Solar Panels: The Role of Photovoltaics (PV)

Purchasing a photovoltaic (PV) solar system can be incredibly exciting but highly confusing at the same time, with many questions needing clarification in advance. What are photovoltaic systems and how do they generate energy? What are bi-directional meters and do you really need them? How about small-scale technology certificates, feed-in tariffs and other essentials that require basic understanding?

Scholz Solar can shed some light on these essentials so you will have confidence and peace of mind in your purchase decision.

Photovoltaic Power Generators: The Heart of Solar Energy

Photovoltaic (PV) panels (or solar PV as it is commonly known) are the very core of a solar system. Photovoltaic panels work by “absorbing” solar radiation from sunlight through the solar cell and transforming it into direct current (DC) which is delivered to the inverter.

The inverter then converts the DC to alternating current (AC) which in turn is delivered to the electrical grid. Photovoltaic power generation uses panels consisting of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material. As a result, PV panels generate larger quantities of electricity to power your premises.

Due to the growing demand for renewable energy sources, the manufacturing of solar cells and PV systems have advanced considerably in recent years. The market today features many different kinds of solar panels, varying in price and degrees of effectiveness. 

To ensure you have the right solar panels and system for your needs, contact our solar installation professionals. We’ll be able to recommend a solar solution based on your usage specifications.

Bi-directional Meters and Feed-In Tariff

Depending on its complexity, a solar power system can feature many additional types of equipment.

The most essential component is a bi-directional meter. A Bi-directional meter is used to measure incoming and outgoing power to a site, replacing electricity and gas meters. So if you have a solar system and plan to get paid for the power you are feeding back into the grid, one of these will need to be installed.

Bi-directional meters make a lot of sense for a solar system, especially if you don’t consume all the power generated. The power you don’t use can be monetised via a feed-in tariff (more about that one – later). Smart meters display exactly how much energy you are using and send out readings to your suppliers, ensuring accurate energy readings instead of estimated energy usage over the billing period. The rebate will depend on the state you live in, local regulations and your electricity retailer’s policies. Talk to Scholz Solar to discuss rebate requirements in your area.

Save With Solar: Certificates, Rebates and Feed-In Tariffs

Solar installation can benefit you in more ways than the mere production of clean power. In addition to saving the planet, there are special certificates, rebates and funding options to encourage the installation of photovoltaic systems.

When it comes to such facilitation, two of the most important terms you need to know include the small-scale technology certificate (STC) and the feed-in tariff.

Small-Scale Technology Certificate

You can claim an STC through the purchase of a renewable energy system or a solar hot water system. It provides you with an initial discount on the cost at point of sale. In essence, the STC is a commodity you can use to trade. 

The number of STCs assigned to you will be determined by the wattage of the panel system installed on your roof, in other words, the size of the system installed. The total number of solar credits for each system is derived through the use of a multiplier – ie it multiplies the number of STCs your system creates.

To find out more about STCs, look on the official Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator website. There are several steps you’ll need to complete in order to qualify for the STC scheme. 

Ready for an assessment today? Contact us on 1300 369 633, and via the contact us form on our website, and one of our solar experts will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.

Feed-In Tariff

The feed-in tariff or FIT has been discussed briefly already but it deserves some elaboration. 

Explained in simple terms, when a solar system generates more electricity than your household or business consumes, the excess power can be fed back into the grid, earning you extra credits on your bill.  The FIT is the rate that you’re going to be paid for the surplus solar energy you feed back to the grid. Usually, it comes in the form of a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour of surplus energy produced.

Feed-in tariffs do vary. More information about them is available on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.

There are two key requirements for receiving the FIT. Your solar system should be installed on a residential property or it should belong to a small business. In addition, the solar system has to be connected to the grid within the National Energy Market (NEM).

Getting Professional Guidance 

A high-quality solar installation can benefit your family in the form of clean energy and financial perks. Read more about solar installation costs, loans and grants here.  

You don’t have to struggle understanding all the requirements and installation specifics alone. Having the right partner to guide you through the process and execute the project on your behalf will simplify the entire endeavour.

Scholz Solar received its license back in 2010 and for more than a decade, we’ve been working on the power design and installation of various systems. We offer personalised solutions that meet your budget and your distinctive needs.

If you’re ready to make the move to better efficiency and cleaner energy. You’ll benefit from a free of charge, no-obligations proposal to get the process started.