More people are investing in solar panels across the globe, so why should Australians stay behind? More than 2.68 million rooftop solar panels have been installed in Australia. And why not? Solar technology has undergone a massive transformation, starting with cheaper rates and higher energy production.
As a result, we are sharing eight questions to ask yourself before installing rooftop solar panels. Although solar energy is clean and green, you should consider a few things. Here is everything you need to know about installing rooftop solar panels in Australia.
Things to Consider Before Installing Rooftop Solar Panels
Before jumping to clean energy, understanding different factors involved in setting up rooftop solar panels is crucial. Consider these questions to learn whether you are fit to install solar panels on your rooftop.
1. Consider your roof’s shape.
Roofs come in different shapes and sizes, but your primary concern should be the size of your roof. You need ample space to fit enough solar panels that cover your energy needs. Contact your solar panel provider for that information. Simple Solar Living can help you out with this. Plus, you might need a solar battery to power your house through the night if you plan to go off-grid. For that, you need additional space in the house or on the roof.
2. How much weight can your roof handle?
Solar panels are heavy and can cause damage to your roof. Instead of saving on energy bills, you could end up paying roof repair expenses if you don’t figure this out. If your roof can’t handle the additional weight because it has a weak structure, it might collapse. It’s dangerous and not to mention costly. It’s best to have a professional solar panel installation company evaluate the structure and strength of your roof. If your roof is incapable of supporting your desired number of solar panels, the installation company might recommend a few ways to make it possible.
3. What’ll happen when it rains?
Addressing the elephant in the room is important before investing in solar panels. Water runs down your roof and into the sewerage system when it rains. However, solar panels might change the direction or prevent water from running down. This can lead to roof damage, mold infestation, and even leakage.
It’s best to share these concerns with your solar panel contractor. Your installation agent will develop a plan that won’t stop the water flow. But it’s crucial to share this concern because it’ll help you evaluate whether you are working with professionals or amateurs.
4. Which direction is your roof?
Solar panels must be placed in a specific direction to generate maximum power. Some solar panels installation companies suggest placing your panels facing south, while others recommend west is the best point.
Regardless of this information, everything depends on the slope of your roof. It’s not ideal for placing solar panels in the opposite direction to the slope of your roof. But a professional solar panel company might have a few solutions up its sleeve.
5. What happens when mother nature is angry?
While there are ways to safely allow water to pass from your roof, what about nature’s other surprises? What happens to your solar panels when lightning hits or thunder roars? Installing a safety barrier is an option, but its placement has to be strategic so that it doesn’t block the sun.
Moreover, insurance companies share some of the cost of repair. But you have to consider this thought before investing in rooftop solar panels.
6. How will your solar panels connect to the grid?
Some homeowners might consider this as an unusual question, but it’s equally important. When connecting with a local utility, there are several factors you must account for, such as.
- How long will it take?
- Do you have to pay additional charges?
- When will you be credited for the energy you produce
- How will you be credited for the energy?
Tackling these questions before getting a solar setup for your roof is a good idea. Otherwise, you might have to figure things out on your own.
7. What types of solar panel setup should I get?
The two dominant solar panel types in the market are “photovoltaic” solar panels that harness the sun’s energy with help from their array of cells. These cells collect sunlight and convert it into electricity to power your house. The second type is “thermal”, which uses sunlight to heat water and air inside.
Depending on your location, you should benefit from one of the two options. For instance, if you live in an area where heating fuel is expensive, you can benefit from a thermal solar panel system.
Is your contractor trustworthy?
This is the most important question because solar panels involve the logistics of home improvement combined with electric work. You are ideally looking for someone who has not little but ample experience in both fields. After all, would you hire an electrician who has no idea about AC/DC current?