How does Solar Power work?

Solar panels generate electricity when exposed to sunlight, which can then be converted from DC to AC power by a Solar Inverter, which makes the power safe for use in your home or business. This can then be used to supplement your power supply during the day, or it’s now possible to install a solar battery and power your property from solar energy after sunset.

Types of solar systems

Grid-connect systems have traditionally been the most popular. This method connects your solar power system directly to your home, as well as the power grid – which allows you to export any surplus of electricity you generate. Exports can be purchased from you by your electricity retailer.

You can also optimise a grid-connect system by installing a solar battery, allowing you to store energy you don’t use during the day to use at night, as well as exporting any extra back to the utility grid.

Off-grid solar systems are not connected to the utility grid and are designed to be completely self-sufficient. An off-grid system will include your traditional solar system components: a solar panel array and an inverter, but also require a battery to store energy and a charge controller to stop your system from overcharging.

Solar Batteries are required for storing excess solar energy produced by your array. They are a way to reduce your dependency on the grid and cut down your power bills (sometimes to zero).

In recent years the traditional cost-prohibitive nature of battery technology has changed in response to competitive market conditions as more investment moves into renewables. Nowadays battery storage is fairly priced, and economies of scale and access to transparent solar power information continue to make it more affordable to Australians each day.

Should I invest in solar power?

There is a lot of solar power information to consider when making a decision on whether to convert your home or business to solar. You should consider the amount of energy you use, if your current electricity bills are financially sustainable, what your budget for a system is, and what your potential return on investment will be.

There are also installation considerations, like whether you have the available roof-space, your property’s exposure to sunlight, feed-in tariff rates, installation costs, and the quality of the components you want installed.

As electricity prices continue to spike Australia-wide it is generally more cost-effective for homeowners to convert to solar systems – just ensure you’re getting all the solar power information you need to make an informed decision before making a purchase.

Further solar power information

For more on solar power information, industry news and solar product reviews, visit our Energy News section.