FAQ

Do you have Questions?

Search through our extensive knowledge area below for answers to all of your commonly asked questions. If you would like further help, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (08) 8352 5588

SOLAR PANELS

Grid connect solar systems supply solar electricity through an inverter directly to the household and to the electricity grid if the system is providing more energy than the household needs. When power is supplied to the grid, the home owner usually receives a credit for that electricity – this is called a feed in tariff.

It definitely does. For example, a system with solar panels facing in a southerly direction will generate far less than one with a northerly aspect. However, east/west installations can be a good option depending on the installation scenario.

A feed in tariff is whereby a grid connected solar system owner receives a credit for the electricity their system generates by a utility or government agency. There are two different types of tariffs, gross and net. A gross feed in tariff pays a premium on all electricity produced whereas a net feed in tariff only pays on surplus energy created by the system. In Australia, net feed in tariffs are predominant.

Feed in tariffs are not paid out to customers, they are off set against your energy bills and therefore are deducted from fees charged for your electricity use.

Several aspects will need to be assessed to determine if your home is a good site for a solar system, such as orientation, space available, shadows on the space available and your current electricity usage. The best site will be one with adequate north-facing roof that has no shade.

Yes you can add to your system. Additional solar panels can be added at any time to increase generating capability, but you may need to upgrade to a larger inverter.

Solar panels will continue to produce electricity, just not as much. In a grid connect system, as you are still connected to the mains power supply, any deficit will come from the mains grid.

In order to install a grid connected solar power system at your premises, you will need to have a compatible switchboard and meter.

A meter exchange may be required after the installation of your new solar system. The energy produced by your solar system interacts with the main power grid and the loads in your house. Without an appropriate mains meter, any energy you sell to the power grid can be inaccurately measured, or even completely disregarded, greatly reducing the system’s effectiveness in reducing your energy bill. A ‘bi-directional’ meter is installed in place of the existing one-way meter, allowing the reading of energy in both directions.

The grid connect inverter will automatically shut itself off within a few milliseconds of a blackout, to prevent feeding power back into the grid, which can pose a threat to workers rectifying a blackout.

Unless you’re a trained, licensed and accredited solar panel installer in Australia, you’re not allowed to install your own solar panels. Apart from the safety risk, you may also void the various warranties, your home insurance and more.

If your panels are tilted on an angle, they will self-clean whenever it rains. However, it’s possible that dust, pollen and bird droppings may still build up on panels. If you decide to clean your panels, it’s best to simply spray them clean with a hose on a cloudy day or in the morning when the water won’t dry quickly and leave smear marks. For safety, it’s best to stand at ground level to do this.

This depends on factors like how much and when you use electricity, future retail electricity prices and more. However, it’s safe to say if your current electricity bills are swallowing up a big portion of your income, when you you switch to solar you will appreciate the immediate financial benefits solar offers. Solar panels will also deliver even bigger savings once they’re paid off. The average system (without battery) payback time is just 3-4 years in South Australia.

Shading is a term for the shadows cast onto panels by nearby chimneys, antennas, trees, buildings or even clouds – it affects the panel’s ability to generate and conduct electricity. This loss is generally in proportion to the size of the shaded area/cells, although for some imported panels, even one shaded cell can reduce an entire panel’s output. Good placement of the system can avoid most shading.

Inverters convert the direct current (DC) generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) that can be used by appliances. With a string inverter, a system will only produce as much electricity as its least productive panel. If each string of panels are facing in the same direction, a string inverter is a good, cost-effective option. Microinverters and power optimisers allow every panel in a system to work independently. These are good for homes where panels will face in multiple directions or where shading is significant.

A quality solar system can increase the value of your property. A recent survey of Australians found 77% think a house with solar panels is more valuable. In fact, 57% of homeowners would pay up to $10,000 more for a home with solar panels, while 60% would pay $10,000 or more for a home with solar panels and battery. If you’re planning to stay in your home for another 3-4 years (the average payback time for panels) before selling, this increase could be pure profit.

*Origin Good Energy Report – April 2018

That’s easy. If you’ve tried our Troubleshooting tips and suspect something is wrong just contact us, Cool or Cosy. We won’t give you the run around, unlike the 700+ solar that have gone bankrupt or closed down in Australia during this decade, we’ll still be here.

SOLAR BATTERIES

Adding a battery is optional and it depends on your electricity use, usage tariffs and any feed-in tariffs. However, in general, it’s a good investment if your feed-in tariff is low and you’d rather store the excess electricity for use at night. If most of your electricity is used in the morning and evening, not during the day, a battery can help reduce your electricity bills even more.

At the moment, it could be as little as 3 to 5 years. The SA Government offers a home battery rebate of up to $6000 depending on the battery size. Some energy retailers also offer a large rebate when you connect your battery to a Virtual Power Plant. Combined, these result in a big discount – for example, approx. 70% on a Tesla Powerwall – that could make it a very worthwhile investment.

This depends on the space available to you and the model of battery. Solar batteries can be wall or floor mounted, either outside or inside. In Australia, inside installations are mounted in a garage, storeroom or shed, not in a habitable area like a living room.

If you have a Tesla Powerwall or sonnenBatterie you can draw on their stored power during a blackout. Both of these are available from Cool or Cosy.

No. In fact, you have to get permission from your electricity distributor via a network connection agreement before you connect your panels and battery to the grid. Connecting to the grid can give you peace of mind that you’ll always have power available, particularly on consecutive cloudy days. It can also benefit you financially – if you join a Virtual Power Plant and make your battery’s stored energy available for the grid when it’s needed, you can also offset some of your battery’s cost.

In most cases, it’s very easy to add a battery. The ones we recommend, and use are ‘plug-and-play’ with our technicians completing the installation in a couple of hours or less.

INSULATION

It’s a measure of thermal resistance, which is a material’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the value, the better its thermal resistance and insulating effect.

Our Supacell blow-in cellulose insulation has lower toxicity (in fact it’s non-toxic) and is better for the environment being made from recycled materials. Our Supacell cellulose insulation is also treated so it’s fire retardant.

Yes. Insulation protects against heat transfer, while roof vents only let heat and moisture escape. Insulation will keep your home significantly warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Our Supacell insulation is fire, vermin and fungal resistant, allergy free and environmentally friendly. It won’t encourage termites or pests and there are no known health risks for installers.

ROLLER SHUTTERS

We have a range of options for roller shutters, including roller shutters that are powered by rechargeable batteries. Our battery-operated systems can be retrofitted to existing roller shutters and they offer great peace of mind in areas prone to blackouts, storms or bushfires.

Your roller shutters will only need an occasional spray with the hose to keep them clean. For any stubborn marks, only use a sponge plus a non-abrasive cleaning fluid like dishwashing detergent to remove them. Should there be a weather alert for high winds, fully close or fully open your roller shutters to avoid damaging the shutters and windows.

We custom manufacture your roller shutters to precisely fit each opening. The maximum width is 3600mm (3.6m), while the maximum height is 3000mm (3m). To maintain the quality and effectiveness of our products, the maximum area each roller shutter can cover is 7.2m2. As a rough guide, all standard size double hung or sliding windows plus most sliding door configurations can be fitted with roller shutters.

Our roller shutters come in a range of powder coated colours, with 7 box colours and 11 slat colours available as standard.