The Solar Designs Philosophy
Thanks to a generous increase in government funding solar electricity for your home has just become more affordable.
At Solar Designs our goal is to see as many households as possible take advantage of Perth's brilliant sunshine, now and for decades to come. We offer quality components built to last at prices that suit your budget.
Use this web site for more information on this exciting development in renewable energy technology. When you have decided that a grid connect system is right for you, contact us for a detailed assessment and quote.
Making the most of this site: An introduction to Photovoltaics follows below. The icons on the left lead to our other pages. When you see this symbol There is so much to say, but who really has the time to read it all? Pick the items you are most interested in and easily skip the rest. Extra content is hidden by clicking a second time. , click it for more details.
Photovoltaics is the generation of electricity directly from sunlight. The principle is that sun rays (photons) can transfer their energy into some materials by dislodging electrons into a higher energy state. When those electrons flow back to their original places through electric wires, their energy can be harnessed to do useful work.
Solar cells (the smallest units of a system) are connected and packaged together in solar modules. Multiple modules are connected into an array.
In places far from the power grid an array connected to a power conditioner can directly feed loads (like pumps to supply water) or charge a battery bank to provide reliable 24/7 power to remote homesteads. In the past those were the main applications of photovoltaics in Australia.
Recently, thanks in part to generous government funding, grid connect systems on private homes have become popular. In those systems a solar array is connected to an inverter that converts DC from the solar cells into AC electricity of the same quality that comes in the power grid (240V/50Hz). Any energy that is not used in the house is fed back into the power grid for others to use.
Photovoltaics works best when the modules are exposed to direct sunlight. In Perth an unshaded, north facing roof with a slope between 20 and 30 degrees is ideal. But don't be deterred if your roof has no north-facing areas available, slight variations still produce very good output, much better than ever reached in less sunny locations like for example Melbourne. Comparative output (in kWh/year) for the same array in different locations:
Photovoltaic systems are built to last. They don't contain any moving parts that would wear out. Manufacturers give warranties on the output of their panels for up to 25 years. They can be confident in doing so as most of the panels that were installed 25 years ago are still going strong and technology has improved a lot since those early days.
Photovoltaic systems are also low maintenance. A grid connect system should be inspected occasionally to make sure no wires have been exposed or damaged (i.e. by animals) and the mounting rack is still in sound condition. Cleaning is usually done by rain, but in dusty locations an occasional hose-down can improve output. Other than that, after installation, sit back and relax knowing that the power you generate causes some of the lowest CO2 emissions possible.
Photovoltaic systems are affordable now. Thanks to generous government subsidies, everyone can now own a grid connected PV system. More details on our recommended system here.
By installing a grid connect PV system you do the right thing in so many different ways:
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