What's the return?.... One of the first questions that you ask when considering a grid-tie solar system.
Solar energy is a source that will supply electricity, long term, with NO continuous financial input, NO environmental impact & it is something that will not effect your lifestyle - it is an exciting investment!
It is possible to value an investment in grid-tie solar in a way that makes it comparable to other types of investments.
YOU CAN ACHIEVE COMPELLING INVESTMENT RETURNS RIGHT NOW!
A grid-tie solar system produces a return on a number of levels: the obvious is the immediate saving of reduced electricity bills. Then there is the capital value increase of your property and of course the cumulative effect of increased return with the inflation of energy costs.
Any extra power you make above what you use is bought back by your electricity provider at these rates, (rates are correct on 28th May 2015)
The largest solar electricity system in the region has been installed at Kimi Ora Eco Resort in Kaiteriteri.
A north-facing hillside behind the resort is covered with 256 square metres of solar panels, which are expected to produce 59,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power eight average homes.
Resort manager Aaron Dunbar said that because the majority of the power produced would be consumed on-site, the savings should mount up quickly.
The $110,000 40-kilowatt system is expected to pay for itself in savings in 6.4 years.
The grid-tied system can feed back to the national power grid but most of the power it produces will be sucked up by the demands of the busy 23-unit resort.
"That's where the savings are because the power company only gives you half of what they charge you," said Dunbar.
He said the resort's winter power bills averaged about $5000 and in summer were about $3000.
The system had long been a dream of Kimi Ora's owner, Dietmar Glaser, who is Dunbar's father-in-law.
"He's always been far ahead of others in his ideas and he loves this sort of stuff. It also fits the image of the eco-resort," said Dunbar.
Glaser spent a month clearing the steep hillside of gorse and scrub and then Kimi Ora staff built the timber frames that the panels are mounted on.
The solar system & installation was provided by Nelson company, Current Generation.
Current Generation installation foreman Shane Naughton said because of worldwide demand bringing down the cost of solar panels, the cost of solar installations was about a third of what it was five years ago.
Company owner Arny Ahnfeldt said he had seen a lot more interest in solar over the past three years and that a average 3 kw system cost about $10,000 fully installed, which would provide about half the power for an average home, it was still a "significant investment".
He believed the 40-kilowatt system was the largest in Nelson/Tasman and one of the largest in the country. A 17-kilowatt system in Collingwood was probably the area's next largest.
Solar power is the technology of harnessing usable energy from the sun. Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells. A module is a group of cells electrically connected and packaged in one frame. PV cells are composed of special materials called semiconductors, most commonly silicon. When energy in the form of heat from the sun is added to the silicon, it causes electrons to break free from their orbit around the nuclei of the silicon atoms. These atoms are left with a positive charge, while the electrons carry a negative charge. The electrons, or free carriers, carry an electrical current. The free carriers roam around until they find atoms lacking an electron and then fall into the orbit of these atoms. The electric field surrounding the solar cells acts as a diode allowing electrons to flow in a certain direction. This flow is an electrical current. When using metal on the top and bottom of the cells, we can direct that current to be usable outside of the panel.
A solar power system requires an energy storage unit called a battery in order to use the energy obtained throughout the day.
The use of batteries requires a charge controller. The charge controller ensures that the batteries are not overcharged during the day or drained too much at night. Once the battery has been drained down to a certain level, the controller will not allow more current to be drained in order to protect the battery from damage.
We want to let you know how investing in a solar power system can give amazing returns on your money
As the price of grid connected solar power systems has decreased dramatically over the last few years, investing in a system now produces a high return on investment (ROI) making it far more attractive than putting your money in bank term deposits or similar investments.
The size of the solar system that you install will determine your ROI, which will generally range between 7% and 12%.
Choosing a solar power system for your home is a big decision. That’s why we tailor a system that suits your requirements.
We pride ourselves on our workmanship and attention to detail.
A solar power system uses photovoltaic (PV) technology to harness the sun's rays, converting sunlight photon energy into electrical current.
Solar power panels produce energy from daylight, not direct sunlight, so they still produce electricity on cloudy or overcast days.
Solar power can be used directly in your home to power lights and appliances – or exported to the electricity grid.
At night when your panels can’t produce electricity, you draw your electricity from the electricity network in the normal way.
A solar power system contains two major elements: solar panels, which are usually mounted on a rooftop, and an inverter.
The solar panels contain two layers of silicon, one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge. When the sun's rays land on a panel, electrons move from one layer to another, creating an electrical current. The inverter takes the current and converts in into usable power (240V AC).
Solar power is very safe, reliable and effective, requiring no moving parts, it emits no carbon dioxide, fumes or pollution, and the panels will typically produce power for at least 25-30 years.
Grid Tie Solar is an alternative power system designed for homes and commercial buildings where they are connected to the electricity company (or grid).
The system provides a way for you to produce your own power and thereby reduce your electricity bill, any excess power that is made can be fed back into the mains grid electricity provider.
This means that when the system is generating more electricity than is needed, for example, during the day when no one is home, you could be paid for the surplus.
Each electricity retailer has their own terms and conditions for buying excess electricity. The price that they offer per kilowatt hour (kWh), called the ‘buy-back' price, will also vary.
These systems are called ‘grid-connected', ‘grid-tied', or ‘grid-interactive'.
We love solar power, but not everyone’s house is suitable for solar power and not everyone’s roof is suitable.
So how do you know if your roof is good for solar power?
Well, there are 3 things you've got to think about, one is the angle of your roof.
The optimum angle of a roof to get the maximum amount of solar power averaged throughout the year is the same as the latitude of the location of that roof. So for example, latitude in Darwin is 12°, move south to Sydney – is about 34° and then if you get as far south as Hobart, it climbs up to 47°. So for example, in Sydney the perfect angle for solar panels is 34° from horizontal. Now you probably don’t even know what the roof angle is, why should you? If you have a house in Australia it’s probably between 18° and 22°.
“Oh no its not 34°!”, what does that mean? Well, it means almost nothing. As a rule of thumb if there is a difference of 10° that’s going to translate to a less than 5% hit to your power output. So in other words, it’s really not worth worrying about, in fact I’d goes far to say that if your roof has got any angle at all, don’t worry about it.
Should you put your panels on tilt frames?
Tilt frames are used to get solar panels to the optimum angle and maximise power output.