Considering installing solar modules (some call them solar panels) on your roof at home? You may already be in the process of gaining quotes or you may simply still be in the consideration phase. Like anything however, that “cheap” or “easy” quote may not always end up being the best option down the line.
Solar modules have a fairly long lifespan which is one of the reasons they are so popular – they tend to have a 25-year power warranty which covers them to produce at least 80% of rated output for the life of the warranty. The central inverter will last between 10-15 years before needing replacing.
But how you can be sure you are getting good quality solar panels and an experienced installer? First let’s see what the process is when a non-professional or solar retailer is contracted to install your solar modules.
If you contact a solar retailer for your solar panel quote, often they are putting together a non-qualified design and quote, because, more often than not, they aren’t an electrician or certified Clean Energy Council designers. If you receive a design and quote without someone visiting your property, it’s a good idea to take a further look into their qualifications.
If you go ahead with their quote, they will employ a subcontractor to install the system on your property (usually without visiting your property first), who will install the solar modules without a proper design. Once installed, a Clean Energy Council accredited electrician connects the wiring and signs an electrical safety certificate.
This might sound all well and good, but without visiting your home or business prior to designing the layout of your solar panels, you are likely to end up with incorrectly mounted panels, which in turn, affects the efficiency of your solar panels – you may not end up with the full capacity working for you.
So, what difference will using a professional solar installation company make?
Firstly, a professional installer will visit your home or business to determine the best placement for your solar modules. They will inspect your roof, take into consideration whether your home is suitable for solar modules (you need to have a significant amount of sun on your roof throughout the day), and ensure your roof will cope with the weight and wind loading of your solar modules .
They will then take into consideration your electricity usage, and the size and number of solar modules that will suit your home. Too few solar modules and getting solar is a pointless exercise; too many and you may well just be wasting money. A professional solar installation company will also explain to you the different types of solar modules as well as explain why they recommend a particular type or brand over another.
When it comes time to install, the company will use their own experienced and qualified staff members, not unqualified contractors. They will do the electricity connection themselves and organise the electrical safety certificate.
Often, having your solar modules installed by a professional and experienced team will save you money both initially and in the long run. Initially there is often a lower cost as the installer doesn’t need to hire contractors to do the work. This saves you money on labour costs. In the long run, having a professional installation will save you money on damage to your roof, as well as replacing solar modules that don’t live up to expectations – you will get a better all-round product that is more suitable to your home or business.
What You Need to Know Before Solar Module Installation
* Know What You Want to Heat or Power– before getting quotes, you need to know exactly what you want to use solar power for. Is it just to heat the hot water used in your home, or do you want to use it for much of your electricity as well?
* Be aware of your environment – depending on where you live, your installation process may need to be done in a specific way. For example, if you live in a cyclone area your panels may need to be installed in a certain way and your mounting system may also need to be certified.
* Ask about maintenance costs – maintaining your solar panels is essential in ensuring you get the full lifespan out of them. You should have annual inspections to ensure there is no damage, and cleaning. Inverter replacement in our experience would be approximately every eight to ten years.
* Feed-in Tariffs – investigate whether you are eligible for feed-in tariffs for feeding excess electricity back into the grid. This is what can make solar panels well worth investing in
If you’re looking for a professional solar installation on your home, call the team at PRF Electrical. We are a qualified electrical contractor and solar installer, utilising quality solar modules and inverters. We only install quality Tier One products that have a good life expectancy. All installations are signed off with the Clean Energy Council, Synergy and Western Power. With PRF Electrical, you can be sure you’re getting a qualified and experienced team installing your new solar panels.