Looking at Solar Power? There Are a Few Things to Consider
If you’re keen to reduce your energy use with solar power there are a few things worth considering.
Your Daily Power Usage Patterns
Solar power panels need the sun’s light so they only generate electricity during the day, so it’s most economical to install a system that can supply your expected daytime electricity usage.
Of course any electricity you don’t use isn’t wasted – you’ll be able to sell it back to the grid at a feed in tariff agreed with your electricity provider.
Many Queensland homes have started using solar panels to generate their own power.
In most cases, solar panels:
- are mounted on top of the roof
- connect to the mains power grid supply through an inverter.
The inverter transforms solar power into electricity that you can use in your home. This becomes your first source of electricity—anything extra will come from the grid.
Average power usage in Queensland
Most households use about 18 kW/h of power each day. This means that if you live between Brisbane and Cairns, you can expect your power bill to reduce by about 1/3. Inland households (near the Northern Territory border) tend to get more sunlight each day. They can therefore generate a little more power.
Your Roof Space and Orientation
Our smallest solar power system needs just 10 sqm of roof space to generate around 30% of the average Australian household’s energy use. The more power you would like to generate the bigger the roof space you will need.
In Australia, solar power systems are most efficient when installed on a North facing roof. The further from North your roof faces, the more the efficiency of the system is reduced.
It is best if the angle of the roof is close to the angle of latitude of your town, as that is where the sunlight falls most directly on the panels. For example, in Brisbane (latitude: 27°) the ideal roof angle is approximately 25-30°.
Shading from objects such as buildings, trees, antennas or power lines will reduce the effectiveness of your solar panels.
Ask an Expert
Your Solahart Expert will check your home and energy usage and recommend the best system for you.
Before you buy solar panels for your home, make sure you research products, suppliers, grants and rebates.
- the Solar Bonus Scheme (Queensland Governmment)
- the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme. (Australian Government)
To be eligible for either scheme, you must use an accredited installer and approved products. ref:
The Clean Energy Council is the body that:
- trains and accredits installers
- approves solar products.
These tariffs vary by energy retailer and from state to state, your Solahart Expert can give you an idea of what applies in your area.