How Solar Works

How Solar Works – As shown in the diagram below, solar panels use sunlight to generate DC (Direct Current) electricity that is then fed into your inverter. Your inverter then converts this DC electricity to AC (Alternating Current) electricity. This can then be used in your home with any excess electricity generated going back to the grid.

How Solar Works -
The Technical Process

Wondering how solar power actually works? The sun, our reliable energy source for eons, is now harnessed to meet our daily power needs. Here's the breakdown: Photovoltaic (PV) cells convert sunlight into energy. These cells are linked to create solar panels. Combine panels, and you've got a system that channels the sun's power into your home. But wait, there's a catch: the energy produced is Direct Current (DC), not the Alternating Current (AC) our homes use. Enter the INVERTER, which converts DC to AC. The result? You enjoy 'FREE POWER' and slash your electricity bill. Remember, using solar during sunny hours maximises savings!

How does my electrical system work?

In Australia, our homes operate at 240V, the standard voltage. This voltage is the difference between active and neutral points. Every appliance consumes a specific amount of Amps. Let's break it down with an example: Consider your trusty kettle, running at 240V consistently. It's rated at 2400 watts or 2.4 kW. To find the Amps, divide watts by volts. Voila! Your kettle draws 10 amps, quite a bit on a 16-amp or 20-amp circuit. That's nearly half the allowable amps for the cable supplying your kettle. Boil it for an hour, and you'll use 240V at 10 amps, or 2.4 kWh (kilowatts per hour).

Back to Solar

This understanding is where solar comes into play as your solar system will only produce energy (in watts) for the hours of sunlight it receives.

Hence, you may only get 8 hours of sunlight on your solar PV system. If it’s a standard-sized residential install it’ll be 6.6 kW or 6600W with a maximum inverter capacity of 5 kW (we’ll get into why shortly). If you’re producing 6.6kW worth of energy for that period you’re going to make 6.6kW x 8 hours which equals 52.8kW. However, we have to use our energy during those 8 hours, outside of that and we’re back onto using the expensive network’s power.

The news gets worse, that 52.8 accumulative kilowatts of energy that’s produced that day is reduced due to efficiency of panels. Animal droppings, dirt, shading, low sunlight, and a max feed in at the inverter of 5kW.

So, all you’ll ever be able to use from that production is 8 hours x 5kW which equals 40 kW for that day.

We oversize our panels where we can to help maximise our time we can generate that 5kW and to combat all those inefficiencies. Each of those 5kW’s that your inverter ‘gives’ you from your PV solar panels will be measured as 5kWh’s. Or 5 kWs for 1 whole hour.

So, when using that kettle during the day for a whole hour, you’re using 2.4kWh of that 5kW total you’re allowed. Which is quite a lot.

Lucky a kettle boils in a couple of minutes so that figure is a lot lower. As a note, only boil the water you need to heat, it’ll cost you A LOT over the course of a year boiling full jugs of water as the kWhs will drastically increase many times for that one appliance.

How do we extend our
PV solar yield?

Well, we now have great BATTERY technology with great warranties and affordable prices. Lithium-Ion is a very safe, efficient and affordable option that tens of thousands of Aussies have already been utilising around the country. It has been said, that installing batteries will increase the efficiency of a home’s PV System by a whopping 60%-90%.How? Well, remember our 5kW for 8 hours? Well, outside of the 8 hours of PV yield we’re limited to the network’s power. But if you’ve ever heard of a battery before, then you probably know that they can store the power that’s charged into it. This increases your kWh for the day in a huge way.

How do we extend our PV solar yield? - Continued.

If you were to take your 40kW produced in a day from 5kW/hr for 8 hours and transfer that to a full 24-hour daily gauge then you’re down to only 1.66kWh over 24 hours.Your lifestyle would depend then on what TYPE of PV coupled with BATTERIES you would choose. You may work from 8 am – 6 pm like many Aussies so you don’t have the chance to get much use out of your PV system. This is where batteries are a great option. They store the power generated from your solar during the day whilst you’re not using it.This leaves you with a large bank of energy that you can use to cook, clean, and run your air-cons at night without needing to rely on any power from the grid. Above we mentioned that a 5kWh for that 8 hours may be enough to charge your Lithium-Ion batteries as you’re not drawing any energy during the day. As long as your 24-hour power usage is lower than 1.66kWh collectively, your PV system will be able to charge your battery fully a lot of the time.Alternatively, you could be a shift worker, work from home, or consistently have someone at home during the day. In this case, you’re at home using your PV system. That’s great, but you’re also probably using all the energy and not leaving much to charge your batteries. Hence, the 1.66kWh/day solar feed in to your usage + battery charge probably won’t be enough. In this case, we would increase the size of your PV system up to a higher inverter kW rating and PV Panels to suit (depending on available roof space).

To Conclude

If you decide to purchase a PV SYSTEM coupled with BATTERIES, get in contact with AusPac Solar today. Our qualified technicians can adequately size your system according to your budget and energy needs.AusPac Solar takes a unique approach to selling affordable, quality and comprehensive Solar Installations. This is done by doing a full digital analysis of your property, which includes; solar yield, sun tracking, and a proposed panel layout.Our team handles all pre and post approvals from the Network provider and offer full customer support. Full are available to assist you as well if needed and let our accomplished and friendly staff assist you in handling all of your solar needs.