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Solar Learning centre

Everything about solar panels


With rising power prices and affordable solar products having solar panels and a complete solar setup have never been more affordable. In combination with government rebates and incentives solar is now the cheapest form of energy.

If designed and installed incorrectly the panels can overload due to high voltage and amps. Always look at Clean Energy Council website to find an accredited designer and installer. Fires that are linked with solar are mostly a result of poor installation of the hardware.

Prices for a solar system depend on a number of different circumstances as not every installation is the same. Factors such as single or multi story houses, tile or tin roofs, and the tilt of the frame determine how much a system will cost. Where there is shading different forms of solar technology are more appropriate than others altering cost. The best way to find out how much solar will cost you is for a free consultation/quote with Advance Solar. It is important to do your homework shop around and do research on the products that have been suggested to you.

A Solar panel setup is an electrical system and can only be installed by an ‘A Class Electrician’ who holds CEC Installer Accreditation. When having the system installed always ask the tradesman to see their A Class Electricians Licence and CEC Accreditation Licence. You should also inquire if the system design company who gives you the proposal have a CEC Accreditation Designer License. If the company selling you a system does not hold these endorsements then walk away.

Company’s holding these endorsements can be found on the CEC (Clean Energy Council) website.

The terms ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, and ‘Tier 3’ are often heard with association to solar panel manufacturers as a way of distinguishing the wheat from the chaff. This article takes a look at what these terms mean in practice and how they can help you to make an informed decision about going solar.

‘Tier rankings’ are systems through which organisations – usually financial analysis & investment firms – classify the ‘bankability’ of particular solar panel products. They are generally intended for investors in medium to large-scale solar projects, but in Australia they are commonly referred to when sales people talk to residential solar customers.


For the general day to day performance and normal operations the system owner can physically check the inverter screen to see if it is in normal or fault conditions. In most cases systems installed today have remote monitoring platforms where the home owner and installer can log into an app on their phone and have up to date data of their system. This can also send an alert to the system owner and installer if there’s a fault or issue with the system.


This is a question I get asked a lot. Every solar company and manufacturer will tell you that their products and services are the best, but our advice all comes back to research. Do your research, google the brands of solar panels and inverters that solar companies are suggesting.

Batteries are great for home owners where their usage is mostly during the evenings. While the solar system is producing power and the house has no loads to the solar, energy gets sent to the grid. By having a battery, the solar panels energy is stored and then discharged to the house loads in the evening when the home owners are home. This is pretty much just off setting the solar panel production for night time use.

In most cases yes, it all depends on how large your solar panel system is. If it’s larger than average, and in winter daylight, the system may produce more than needed to be consumed, then yes. Usually you will see a zero bill and even a credit in summer seasons and a 30% reduced bill in the winter months. One thing we cannot promise is the exact annual production as we don’t know what the weather will be in the future.

With Advance Solar a qualified electrician is who comes to your home or office to look at the property to see if solar can be installed. They can easily determine if your switchboard is up to compliance to be able to have solar connected as they based upon their electrical knowledge. A sales rep does not have the qualification’s to be able to determine this as they are not a licenced electrician and are not even allowed to open the switchboard so they will not know the vital components to look for which can be a costly mistake.

Solar panels do operate in poor light but at a lower efficiency than when it is sunny. Depending on how the solar system is designed can determine how well a system will operate in shading. For example, in generic string systems the panels are connected in series. If you have a series of 10 panels and one of those panels are shaded and cause the panel to drop to 20% efficiency, then the other 9 panels will also drop to 20% efficiency. If you have an optimised or micro inverter system each panel works individually to each other. Therefore, if a panel is shaded only that solar panel will be affected the rest will keep running at their high efficiency.

In Victoria all solar systems get inspected by an Electrical inspector. They will check to make sure the system has been installed to Australian standards. If there’s issues, they will notify the electrician and will only sign off once all issues are rectified. A certificate of electrical safety will be issued to the customer and energy safe Victoria once the electrician and inspector are both satisfied. The clean energy regulator also conducts random audits on installs.


Installing a solar system for a business is now a necessity. The business can claim the system as a business purchase and the GST associated to the price.

Advance solar offers a finance solution on solar panel systems which is vital to not disturb the cash flow of a business. The reduction on the power bills in turn pays the repayments of the system. Commercial systems on average take 3-5-year return on investment.

There’s a number of options on ways to help businesses get solar. System size can determine if a system can be a PPA (power purchase agreement) or get the instant STCs or over time LGC (large scale generation certificate) schemes.

Do your research and see which company’s do residential or commercial. Commercial systems have a large number of things to consider, so if a solar installer business is not installing in the commercial market then be aware. Large commercial systems need to be structurally and electrically engineered and also have grid protection systems installed in accordance with the distribution companies.

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