Choosing a solar system for your home or commercial building requires some work. Firstly, you have to sort out the different solar power systems available according to your budget. Then, you need to compare the best offers on them. Most importantly, you need to find a trustworthy solar installer to help you choose the right solar system and make your investment worth it. So, here’s a guide to help you begin.

Solar Panels

Solar panels make the most important component of an efficient solar power system. So, you should select solar panels based on their efficiency, quality, durability and cost. If this seems like a lot of work, begin by knowing your needs. For instance, your daily energy needs, average electricity bill, roof size and how much you can afford.

Solar panel efficiency is the measure of how much electricity a solar panel can produce in a given surface area. Nowadays, most solar panels easily have an efficiency rate of 15% to 18%. If you want better savings for a smaller roof area, you must choose solar panels with higher efficiency. Correspondingly, they also come with a higher price tag. The cost also varies with the panel size, quality, and manufacturer.

In general, an on-grid connection is the most cost-effective option in Australia. This is where solar panels and inverters are connected to the electricity grid. When choosing solar panels, also make sure to check the federal and state government rebates and the feed-in tariffs.

Things To Look For When Buying Solar Panels

  1. Efficiency and temperature coefficient.
  2. Solar panel power rating and power tolerance.
  3. Look into the warranty period.
  4. Types of solar cells used.
  5. Size (physical size and size in watts).

Choose Solar Inverters

The second major component in the solar power system is the inverter. Once you choose your solar panels, it is easy to choose solar inverters. The first thing to consider is the inverter sizing. As a general rule, the size of your inverter must match the DC rating (watts) of your solar panels. Besides that, you must also check for its efficiency. You’ll need to check the inverter type. There are three types of inverters:

  1. String inverters
  2. Microinverters
  3. Power optimisers

String Inverter

String inverters are budget-friendly options but not the best in terms of efficiency. It works as a single central inverter that converts the DC power generated by all the panels to AC.


Microinverters are costly but ideal options for roofs that have shades and obstructions. Solar power system with microinverters has microinverters attached to each panel, and conversions take place at the site.

Power Optimisers

Power optimisers are efficient inverters that use both the technology of string and microinverters. Here, the microinverters optimise the DC power at each panel before sending them to the string inverter, which converts the DC into Ac power.

How To Choose a Reliable Solar Installer

Choosing a reliable solar installer is crucial because they are the ones who are going to design and install your solar system efficiently according to your needs. Begin your search by looking for retailers approved by Clean Energy Council (CEC).

Need Solar Installation for Your Home or Office?

Contact our CEC approved team at Always Energy for the best solar power installations and competitive prices in the Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Nambucca Heads and Taree areas of NSW.

The short answer to this question is Yes. You can completely power or run your household using solar power. However, it does require some investment. If you are ready to invest, yes, solar energy can indeed power your household day and night.

How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar power works when solar panels capture sunlight (photons) and break them down to electrons. This free flow of electrons is what we call electrical energy. This electrical energy, in turn, powers all the electric and electronic devices and appliances of the household.

A home solar power system typically consists of solar panels, solar inverters, and some may also use a solar battery. Solar batteries are a must-have if you want to go fully solar as they serve as an energy backup. So, what do solar inverters do? Solar inverters convert the generated solar energy from DC to AC, the only way to power a household.

Different Types of Solar Systems

You should know about the different solar systems first to get a rough idea of how solar PV systems can power your home.

1. On-Grid Solar System

On-grid electricity is a grid supported solar power system. It means the system only works when it is connected to the grid. So, if there is a power outage, the grid-connected solar system will not power your home. In this system, the unused excess electricity is automatically fed back to the grid, and in turn, you receive a feed-in tariff that’s fixed by your electricity provider.

2. Off-Grid Solar System

An off-grid solar system is free from the grid, and hence you can call it a stand-alone or battery-powered solar system. In this system, the solar batteries act as backup energy to power a household at night or at times of poor sunlight.

3. Hybrid Solar System

A hybrid solar system is a combination of both on-grid and off-grid solar power systems. In this system, the excess energy is first used to charge the solar batteries, and once they are fully charged, the rest is automatically exported to the grid. You can power your household using a hybrid solar system even when there is a blackout.

What Are the Major Considerations?

Now that you know about the different types of solar power systems, now let’s look into the various conditions to consider before going fully solar.

  1. How much sunlight do you get? This depends on the peak sunlight hours and also the daylight hours. A peak sun hour is an hour at which the intensity of the sunlight reaches an average of 1000 watts per square meter. Though solar panels will still produce solar power when the weather is cloudy or rainy, maximum output is only when the sun shines directly over them. So, it is essential to consider the climatic conditions and roof orientation to go fully solar.
  2. What is your daily energy consumption rate? Your energy requirement matters to determine the number of solar panels needed to power your house. It’s because solar panels are available in different sizes and power outputs, so you need to choose the right one for your needs.
  3. Are solar batteries sufficient to power you at night? Many homeowners doubt the efficiency of solar batteries when compared to on-grid systems. Perhaps, this is the most critical factor to consider if you are going fully solar. Though solar batteries provide complete energy independence from the grid, having an efficient and adequate solar power system can be a big investment with a solar battery.

Solar power can often mean your electricity bills diminish or disappear but this does require an investment. Contact our team for more information on solar installation and costs.