Why Go Solar in Perth
Western Australia is the perfect place for Solar
Western Australia is the perfect place for solar power and there are many benefits of ‘going solar’. A solar photovoltaic (PV) system consists of two main elements – a set of solar panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, and an inverter to take that electricity and feed it into your home via a switchboard.
Save on your power bills
Your electricity bill will go down because you will be using power generated from your solar panels during the day rather than only from the electricity grid. If you also install a battery with your solar PV system, you can store any power generated, but not used through the day, to use once the sun has gone down. This should cut your electricity bill even more. Depending on the system that you install, and how much electricity that you use through the day, you should see the initial cost of the system pay for itself after only a few years.
Good for the environment
The benefit to the environment of using solar electricity to help power your home is clear. Ford & Doonan solar PV systems generate no direct greenhouse gas emissions because the electricity is made from converting sunlight rather than burning fossil fuels like coal or gas. We have sunshine all year round and as a ‘renewable’ energy source, it will never run out, whereas coal and gas are fossil fuels that are contributing to climate change and will eventually run out.
Connect to the grid
It is generally possible to connect your solar PV system to the electricity grid, and with that you may have the option of selling and feeding in your unused solar power back to Synergy. By connecting to the grid you have the security and back-up of the regular system for the occasional times that the sun isn’t shining or after dark, plus you will offset some of the cost of the electricity that you buy from the grid. And remember that the electricity that you buy from the grid is only going up in price every year.
Ford & Doonan solar PV systems are generally very low maintenance. The cost will still depend on the type and number of solar panels you have, its condition, and where its placed. However our solar panels require cleaning only occasionally and should last around 25 years. Most of our solar panels come with a 25 year guarantee and inverters with a 10 year guarantee.
Through the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme the Australian Government offers financial incentives for eligible Ford & Doonan solar PV systems. We can use these to discount the cost of your system, and we will take care of the paperwork on your behalf.
Add value to your property
If you decide to sell or rent out your home premises, a Ford & Doonan solar PV system is a desirable feature and may add market value.
When you install a solar energy system on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future. How much you can save depends on the utility rates and solar policies in your area, but going solar is a smart investment regardless of where you live.
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use.
Each panel generally measures out to about 1.7m2, so the roof area required for a 6kW system will be about 37-40m2 – or possibly more depending on how your roof is laid out and whether you require tilt frames (which need to be spaced out more than panels mounted flush on the roof).
Depending on a number of factors, the actual power output of a 6kW solar power system will vary.
These variables include:
- Location and local climate
- Orientation and tilt angle of the solar panel array
- Whether there is any shade cast on the panels
- The performance of the individual components (primarily the panels and inverter)
Location and panel orientation are two of the main determinants of solar system energy yields, as the amount of sunshine falling on a solar system’s solar panels directly affects the system’s output. Our energy output figures are calculated based on historical solar irradiance and temperature data at your location, factoring in panel tilt, orientation, and all of the system parameters including.
If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery.
The benchmark by which most solar shoppers measure their panel’s performance is the payback period – the number of years that the system will take to ‘pay for itself in energy bill savings & feed-in tariff credits.
Keep in mind that returns may be better for systems whose price points are lower, or if you achieve a higher level of solar self-consumption. But also be mindful that you’ll want to be selective about the products and companies that you consider – some deals are too good to be true.
STCs, or Small-scale Technology Certificates, are a commodity that you can use for trade. You can obtain these certificates when you purchase a renewable energy system.
The amount of electricity that is generated or displaced by your system will determine the number of STCs assigned to you.
The number of these certificates you will be entitled to can also vary depending on your geographic location and the size of your system.
They can be sold either through the open STCs market, where prices will be subject to market forces, or through the STCs clearinghouse.
Alternatively, STCs can be assigned to an agent so they can be exchanged for a discount off your initial purchase price.
- ABB 10 years / SMA 10 Years / ZeverSolar 5 Years (upgradeable to 10)
- Jinko Solar Panels: 10 year product warranty and 25 year performance guarantee
Do you need a 3 phase inverter if you have 3 phase power? Technically no. A single-phase inverter will work on a 3 phase connection. This is thanks to the way meters instantaneously calculate grid consumption and solar production as a combination of all three phases.
Voltage rise related solar issues are one of the biggest problems we see with installed solar power systems. We always recommend using a 3 phase inverter when you have three-phase power. This will not only help with voltage rise, but it will mean you can install a larger inverter and a bigger solar system. Western Power may decline the initial application if trying to install a single phase inverter on a 3 phase connection.
The Australian Government is changing legislation to reduce payment based on your contribution of energy to the grid. If you have a small system, then you’re essentially “capped” at generating a certain amount of energy (based on the KW of your inverter).
Upgrade to a more powerful inverter and new panels ensure that you can generate more energy for the grid, and therefore more income.
Step 1: Go to your switchboard and open it. Locate the solar supply main switch and flick the switch to the off position
Step 2: Depending on the distance of your solar system from your switchboard, there may be another isolator switch. If your solar power inverter is more than 3m away from the main switchboard, then locate the isolator. This will be located next to your inverter. If the inverter and switchboard are less then 3m away from each other, disregard this.
Step 3: Move to your solar inverter and look for the switch marked PV Array and DC Isolator. In some cases, there may be two switches here. Be sure to turn them both off.
Step 4: Your inverter may have a switch marked Inverter Isolator. This is another switch that must be turned off. If you cannot find this, then ignore this step. At this stage, your solar PV system is now completely switched off. All lights and screens should be black. The system must be turned off for at least 5 minutes before being turned back on.
Step 5: In order to re-start your solar PV system, follow the reverse of this guide. Starting with turning the Inverter Isolator on (if applicable), then both the PV Array and DC Isolator buttons (if applicable), then the second isolator switch (if applicable), then finally the main Solar supply switch on the main switchboard. If you’re still experiencing issues, please contact Ford & Doonan Solar.