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“What is grid connect solar power”
Grid connect photovoltaic solar power systems are the most cost effect way of using solar energy to power your home, school, office
or commercial facility.
They can be scaled up or down to meet anything from a portion of a household's power requirements to the power requirements of large industrial facilities.
In a grid connected photovoltaic solar power system, the solar panels generate high voltage DC power which is then fed through a grid connect inverter which converts it into grid compatible 240V AC power which feeds into your switchboard. During the day, the solar electricity feeds any power requirements of the building with any shortage drawn in from the grid. If the solar array is producing more power than the building is using, then the excess solar electricity is fed out through the switchboard into the grid, running your meter backwards. At night when there is no solar power being produced, electricity is drawn in from the grid as per usual.
One thing to keep in mind is that solar energy power is not cheap. You need the solar panels, and some other equipment. Having solar energy power also requires having a certain amount of light, so Alaska may not be the best place to install solar panels! Solar energy is clean green electricity that is created from sunlight, or heat from the sun. Having solar energy in a home, generally means setting up a solar photovoltaic or a solar thermal system on the roof. Solar energy is clean green electricity that is created from sunlight, or heat from the sun. Having solar energy in a home, generally means setting up a solar photovoltaic or a solar thermal system on the roof. Energy Matters specializes in solar energy & wind energy for your home.
Frequently asked questions:
What is a kilowatt?
Kilowatts, kW, are a measure of instantaneous power. Every load requires a certain amount of power to run, for example a 100W light bulb uses 100W, or 0.1kW, of power to run.
This table shows some key figures for different system sizes. Each column is explained in more detail below.
All values are for Sydney / ACT and are approximate only. Assumes an 'efficient house' consumes 10kWh/day.
What is PV?
Photovoltaics (or PV) is a technology that utilizes a semiconductor to convert the light directly into electricity. It does so silently, without any moving parts and with no emissions or waste products given off during operation
How long has PV been around?
The first modern photovoltaic device was built at Bell Labs in 1954. It was a primitive device that converted only 6% of light into electricity but it set the blueprint for the vast majority of commercially available solar cells today.
Although initially only used in space applications, as production methods improved and costs came down, solar cells became viable for remote, terrestrial applications with Telecom Australia one earliest companies to use large scale PV systems for remote telecommunications sites. Some early test sites installed in the early 1980s are still in operation today, despite the immature nature of the modules used in these sites. Modern solar modules are much more robust and should last significantly longer than these early versions.
How much power will the system produce?
This will depend on the size of the system installed and the amount of sunlight that reaches the modules. The number of panels doesn't matter so much as the total system size. Some systems have a slightly higher number of smaller panels and some have slightly fewer larger panels. Neither is better or worse in general but different layouts may fit better on individual sites.
How long will the system last?
Kyocera Solar PV modules have a design life of several decades. In fact, some of their earliest sites installed in the 1980s are still in operation now, despite the relatively primitive technology and manufacturing processes of that time. This is because solar panels are remarkably simple devices with no moving or wearing parts. Solar module warranties are generally 20 years, significantly longer than most electrical appliances.
The other system components such as inverters, frames, regulators etc are designed to last as long as possible, if not the whole life of the system. Good quality grid connect inverters such as the SMA Sunny Boy range are designed to last 20 years with a 5 year warranty. Solar Horizon use engineered mounting frames designed to last the life of the system and with a 10 year warranty.
What maintenance is required?
No regular maintenance is necessary. A log of the energy production taken from the inverter screen will allow any problems to be quickly identified but is not necessary. Cleaning soiling such as bird droppings from the panels will help to maintain peak power levels but is only recommended for easily accessible systems, such as those installed near an attic window. Generally PV modules on a slope of 10 degrees or more will self clean sufficiently in the rain.
How does a solar PV system save water?
Most electricity in NSW is produced by black coal fired power stations which use 1.5L of fresh water for every kWh of electricity produced, mostly for steam production. By using renewable energy such as solar power you can help reduce the amount of precious water consumed for electricity production. The table at the top of this page shows how much water can be saved by PV systems of various sizes.
Also a good idea to check with your government and find out what sort of rebates are available to you.
HIDC Exhibitor(s) who specialise in this area;