SOLAR PV PANELS FAQ

How do I use the electricity from an Diamond Cell Solar photovoltaic (PV) system?
After passing through a component called an inverter, the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar photovoltaic panels is converted to alternating current 240 Volts (AC), the type of electricity that you normally access through the outlets in your home or business facility. This AC electricity is either fed into your home for you to use, or is fed back into the electricity grid if you are generating more than you are consuming.  You receive credits (feed-in tariffs) for that excess electricity which are offset against the cost of power that you take from the grid when needed. 

Are batteries required for my Diamond Cell Solar PV system?
No, excess solar energy generated on your roof is automatically fed back into the electricity grid via your inverter. Your solar system also automatically sources electricity from the grid when you are not generating sufficient electricity from your solar panels.

Will I still get power at night?
Solar photovoltaic panels require sunlight to produce solar electricity so no solar system will produce electricity during the night. You will use mains electricity at night however the credits you receive for excess electricity generated in the day will be offset against the cost of this.

Does the system still work on cloudy days?
The amount of solar electricity produced by your panels is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight available at any given moment. Solar systems can still generate around 50% of their peak output under bright overcast conditions but heavy clouds which significantly reduce brightness during the day will further reduce performance.

Will the panels still work during a blackout?
By law, any solar electricity system without generator backup must shut down until utility power returns in order to assure a safe working environment for utility line workers. Therefore, your solar system will switch off until mains electricity is restored.

Do I still need electricity from the mains?
You still need electricity from the mains because, depending on the size of the solar system you choose and your consumption of electricity, your solar panels may not produce enough electricity to supply your household's needs every day. Also, because the system only generates power when the sun is shining, you will need mains electricity whenever there is insufficient sunlight.

Is grid connect solar power the same as solar hot water?
No. Solar hot water uses heat from the sun to heat your water. Your Grid Connect Diamond Cell Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System generates free electricity directly from the sun providing a renewable and clean energy source. Click here to find out more about solar hot water systems.

Can I hook this up to my pool?
Pools are usually heated with solar hot water panels with the water running through the solar panels and being heated by the sun. If your pool is heated by electricity then and you can use your Diamond Cell Solar PV system to provide that electricity.

Will an Diamond Cell Solar PV system cover all my electricity needs?
In most cases, a solar system can be appropriately sized to meet all of your electricity needs, but it isn't necessary for a solar system to cover all of your needs in order to be cost-effective. Our Solar Consultant will assist you in deciding what size solar system is best for your home.

How much electricity will an Diamond Cell Solar PV system produce?
The amount of solar electricity generated depends on the number of panels on your roof, weather conditions and any shading or dust which may settle on your solar panels (before being washed off by rain). These factors can all reduce performance of the solar panels.

Can I add more solar panels to my system later?
Yes, most systems can be upgraded with additional solar panels depending on which solar system size you choose and the capacity of the inverter. If you wish to increase your solar system significantly at a later date it is better to install a larger inverter now.

How much CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) will my solar power system save?
An average Diamond Cell Solar PV solar system will save almost 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide being pumped into the environment every year whilst saving you money on every kWh produced.

Can solar panels be placed somewhere else besides my roof?
Solar panels can be placed just about anywhere there is a constant source of sunlight. They should also be angled so they face the sun as much as possible during the day which is why your roof is usually the ideal spot. However, solar panels can be mounted on pergolas, sheds and verandas too, so long as they can support the solar panels safely.

Are there government rebates?
Every renewable energy system creates a number of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) when it is purchased. These RECs are like a form of electronic currency with a market value which can be traded. Most solar power suppliers will offer to buy the RECs from you when you purchase the system as a sort of rebate.  Your Diamond Cell Solar consultant can explain the rebates specific to your area and how to access them.

What is the 'Feed-In Tariff'?
Feed-in tariffs are imposed by the government on energy retailers, forcing them to buy solar electricity generated by their customers at a premium rate. Feed-in tariffs either credit you for every kilowatt hour your system produces (gross feed-in) or only the excess kilowatt hours which are not used (net feed-in). Feed-in tariffs are different in each state: you can read more about these here (diverts customer to a spreadsheet or a government web site).

How durable are the solar panels once they are on the roof?
Diamond Cell Solar PV systems are very durable. Our solar panels have passed very strict performance standards and criteria to protect the solar panels from strong winds, hail damage and environmental exposure. After all, they are designed an built to be installed on roofs and to withstand the harsh Australian environment.

Do Diamond Cell Solar PV systems come with a warranty?
Yes, the solar panels have a warranty of 25 years, and the inverter has a warranty of 10 years.

Does Diamond Cell Solar use accredited installers?
All Diamond Cell Solar installers who sign off on the finished installed solar system must be qualified electricians with Solar Power Grid Connect Photovoltaic System qualifications endorsed by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).