needless risks! If your panels are too high up on the roof to see very well from the ground, use caution with ladders.

For a general cleaning, simply use a standard garden hose to wash the face of the panels during either the early morning or in the evening. Avoid spraying cold water onto hot panels or you could risk cracking them.