So you’ve decided to get solar panels? A 2kW solar system is an ideal size for a small household of 1-2 people and should include the panels, a mounting system, an inverter and monitoring.
First thing’s first, you’re going to need solar panels! Solar panels sit on the roof converting sunlight into electricity and while all solar panels might look similar, there are actually many brands available.
When considering solar panel options, look at the efficiency of the panels and the warranty that comes with them. While you’ll pay more for high-end solar panels, they will generally have a higher efficiency rating (which means you get more power per square metre) and come with longer warranties.
You should look for a product warranty of at least 10 years and a performance warranty of 25 years. Choose a brand that is well supported in Australia.
Mounting your solar panels
It might sound like a no brainer, but your solar panels need to be securely attached to your roof. That’s what the mounting is for.
Again, there are a range of brands available so make sure you go with one that is wind certified – you don’t want your panels getting blown off the roof!
Inverter to convert your power from DC to AC
Solar panels convert sunlight into DC (direct current) power however your home runs on AC (alternating current) power. So the inverter converts the DC power produced by your solar panels into AC power to be used in your home or exported to the electricity grid.
There are two types of inverters: string inverters (one unit that sits on your wall) and microinverters (small units that sit on the back of each individual solar panel).
String inverters tend to be less expensive, however microinverters perform better when some panels are in shade. For this reason, it could be worth investing in microinverters if shade is an issue on your roof.
The inverter works hard all day every day so if any part of your solar system is likely to fail in the first decade, it’s the inverter. For ongoing support, look for an inverter that comes with a warranty of five years.
Monitoring of your solar system
Most inverters come with a monitoring option which needs to be paired with your home’s wifi. Your installer should set this up for you.
While it’s not required to get your system up and running, it’s well worth having some form of monitoring so you can see what your solar system’s doing. If you don’t get it with your solar system, some companies offer monitoring when you get your electricity from them.
At DC Power Co, we offer a free solar app designed to help our customers track their energy usage and solar exports. Check out the app for more information about what it can do for solar households.
Ready to get solar panels or a battery?
Whether you’re ready for a personalised solar panel and/or battery quote or would just like to find out more, visit our products page to request a call back from one of our solar experts. We offer independent advice, quality products and experienced installers and all of our products are covered by competitive warranties.