What is Solar Power and Energy Storage?

You may be new to the whole concept of solar energy and its positive impact on the environment and customer’s electricity bills. Here’s a straightforward explanation to get you started on your solar journey. The term ‘solar power’ usually refers to the technology used to harness the sun’s energy and make it useable. Today, that technology produces less than one-tenth of one percent of global energy demand but that is all changing as the components of solar power become cheaper.

Australia leads the world in household solar panel installations with more than one in seven Australian households using solar power to save on their bills. Now the energy-saving revolution has advanced over the last 2 years as battery storage has made solar power even more useful for every type of household. Batteries from Tesla, LG and Sonnen are now being installed by hundreds of Australians every week. Before solar battery storage, excess energy from the sun was sent back to the electricity grid for very little financial return. Now, with battery storage, solar owners can take charge of the sun’s energy for use anytime they need it, especially in the evenings and overnight.

How Solar Power Works

Sunlight (photons) is absorbed by the solar panels on your roof. The silicon wafers and the conductors (metal strips) that make up the solar panels convert the photons into Direct Current (DC) electricity. This DC electricity cannot be used in your home and therefore needs to be converted to an Alternating Current (AC), which is done by an inverter. The energy that is created can then be used to power your appliances, stored for later use or fed back into the grid.

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How much energy will my solar panels generate?

The output of a solar system depends on its size. The most common household systems today are 5 kiloWatts although many property owners now install systems of up to 10 kiloWatts or more. The table below shows the average daily production of some common grid-connected systems throughout Australia. A typical Australian house consumes around 21 kiloWatt hours (kWh) per day.

A 5kW Smart Energy system with a Tesla, Sonnen or LG Chem battery is capable of producing 22kWh of solar energy and storing 8-16kWh for night time usage. Solar panels produce more energy in summer than they do in winter.

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