Solar FAQs

Our experts at UV Power have gone ahead and answered some of the most burning questions about solar from residents in Brisbane, Queensland. Don't find the answers you're looking for? Send a request for more information in the form below or give us a call to chat to one of our solar experts.

Solar systems

How does solar energy work?

Solar energy works by harnessing sunlight and converting it into electricity through photovoltaic (PV) panels. These panels contain silicon cells that create an electric field when exposed to sunlight, generating direct current (DC) electricity. This electricity is then converted into alternating current (AC) by an inverter, making it suitable for powering your home.

How can I save money from installing a solar system in Brisbane?

Reduced Electricity Bills: With solar panels, your electricity bills will decrease as you rely more on the energy generated by your solar system rather than purchasing electricity from the grid.

Net Metering: You may still receive electricity bills, but they will be significantly reduced. This is because of net metering, which allows you to offset the cost of the electricity you draw from the grid with the excess energy your solar panels produce.

Choosing the right size solar system

To determine the ideal kilowatt-hour (kWh) sized solar system, it's essential to consider your household's energy requirements, available roof space, daily energy consumption, peak sun hours in Brisbane, and future energy needs. At UV Power, we can recommend a customised solar system size that aligns with your energy goals.

Questions to ask solar installers

When choosing a solar installer, it's important to ask about their experience, certifications, warranties, and the brands of panels and inverters they offer. Additionally, inquire about their installation process and after-sales service to ensure a seamless experience.

Solar system prices

Solar system prices vary based on factors such as system size, quality of components, and installation complexity. At UV Power, we offer transparent pricing and high-quality systems designed to maximise your return on investment.

Facing solar panels: East vs West

In Brisbane, facing solar panels to the north generally yields optimal energy production. However, if north-facing space is limited, panels facing east or west can still generate significant power, albeit with slightly reduced efficiency.

The cost of solar

When considering the cost of solar, it's important to take into account not only the initial investment but also the long-term savings from reduced electricity bills and potential incentives and rebates. For a quality system you can expect to spend anywhere from $7k-$30k.

Federal incentives and rebates

The Australian government offers various incentives and rebates to encourage the adoption of solar energy. These can include Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and other financial incentives that can significantly lower the upfront cost of installing a solar system.

STC rebate scheme

The Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) rebate scheme allows homeowners to claim a tradeable certificate for eligible solar systems, providing a point-of-sale discount on the system's cost. UV Power can guide you through the process of claiming these rebates.

How long does the solar system installation process take?

The installation timeline can vary based on the complexity of the project and the size of the solar system.

On average, a typical residential solar installation in Brisbane can be completed within a day.

Feed-in tariffs

Feed-in tariffs enable you to receive credits for excess solar energy your system feeds back into the grid. Understanding the feed-in tariff rates and policies in Brisbane is crucial for maximising the benefits of your solar investment.

Best brands of solar systems

At UV Power, we offer a range of reputable solar brands known for their quality and performance. We can help you compare different solar systems and provide insights based on customer reviews and industry standards.

Smallest sized system for lowering power bills

The best way to determine the smallest system you can install to lower your power bill involves analysing energy usage patterns and available roof space. We can recommend the smallest sized system that aligns with your budget while delivering tangible savings on electricity expenses.

Rebates for solar systems in Queensland

With over 14 years of solar experience within our team, UV Power can guide homeowners through the available rebates, incentives, and feed-in tariff programs offered by the Queensland government, empowering you to make informed decisions about the financial aspects of adopting solar energy.

What maintenance is required for solar systems in Brisbane?

Solar panels generally require minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning to remove dust and debris can help optimise their performance.

It's advisable to have a professional solar technician inspect your solar system periodically to ensure everything is functioning efficiently.

At UV Power we offer solar health checks with an in-depth report to ensure your solar system is still meeting your energy consumption needs and everything is functioning correctly.

Are there any specific regulations or permits required for installing solar systems in Brisbane?

It's essential to check with local authorities and comply with any regulations or permits related to solar system installations in Brisbane.

Your solar installer, such as UV Power, can guide you through the permitting process and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

How can I maximise the benefits of solar energy in Brisbane?

Consider energy storage options such as batteries to store excess solar energy for use during peak times or at night.

Explore the possibility of feeding excess energy back into the grid through net metering or feed-in tariffs to further offset your electricity costs.

