How do I select the right Solar System?

Size does matter and so does Quality

It's important to to work out how much power you need, before you select a solar system. This ensures that you can get the best savings on your power costs.
All you need is one of your electricity bills to help you work out what you need and an understanding of what solar systems sizes will mean to you.

Electrical power is measured in Watts (W) and kilowatts (kW which is 1000 W). Use your bills to calculate your average energy usage in kWh (kW per hour) on a monthly basis. Then divide this number by 30 to get your household’s average daily kWh usage. Solar systems are classified by their peak solar output which is the best performance they can achieve in perfect conditions - a lovely sunny day with no shading and maximum sunshine.

Household solar systems are usually between 1kW and 5kW in size. This sizing represents the best power output they can achieve in perfect sunny conditions. Therefore, a 5kW system can produce more power than a 3kW in the same conditions. A solar system produces less power in less optimum conditions such as, at other times of the day when the sun is further away or when there is shading or cloud cover.

You need to consider when you use power and how much you use. At different times of the day, you use varying amounts of power depending on what electrical appliances, lights, air-conditioning, heating, pool pumps, etc. that you are using. Your Country Solar consultant can help you assess this and how many solar panels you will need to cover your requirements adequately. You also need to consider how many panels can fit on your roof.

Other factors to take into account when you are selecting a system include:

  • Your roof’s angle and orientation - this determines how much sunlight will fall onto the panels throughout the day and therefore how much power can be generated, eg. an unshaded, north-facing roof will enable your solar system to deliver a better power output.
  • Efficiency of the panels - a higher quality panel will be able to generate more power from the available sunlight than a poorer quality panel.