Canberra Solar Panels - Everything You Need to Know
Most people know the basics of what a solar panel is and have seen solar panels in Canberra. But if you’re considering investing in them, basic knowledge doesn’t cut it.
Whether you want to know how many panels you need or whether solar panels are worth it, this guide is for you.
So let’s learn about everything you need to know about solar panels in Canberra!
Table of contents
If you’re short on time and need your answer right away, click on the right question to jump ahead.
- What are solar panels?
- What are solar panels made of?
- How are solar panels made?
- What types of solar panels are available?
- How do solar panels work?
- How are solar panels installed?
- Are solar panels recyclable?
- Are solar panels good for the environment?
- Which solar panels are the best?
- How many solar panels do I need?
- Are solar panels worth it?
What are solar panels?
Solar or PV panels are panels that convert light from the sun into electricity. You can then use it to power your home or business. Solar panels in Canberra can come in many sizes and types, so it’s easy to find one that fits your needs. And they can power large businesses, homes or even something as small as a calculator.
Solar panels in Canberra have come a long way since their first versions over 100 years ago. Silicon solar cells were first developed in 1941 and found their way into satellites and calculators a few decades later. Now, they’re powering homes and whole buildings, and in 2017 Google reached 100% renewable energy for all their offices with the power of solar.
What are solar panels made of?
The typical components of solar panels in Canberra are silicon, phosphorus and boron. But other materials with a similar construction can act as a substitute. And the panels themselves contain many individual solar cells — similar to pieces in a puzzle.
Other than the cells themself, their protective casing consists of metal and glass. But it can also be plastic with certain products like calculators and outdoor lights.
How are solar panels made?
Solar panels in Canberra are made by combining silicon and then housing it in a protective case. Here is the step-by-step process.
- Create the silicon: silicon comes from sand and is the second most available element on Earth. Creating high-grade silicon is expensive and can only come from quartz sand. Once you’ve got the sand, you need to melt it at very high temperatures.
- Turn the silicon into ingots: you would then melt the silicon to form cylindrical ingots and add boron.
- Creating the wafers: next, you slice the silicon into thin discs called wafers. These wafers are as thin as a piece of paper! Once the wafer is cut, you would add an anti-reflective coating to increase efficiency.
- Creating the solar cells: Once the wafers receive the coating, you will then place metal conductors along its surface.
- Becoming a solar panel: You would link the cells together to create a panel. Then you would place a thin layer of glass on top of the panels to keep them safe. Once the glass is in place, you secure the panels within a metal frame.
- Testing the panels: To ensure the quality of the panels, you would do some tests before they are ready for sale.
What types available?
There are 3 main types of solar panels in Canberra, monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous cells.
Monocrystalline cells consist of one large block of silicon, which is then cut into individual wafers.
While polycrystalline cells are made by melting separate silicon crystals together. These smaller crystals often come from the off-cuts of monocrystalline cells, making these a cheaper option.
The last type is amorphous silicon. This unique silicon can create flexible solar panels in Canberra that can be attached to glass, plastic or metal. These panels are versatile and you can use them for areas where lack of space or weight is an issue.
how do solar panels work?
Solar panels in Canberra work by collecting renewable energy from sunlight. The panels absorb photons—which is the energy from the sunlight—and when these photons strike the surface of the panel, electrons are knocked free. When the panel pulls the electron inside itself, this flow becomes electricity.
Solar panels produce DC electricity, so an inverter must then convert it into AC. The reason you need this type is that it’s easier to convert and transport than DC.
How are solar panels installed?
Local installers of solar panels in Canberra should all follow a similar procedure. But there may be a few differences.
- Your installers will set up scaffolding for safety. This makes transporting the solar panels easier so nothing gets broken.
- The first component installers will attach is the mounting system. This system keeps the solar panels on the roof and at the best angle to catch the sun’s rays.
- Next, the solar panels themselves are attached to the mount.
- Once the panels are secure, your installer will complete all the necessary electrical wiring.
- Once the wiring is complete, your inverter will be set up. This is the device that converts the DC electricity to AC.
- The installer will then connect your solar inverter to a solar battery—if you requested one. The battery stores energy for use on rainy days when your panel can’t generate electricity.
- Your installer will then set up a connection between your inverter and your consumer unit—also known as a fuse-box. This is because your fuse-box is your home’s electrical control centre.
- Finally, it’s time to test that everything is working correctly.
Are solar panels recyclable?
While some components are more reusable than others, as a whole yes they are.
Silicon panels contain 76% glass, 10% plastic, 8% aluminium, 5% silicon and 1% metal. While thin-film panels contain 89% glass, 4% plastic, 6% aluminium and 1% metal. These are all recyclable materials.