Additional monitoring devices for solar systems

While some residents may already have a mobile app for monitoring their solar system's usage, the necessity of additional monitoring devices is a common query. Exploring the benefits of enhanced monitoring through additional devices can provide valuable insights into the performance and efficiency of your solar installation.

Utilising excess power when not at home

Any surplus electricity produced by your solar panels when you're not at home is fed back into the grid. This excess energy can be utilised by other consumers, and you can benefit from feed-in tariffs for this exported electricity.

Solar panels

Number of solar panels needed

The number of solar panels needed to meet your household's energy requirements depends on factors such as energy consumption, roof size, and solar panel efficiency. As experienced solar installers, we can assess these factors and provide tailored recommendations for the optimal number of solar panels to meet your specific energy needs.

The benefits of the choosing the right solar panels in Queensland

  • Reduce electricity bills: Solar panels can significantly lower your electricity bills by generating your own clean and renewable energy.
  • Environmental impact: By using solar energy, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.
  • Government incentives: In Brisbane, there are various rebates and incentives available for solar installations, making it a cost-effective investment.

Roof slope degree for installation

The ideal roof slope for solar panel installation typically ranges between 15 to 40 degrees, depending on the specific solar panel technology and the unique environmental conditions.

How much sunlight does Brisbane receive, and is it enough for solar panels to be effective?

Brisbane receives abundant sunlight throughout the year, making it an ideal location for solar panel installations.

The city experiences long hours of sunshine, especially during the summer months, which maximises the effectiveness of solar panels.

What factors should I consider before installing solar panels in Brisbane?

  1. Roof suitability: Assess whether your roof receives ample sunlight and can accommodate solar panels without shading issues.
  2. System size: Determine the right system size based on your energy consumption and available roof space. If you're not sure one of our solar installers can advise on the best options to suit your energy needs.
  3. Budget and financing: Consider the upfront cost, available financing options, and potential return on investment. At UV Power, we partner with a number of green loan providers easing the cost of installing solar systems for home owners, landlords and business owners of commercial sites.

Functionality of solar panels at night

Solar panels rely on sunlight to generate electricity. Therefore, they do not produce electricity at night. However, your energy needs during the night can be covered by stored energy from the grid or a battery storage system.

Maintenance and cleaning of solar panels

Ensuring the efficiency of your solar panels involves some maintenance considerations. While solar panels are relatively low-maintenance, regular cleaning can help ensure efficient electricity production. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the panels, affecting their performance. Periodic cleaning can optimise their output.

Solar panel performance during winter, cloudy, or snowy days

Residents often ask about the functionality of solar panels during adverse weather conditions. Here's what you should know:

  • Performance During Winter: Solar panels still work during winter, albeit with reduced efficiency due to shorter daylight hours and the sun's lower angle. However, modern solar panels are designed to perform well even in low-light conditions.
  • Cloudy or Snowy Days: While cloud cover and snow can reduce the output of solar panels, they can still generate electricity. The decrease in efficiency during these conditions is factored into the system's design and the expected output.

Electric Vehicles & EV Chargers

Why you need an EV home charger

An EV home charger is a device that allows you to charge your electric vehicle at home, providing a convenient and efficient way to recharge your EV while your car is in the garage. This eliminates the need for frequent trips to public charging stations, providing a hassle-free charging experience.

Types of EV home chargers available

There are primarily two types of home chargers available:

  • Level 1 Charger: This charger plugs into a general power outlet and can provide up to 2.4kW of charging. It is the basic charger that comes with most electric vehicles.
  • Level 2 Charger: These chargers provide higher charging capacities, offering up to 7kW of charging for single-phase homes and 22kW for three-phase homes. Level 2 chargers are more efficient and can significantly reduce charging times compared to Level 1 chargers.

Picking the right EV charger for your system

As electric vehicles gain popularity in Brisbane, having an EV charger at home can be highly convenient. UV Power can provide expert guidance on selecting the right charger for your vehicle and home setup.

EV charger reviews

We can also offer insights into various EV charger models available in the market, helping you make an informed decision based on factors such as charging speed, EV compatibility, and user reviews.

EV charging locations

In addition to home charging, knowing the locations of public EV charging stations in Brisbane is essential for planning longer journeys. We can help you locate these stations and understand the charging infrastructure in the city.

