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Back to basics: How solar panels work

There’s a lot of buzz about solar energy lately, but it’s easy to forget what they even do. As Australia’s state governments continue to roll out initiatives, stimulus packages and support towards renewables, now’s the best time to take up these alternatives as a way to combat climbing electricity bills.

But how exactly does your system work? Without the jargon, here’s a refresh on how this nifty technology works.

CEC’s Clean Energy Report 2018 shows 2017 was a record year for rooftop solar

The solar energy process

When installed on your rooftop, solar panels work by producing electricity through cells in these arrays. This happens through something called a photovoltaic effect, where the sunlight generates power in materials by knocking their external electrons.

From there, electricity created by these panels is then directed to your inverter (or micro-inverter – depending on what system you have). This source is then converted to AC electricity for your property to use.

The inverter installed on your property will always use the solar power you’ve produced first, only drawing excess electricity from the grid if it really needs it. Any extra energy you have created and don’t need will be sent through to the grid, with which you receive a nominated feed-in tariff for.

When your system is installed, your retailer will install a ‘bi-directional’ meter that tracks all aspects of incoming and outgoing electricity from your array.

Once you receive your bills, these will take into account the lesser amount of electricity you will need from the grid, plus any credits generated through what you produced and didn’t use.


Using your solar panel system daily

To get the most out of your array, there’s no need to turn it on in the morning or off at night. It will do its own thing to automatically power on and off when needed, so there’s no need for you to monitor it that closely. Additionally, you won’t experience any different in how your home functions from the way these panels work – it’s subtle enough not to disrupt your lifestyle but significant enough to positively impact your ongoing electricity bills.

You’ll be able to view a number of details each day on your system, including how much electricity is produced in real-time, and the total since it began operation. Some inverters also have extensive reporting on other details, depending on the package you opt for.

If you’re interested in finding out how a solar power system can redefine your electricity bills, get in touch with our team now for a free quote.

Get a quick solar quote, or contact us today toll free on 1800 EMATTERS or email our friendly team for expert, obligation-free advice!


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