On an individual basis, the aluminium frame is 100% reusable, glass is 95% reusable and silicon is 85% reusable.
Are solar panels good for the environment?
This is a resounding yes, solar panels in Canberra contain abundant, recyclable materials. Not only that, but they save water, reduce pollution, slow climate change and many other things. Here are a few of the benefits solar panels in Canberra provide –
- Solar panels in Canberra use less water than traditional ways of generating electricity. Australia is the driest continent on the planet and water is a scarce resource for us. So, by switching to solar panels in Canberra, we can save thousands of litres of water every year.
- Having solar panels in Canberra reduces air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. These fuels release toxic gases into the atmosphere like carbon dioxide and methane. In large amounts, air pollution can contribute to many issues including allergies, headaches and even cancers.
- The toxic gases that come with burning fossil fuels aren’t just bad for humans either. Besides the health risks, these gases can contribute to climate change. By enhancing the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect, the Earth begins to warm faster than it should. These changes have links to floods, cyclones, droughts and more. So choosing to install solar panels in Canberra is an important choice.
- Reducing your carbon footprint is an important part of Australia’s renewable energy target. And because solar panels in Canberra use no water and have no emissions, your carbon footprint shrinks drastically.
- The sun is a free, abundant and safe energy source. While fossil fuels are contributing negatively to both your health and the environments. When you install solar panels in Canberra you are helping cut the need for fossil fuels. And you contribute towards a healthier environment.
Which solar panels are the best?
There are 3 main types of solar panels in Canberra, monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous. Without considering your situation, the ‘best’ solar panel is a monocrystalline one. But there might be another option that is a better fit.
Monocrystalline silicon panels are the most efficient—meaning that you’ll get the best conversion rates of light to electricity. But this panel is also the most expensive due to the production process. They also come with higher wattage modules which will aid your output. These panels are easy to spot as they have a distinctive black colour.
Polycrystalline panels are less efficient than their counterparts but they are also less expensive. These types of solar panels in Canberra are useful when covering larger areas. They help you to maximise your coverage and not blow your budget. Poly panels come in a blue-ish colour so you’ll be able to tell what you’re paying for.
The last type is amorphous silicon panels, also known as a thin-film solar cell. These panels are hyper versatile due to their thin composition and can even bend without breaking. Uses for this panel include calculators and other devices that need low amounts of power. This is because thin-film cells are about half as efficient as their competitors.
But thin-film cells are popular for large areas as they are easy to install. Plus these sheets can stack on top of each other. This stacking increases efficiency as different layers can target different frequencies of light.
How many solar panels do I need?
To get a rough idea, you should first figure out the average output per panel of your choice. Then you need to minus the output from your current consumption. But this is only an estimate, the exact number will depend on many factors like panel efficiency, amount of sunlight and panel size.
Naturally, the more efficient your panel is the more output you can generate. So, if you only have a small space available, your best option would be to maximise your output per panel.
But if you have lots of space you can opt for larger or cheaper solar panels in Canberra. Although they’re less efficient, you won’t have to spend as much upfront. And you might be thinking, “If I have the money shouldn’t I maximise my output?” Yes, yes you can but this depends on how big your electricity bill is. And how much you can get paid in rebates from energy companies.
Because there are so many factors in play when finding the optimal number of panels, it’s best to talk to a professional. They’ll be able to provide you with the best solution for your situation.
Are solar panels worth it?
Short answer? Yes. Long answer? It depends. For the average household with enough access to light and space, it’s worth it. Here’s why we think so.
- If you’re planning on living off-grid, it’s much cheaper than installing cabling from the nearest grid.
- With environmental issues at the forefront of many minds, switching to clean and renewable energy is your contribution to caring for the environment.
- Solar panels available in Canberra are sturdy! These panels need very little maintenance and can last for decades.
- Based on the average annual bill in the ACT totalling $1967, solar panels in Canberra can pay themselves off in around 4 years. But if you use more electricity than this, your return on investment happens even faster! With average warranties of 10 years for materials and workmanship and 25 years for output, your panels will be saving you tons in the long-term.
- If you don’t use all your generated electricity, you can get paid through local solar incentive programs. Right now in the ACT, you can get incentives between 7c-12c/kWh depending on your energy provider.
Above all, installing solar panels in Canberra is a great choice for the majority of people out there—yes, including you! So if you’re planning on staying in your home for a while, or you want to make your rental property more attractive for tenants, why not consider solar panels in Canberra?
If you’re still not sure if solar is right for you, get in contact with us at Select Electrical. We’ve helped save our clients almost $3 million so far, are you next? When it comes to solar panel installation in Canberra, we’ve got your back!