Installation costs of electric vehicle chargers

The installation costs of EV chargers vary based on factors such as electrical infrastructure, charger type, and installation complexity. UV Power can provide a comprehensive assessment to determine the installation cost for your specific requirements.

Choosing the right electric car

Choosing the right electric car involves considering factors such as range, charging infrastructure, and personal preferences. We can assist you in evaluating different electric car models and finding the best fit for your lifestyle and budget.

How much do electric cars cost to purchase?

The cost of electric cars varies depending on the model, features, and battery capacity. We can help you understand the upfront costs and potential long-term savings associated with owning an electric vehicle.

Charging an electric vehicle at home

Charging an electric vehicle at home is convenient and cost-effective. We can guide you through the process of installing a home charging station and provide insights into charging times and energy consumption.

Installing your EV charger outside in Queensland

For EV chargers, outdoor installation depends on the specific model and its compatibility with outdoor use. Consider the following factors:

  • Electrical Connection Capacity: Ensure your building has the electrical capacity to support high-power EV chargers, especially for commercial grid supplies.
  • Smart Load-Balancing Chargers: Consider using smart load-balancing EV chargers for commercial grid supplies to prevent overloading.

While outdoor installation of EV chargers is generally acceptable, it's essential to adhere to specific installation guidelines provided by manufacturers to ensure optimal performance and longevity of these components in outdoor conditions.

Using a regular household outlet and compatibility with different EV brands

While Level 1 chargers can be used with a regular household outlet, Level 2 chargers are more efficient and provide faster charging. Portable charging cables that plug into standard 240-volt household outlets can be used for different EV brands and models, but they are much slower than dedicated home EV chargers.

Charging time and speed

The time to fully charge an EV at home depends on factors such as battery size, charger power, and the starting battery state of charge. On average, it can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours for a full charge. The charging speed at home depends on the charger's power level and your EV's capability.

  • For single-phase power supply homes, 7kW chargers typically provide approximately 40 km of range per hour of charge.
  • For three-phase power supply homes, 22kW chargers provide approximately 130 km of range per hour of charge.

Safety and Built-in Features

Home chargers are designed with safety in mind and typically have safety features like overcurrent protection, ground fault detection, and temperature monitoring to ensure safe and reliable charging for your EV. As an experienced solar installer, we prioritise the safety of the charging infrastructure to provide peace of mind to EV owners.

Impact of EV chargers on electricity bills and installation cost

Charging your vehicle at home will impact your energy consumption, potentially leading to higher electricity bills. However, some energy retailers may offer alternative tariffs or advise on charging schedules to minimise this impact. The cost of installing a home EV charger in Brisbane can vary, but significant cost savings are possible, especially if you have time-of-use electricity rates or a solar system installed.

As a solar installer with extensive experience, UV Power can offer professional guidance on the installation and optimal usage of home EV chargers, ensuring a seamless integration with your existing electrical and solar systems.

Solar inverters

Recommended solar inverters and their cost

The selection of solar inverters is crucial for the overall performance of a solar system. We can provide valuable guidance on the recommended solar inverters suitable for use in homes in Brisbane, considering factors such as efficiency, reliability, and compatibility with the chosen solar panel technology.

Best quality solar inverter

When researching the best quality solar inverters, it's essential to consider factors such as efficiency, reliability, warranty, and compatibility with your specific solar setup. Opting for reputable brands and models known for their quality can significantly impact the overall performance of your solar system.

Reach out to us at UV Power if you would like more information on the best quality solar inverter to match your system.

Space needed for inverter and/or solar battery installation

Dependent on the system that matches your energy needs, we can provide detailed information about the physical installation requirements of inverters and batteries. The space required can range from 1m - 2m.

Installing your solar inverter outside in Queensland

The suitability of outdoor installation for solar inverters depends on the type of inverter. Here's what you need to consider:

  • Type of Inverter: String inverters can be installed indoors or outdoors based on homeowner requirements and installer recommendations.
  • Weather-Resistant Enclosures: Most grid-tied or string inverters are designed for outdoor use and enclosed in weather-resistant enclosures to protect against environmental factors such as dirt, rain, and snow.

While outdoor installation of solar inverters is generally acceptable, it's essential to adhere to specific installation guidelines provided by manufacturers to ensure optimal performance and longevity of these components in outdoor conditions.

Specialty covers for outside solar inverters

At UV Power, we offer specialty covers designed to provide additional protection for solar inverters when installed outdoors. These covers are tailored to withstand the environmental elements, ensuring the longevity and performance of your solar components.

