Solar Choice

Residential Solar Power Installations FAQ

What are the main types of residential solar power installations?

There are two main types of residential solar installations. The first and most common system connects your solar panel installation with the main electricity grid. This Grid Connect system allows you to feed energy back into the grid through your meter, and be financially rewarded for it by your energy company. (See our Feed-In Tariff Rewards Page to determine what incentives are on offer in your state.)

The other is a 'Stand-Alone' solar power system for remote properties where the cost of connecting the solar panel installation to the main grid is prohibitive. The system charges a battery bank, which in turn is used to power a house. A generator is usually kept available to back up the battery system.

Read more: Solar Power Installations Overview - Learn the basics of solar power


Who does the solar installation and how long does it take?

Solar Choice will provide you a free, immediate and informative Quote Comparison from up to 7 prominent and competitive installers wherever you are in Australia, as well as a shortlist of the products they offer. We are on hand to provide all the impartial guidance and information you need on the various products, prices and installers, so that your selection is an educated and well-informed one.

The Quote Comparison will fully disclose your Solar Choice Discount.

Installation of an average sized household solar system generally takes less than a day.

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I live in a residential apartment building. What are my solar energy options?

There's normally plenty of vacant and sunny space on the roofs of apartment buildings. You'll usually need to obtain permission from your body corporate prior to any solar installation going ahead. Alternatively, your body corporate itself may wish to power the building's common areas and lighting by a solar panel installation.

Fortunately, a body corporate is also eligible for the Solar Credit Discount scheme, as are owner occupiers and tenants of residential apartments. See our Solar Rebates and Credits page.

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Where should the solar panels be installed?

Wherever you have maximum sunshine and minimal shade. Normally the solar panels will be installed as discreetly as possible on your roof, but if you prefer they can also be erected free standing elsewhere on your property. (Why is it important to avoid partial shading?)

Maximum solar energy in non-tropical Australia is obtained by having the solar panels face north, and tilted upwards at an angle of 30 degrees. In tropical regions, where the sun is sometimes to the north and sometimes to the south, panels receive the most sunlight throughout the year when they are lain nearly flat with a slightly northerly tilt.

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What is an inverter and where should it be installed?

An inverter converts the DC electricity generated by your solar panels into 240V AC electricity suitable for use in your home.

Inverters are usually smaller than a standard briefcase, and are situated close to your electrical switchboard.

Sizing your inverter for optimum system performance

Should you oversize your inverter for future expansion of your system?

Types of inverter efficiency

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How do I maintain my residential solar power installation?

Simply by ensuring, every year or as need be, that your solar panels are kept clean. That's all you really need to do. There are no moving parts, and so a good solar panel installation should last you for 20 years or more.

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What size solar panel installation will power my household needs?

[The table below is a guide only. Exact household electrical needs vary significantly depending on many factors including household insulation and the energy efficiencies of different appliances.]

Read more about how to calculate solar power system size for your home and energy needs.

 

Solar system power sizeHousehold electrical needs
450 Watt All your lights, TV, DVD player, sound system, microwave and kettle
900 Watt All the above uses plus your fridge, dishwasher and computer.
1.5 kW All the above uses plus either:
  • all other kitchen appliances such as your oven, grill and stove; or
  • all laundry appliances.
2.25 kW All the above needs plus almost everything else typically found in an average 3 bedroom home except air conditioning. You are essentially solar energy self sufficient!
3 to 5kW Complete solar self sufficiency, including standard use of air conditioning.

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Residential Solar Power

Residential solar power systems overview

Residential solar power finance options

Join a solar community

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Please only complete this form if your electricity bills exceed $1000 per month. If less than this amount, please complete the Residential Form

 

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To assist with delivering an informative business case and optimal system size, please upload up to 3 recent electricity bills (PDF) below

 


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