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Residential Solar

Choosing the Right Solar Panel System for Your Home

We all know that the sun is a generous provider of clean, free energy. We also know that solar panels unlock our access to that energy source.

Beyond that, however, there’s a whole host of dependencies based on cost, size and the number of panels needed. You could say it’s a solar minefield out there. So, how many residential solar panels are too many, and how many are too few?

Charged Energy is the Redlands solar power expert, so read on to discover which type of solar panel system will suit you best.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Certain materials, like silicon, can generate electricity when light hits them. We call this the photovoltaic (PV) effect. Solar panels take advantage of this process by turning energy from sunlight into direct current (DC) electrical power.

An inverter unit then converts this power into alternating current (AC), which you can use to power up your home’s electrical circuits. Your solar panel system can feed any excess energy back to the electricity grid or to your battery storage units.

The main kinds of solar panels you’ll find in homes are monocrystalline and multi-crystalline panels (also known as polycrystalline). There are other types as well. Here’s a brief rundown of the main kinds of solar panel system types on the market:

DC or AC

The majority of residential solar panels are DC. That means they produce a high-voltage Direct Current (DC) that goes to a stringer inverter unit on your wall. It converts the electricity to Alternating Current (AC) for your home’s electrical circuits.

You may see some residential solar panels classified as AC because they come with a pre-installed microinverter on each panel. These tend to be a bit more expensive and would require a technician to get on your roof should they go wrong.

Mono and Multi-Crystalline

Monocrystalline panels are usually black and have a reputation for greater efficiency compared to multi-crystalline models. The latter tend to be dark blue, and some people say they have a better tolerance for higher temperatures.

How Much Do Residential Solar Panels Cost?

According to industry sources, these are the price ranges for good quality residential solar panel systems.

  • 5kW: $4450 to $8000
  • 6kW: $5600 to $9000
  • 10kW: $8000 to $13,000

Prices include the usual incentives and rebates. You will pay more if you’re going for top-quality components or if your home has tricky installation needs.

How Many Residential Solar Panels Do I Need?

The size or number of your solar panel system is less important than its power output. The higher each panel’s power output, the fewer panels you’ll need.

If you have lots of roof space, it may be more economical to buy a greater quantity of less expensive panels with lower efficiency. Bear in mind, however, that fewer panels may mean faster installation. Most solar panels are around one and a half to two square metres in area, but they differ in width, length and power output.

What Size of Solar Panel System Do I Need?

To calculate this, you’ll have to work out how much electricity you use and when you use it. As a rule of thumb, a typical home will use 20kWh of energy each day. A 5kW solar system is likely to meet most daytime power needs.

Solar panels have become relatively cheap, so it may be wise to install a bigger system. You can sell any excess electricity back to the grid or charge a home storage battery so that you have cheap power at night.

6.6kW is a typical size for a new solar power system, but larger systems are available and often include a battery. If you own or plan on owning an electric vehicle, you should consider a bigger solar panel system.

Rebates and Feed-in Tariffs

Two key incentives could make your solar PV system a more affordable option: technology certificates (STCs) for a solar rebate and feed-in tariffs (FiTs).

Other solar rebates and loans are available by state. Queensland’s Battery Booster program was due to end at the beginning of May 2024, but other incentives may come into force in the future. Charged Energy will be across them, so always check in with us.

Rebate schemes vary over time. It’s worth checking the federal government energy website to see what might be available where you live.

STCs

An STC is a type of currency for homeowners who own domestic renewable energy systems. Households receive money for STCs created by their solar panel systems.

The number of STCs generated by a system depends on its size and location. The larger the system and the sunnier the climate, the more STCs your system will generate. Although the government has set a price of $40 per STC, the price you achieve will vary depending on how you sell your STCs.

Despite rumours to the contrary, the STC system is not going to end soon. The easiest way to sell your STCs is through your installer. Let’s say you have a 6.6kW system installed in 2024. You could generate around 63 STCs. That could mean a saving of around $3000 off the cost of the system.

FiTs

A FiT is what you’ll get paid for feeding electricity back into the grid. That’s if your panels have a connection to the grid. You won’t tend to make much money from FiTs, so it may be best to maximise your own use of the solar polar you generate. You can find out the ins and outs of FiTs in Queensland.

Do I Need a Solar Storage Battery?

A home storage battery allows you to store the electricity generated by your solar panels for use at night or when it’s cloudy.

Storage batteries may give you a greater sense of independence. Given that FiTs may not pay out as much as you might hope, they may be a better alternative.

Redlands Solar Power on Tap!

Charged Energy is an expert in solar panel systems and residential solar panels. We’re across all the latest developments in technology and can guide you through the solar panel system that’s going to suit you best.

Reduce your energy bills and environmental footprint. Talk to us today, and let’s make the planet a better place together.

 

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