By considering these factors and utilising specialty covers, you can ensure the efficient and long-lasting performance of your outdoor solar installations.

Optimisation for glancing light

For panels receiving glancing light, residents often question whether an optimised inverter is necessary or if a straight string inverter would suffice. It's important to understand the impact of shading and varying light angles on solar panel performance and how different types of inverters can address these challenges.

3-Phase inverters and solar panel installations

Residents with a 3-phase electricity supply often seek information on how it affects the installation of solar panels. Understanding the compatibility of inverters with different electrical setups is crucial to ensure a seamless integration of solar power into your existing electrical infrastructure.

Solar batteries

What is a solar home battery?

A solar home battery is a storage device that stores energy generated by solar panels. It enables homeowners to utilise solar energy even when the sun isn't shining, such as during the night or on cloudy days.

How a solar battery works

Solar batteries function by storing excess energy produced by your solar panels. This stored energy can then be used as needed, providing power to your home during times when the solar panels are generating less electricity than you are consuming.

Benefits of adding a solar battery to your solar system

The benefits of solar batteries include energy independence, backup power during outages, and the ability to store excess solar energy for use during peak periods or at night.

Do I need a solar battery if I have solar panels?

While not a necessity, a solar battery can significantly enhance the efficiency of your solar panel system. It allows you to store excess energy for later use, reducing your reliance on the grid and saving on electricity costs.

Choosing the right solar battery and its cost

Prices have significantly decreased in 2024, with most brands experiencing a 20% reduction compared to last year. The cost varies depending on the type, capacity, and brand of the battery.

Selecting the right solar battery involves considering factors such as capacity, depth of charge, round-trip efficiency, and warranty. At UV Power, we assist homeowners in Brisbane with evaluating their energy storage needs and recommending the most suitable solar battery for integration with their existing solar system. Additionally, We provide insights into the cost vs benefits of adding a solar battery to your system.

How long do solar batteries last?

The lifespan of a solar battery varies depending on the type and brand. The Lithium Ion Phosphate models have an average warranty of 10 years. The expected lifespan is greater than this and will depend on various factors such as installation location and usage cycles.

The types of solar batteries available

The most common types are lead-acid, lithium-ion, and saltwater batteries. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are the most popular due to their higher efficiency and longer lifespan.

Installing your solar battery outside in Queensland

When installing solar batteries outdoors, it's crucial to ensure they are housed in weatherproof enclosures and placed in shaded spots away from direct sunlight and potential water sources. Here are some essential factors to consider:

  • Weatherproof Enclosures: Ensure that the solar batteries are housed in enclosures designed to withstand environmental elements such as rain and humidity.
  • Shaded Location: Place the batteries in shaded areas to protect them from direct sunlight, which can affect their performance and longevity.

While outdoor installation of solar batteries is generally acceptable, it's essential to adhere to specific installation guidelines provided by manufacturers to ensure optimal performance and longevity of these components in outdoor conditions.

Specialty covers for outside solar batteries

At UV Power, we offer specialty covers designed to provide additional protection for solar batteries when installed outdoors. These covers are tailored to withstand the environmental elements, ensuring the longevity and performance of your solar components.

By considering these factors and utilising specialty covers, you can ensure the efficient and long-lasting performance of your outdoor solar installations.

What additional costs are there for installing solar batteries?

Installation must strictly adhere to Australian Standards, which may incur additional costs. AS/NZS 5139:2019 provides requirements and guidelines for the safe installation of battery systems connected to inverter energy systems. To ensure accurate quoting, a site inspection may be requested before finalising the quote.

Are solar batteries environmentally friendly?

Solar batteries are more environmentally friendly than relying on fossil fuels, as they allow for greater use of renewable solar energy. However, their environmental impact also depends on how they are manufactured and disposed of at the end of their life.

How much maintenance do solar batteries require?

Solar batteries generally require minimal maintenance. However, regular checks are important to ensure they are operating correctly. Some batteries, like lead-acid, may require more maintenance than others, like lithium-ion.

Are Lithium batteries the best option?

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries are considered better in several aspects compared to other types of lithium-ion batteries due to their safety, stability, long cycle life, environmental friendliness, wide temperature range, flat discharge curve, low self-discharge rate, and cost-effectiveness.

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