Learn how to size a solar panel system for residential use.
Solar panels are great for the environment, and great for your pocket. With abundant sunlight in Australia, solar might just be the perfect energy generator. If you’ve made the choice to switch to solar you’ll be in good company, with more than 1.76 million other Australian households that utilise rooftop solar installations.1
If you’re thinking about investing in renewable electricity, keep reading to find out how you can make the most of your solar panels.
Types of solar
Solar PV (Photovoltaic) panels generate clean electricity from sunlight, while solar hot water systems use the heat of the sun to heat water for household use. Both can be installed on the roof of a home. This post focuses on solar PV panels that generate clean electricity for households.
Solar systems create direct current (DC) electricity which is transformed by the system’s inverter into alternating current (AC) electricity which is compatible with Australian homes and the electricity grid. Most systems installed in Australia are net wired, enabling the house to consume available solar electricity during the day and send any excess back to the grid. This enables households to utilise the grid when the panels are not producing enough electricity to meet the household’s needs. Any unused energy is then exported back into the grid in return for a feed in tariff. Alternatively, a battery storage system can be installed to capture unused solar power.
How to size a solar panel system
In this post, we’re focusing on sizing your solar panel system.
It’s a good idea to consider a few things before you buy a solar system, including:
Your current and future energy consumption;
The number of panels your roof can fit;
The level of efficiency you can expect the system to perform at based on the angle of the panels, the direction they would face, and the extent to which the panels will be shaded;
The amount you’re prepared to spend on your solar system;
Your location. The amount of daily sunlight hours in your area will play a part in your decision along with the size of solar your electricity distributor will allow you to connect to the grid.
Solar energy systems range in size and type. In 2018 the average system being installed is around 5kW, which could produce a daily average of 19.5 kWh in Sydney and 18 kWh in Melbourne.2
Calculate how many solar panels you need
Accredited solar technicians are trained to design solar systems based on the site suitability and your specific needs.
To determine the most appropriate size system, you should work with a professional installer, who will be able to give you appropriate options by assessing the site, understanding your needs and by reviewing your recent consumption. If you are still unsure about the right system, there may be benefit in finding a provider that offers site inspections to help design the right solution.
The final word
With Australia’s abundant sunlight, solar is a great energy generator. By using reputable installers, you can ensure you install a suitable system for your home.
- "Solar power | Your Energy Savings." http://yourenergysavings.gov.au/energy/solar-wind-hydro-power/solar-power. Accessed 14 Dec. 2017.
- PV-Grid Connected daily production based on the 2012 Clean Energy Council GC Design Guidelines