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Do I need a new digital meter?

Yes, all solar systems require the replacement of your meter to a new digital meter that can monitor how much power you are sending to the grid as well as how much power you are buying from your energy retailer. If you have a digital meter you will still need to get it replaced as it will not have the correct programming in it, unless you or your builder have specifically installed a bi-directional meter. This is rare for houses that have not had a recent renovation.

What direction should my solar panels face?

Solar panels will generate the most energy over the course of a year when they are facing north. This is especially important in winter when the sun is lower in the northern sky.

What is a kilowatt hour (kWh)?

This is a unit for measuring energy and it is how your energy retailer bills you. A kW/h is one kilowatt of power measured or used over an hour. For example, if you have an air conditioner that uses 3kW of power, it will use 3kW/h of power every hour. If you are billed 25 cents per kW/h by your energy retail, it will cost you 75 cents every hour to run the air conditioner.

Similarly a 2kW solar system will generate 2kW/h of power for every hour that it is outputting power at full capacity. If on a sunny day in summer it works at full capacity for 4 hours and you use all of this power in the home, you will save $2.00 on your power bill (2kW x 4 hours x 25 cents).

Does solar power work on cloudy days?

Solar systems are capable of working on overcast and cloudy days, just not at full capacity. In low light conditions such as early in the morning or when it is overcast, solar panels will still convert light into power for your home, just at a reduced rate.

For example, a 4kW system may only be outputting 2kWs of power on a cloudy day. There is a point where the energy produced is no longer strong enough to power the inverter and the system will turn off. This happens every evening and perhaps during an especially dark storm

How much electricity will I generate?

The peak generation of power is on a cool, clear day when the sun is perpendicular to the solar array. Clouds, seasonal changes in the angle of the sun, array soiling, roof orientation, and any incidental shading may impact on the performance.

For example, a typical energy efficient home is defined as consuming 7.5kWh per day, and would require a 2kw system to cover some or all the energy consumed.

A typical conventional home consumes 18kWh per day and would require a 5kw system to cover all the energy consumed.

A system can be installed to produce all or a percentage of the energy you consume.

How long will it take to recoup the cost of my system?

The price of coal powered electricity is expected to continue to rise sharply in the near future, leading to a increase in electricity costs. The current RECs rebate and proposed feed in tariff solar energy is becoming financially attractive to families and business.

How long will my system last?

Our solar panels come with a 25-year (limited) warranty. Originally designed and still used to power satellites they are extremely durable, reliable and expected to produce clean energy well in excess of 30 years.