The use and recognition of solar electricity may have been around for well over 30 years in Australia but it has only been in the last five years that we have started to see mainstream use in the suburbs.
The opportunity to grid connect solar power production into homes and businesses has started to open up the grid for to new possibilities regarding energy independence.
But how much to you really know about this exciting renewable energy prospect – Here’s the answers to a few questions you may have been to shy to ask:
If I have solar electricity installed will I still have power in a blackout?
No – not if it’s a standard grid connected system. As a safety feature when power from the grid is disconnected (either through a sudden blackout or scheduled maintenance work on the grid) a standard inverter will shutdown itself as well so that no power can be fed back down the line. So as the system stops power to the grid, it also islands itself from the house as well and won’t restart until power is restored.
The only options for creating an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system is to install an inverter that incorporates an anti-islanding feature with the addition on batteries for storage. By having some small storage capacity, UPS systems can be vital for businesses to provide support to computer systems, credit card machines, refrigeration systems and other small devices to keep business operating.
When solar power is installed – Does my power consumption at nighttime and on cloudy days have to be lower because the sun isn’t shinning?
No. In our society we generally will consume around 50 per cent of our overall daily usage in the hours between 4pm and 10pm at night when everyone gets home. The benefit of grid connected solar electricity systems is that they are an addition to your normal power supply not a replacement. This means that when all solar systems are sleeping at nighttime, power usage is still taken from the mains power grid as normal and allows you to keep your routine operating easily.
This is the same as on low light or overcast days when solar power production is lower. Depending on the solar power feed-in scheme in your individual State, when solar production is lower this will still have impact on helping lower consumption for that day but probably won’t give you the opportunity to sell any of your solar power back to the grid.
If I install solar power my power bill will go down.
Yes and No. It’s not as simple as suddenly receiving cheques in the mail for the solar power you’ve produced, but the addition of solar electricity can certainly have an huge impact in lowering your power outgoings.
Reducing you power bill with solar power depends on two main factors:
Always explore all your options and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Have you installed solar power at your home or office? How has it gone for you? Are you thinking of going solar and have some appreghensions, what’s holding you back? Leave a comment below.