“Solar Panel Not Helping!”
Many home owners in Adelaide have recently commented in online forums that their solar panel system is not helping at all!
Some have gone as far to say that not only have their power bills not reduced, but they are in fact paying more to power companies than before.
Could this be true? Aren’t solar panels supposed to offset the amount of power you draw from the grid?
Let’s a take a look at some of the reasons why Solar panels may not work so well for some homes.
Day vs Night Solar Panel Usage Model
This is the most common problem giving rise to the perception that solar panels are not helping.
Power is only generated by solar panels during the day, when the sun is out. The more sunlight a solar panel captures, the more power it’s photovoltaic cells generate.
As you know, a solar panel does not generate any power once the sun goes down in the evening.
The problem arises with solar panel systems that were installed without a solar battery. Excess power generated in the day time is returned to the grid (for measly feed-in tariffs/rebates that may not amount to much). If a battery was installed, that power could have been stored for night usage.
In order words, a solar panel system without battery only helps when your day consumption is heavy. If nobody is home during the daytime, and the bulk of your consumption happens at night, you will need a solar battery or your solar panels won’t help at all.
Conversely, homes with heavy usage in the day time have reported that their power bills have been reduced up to 50-70%.
So it really depends on your usage pattern.
Unused Excess Power
This is where many home owners run into issues. The common perception is that you can use more electricity when you have installed a solar panel system. So many home owners use their appliances liberally throughout the day.
However, since no power is generated in the night, all the excess power generated during the day is returned to the grid. That is why home owners end up with significantly higher usage at night, and shockingly high power bills.
If you foresee that you will be using more during the night time, you should consider installing a solar battery.
Solar Panel Facing
Another factor that may result in low efficiencies for solar panel output is the facing of the solar panels. Since Adelaide is in the southern hemisphere, north facing solar panels would be the optimal facing. These will catch the maximum amount of sunlight each day.
Of course, if you get into a run of cloudy days, you could be looking at just 30-40% power output.
If your panels are facing east or west (which installers normally know better not to install as such), you would only generate power for a few hours a day.
So when installing solar panels, make sure you double check with your installer that you maximise the roof space facing north before you even consider placing some panels on other roof facings.
Monitoring your solar panel usage will give you a good gauge of how your solar panels are helping you reduce your power bills. However, even before installation, it is wise to consider all the above points first. To avoid any dramas.
Rite Price Solar – Adelaide
Rite Price Solar is an experienced solar panels installation company located in Adelaide. We use top quality componenets and highly experienced installers. Need advice on Solar Panels and their installation? Contact Rite Price Solar today at (08) 8343 5988.