Solar Panel Installation: What You Need to Know

Converting to solar power is becoming ever more popular across the world, and Australia is no exception. This is driven by increasing environmental concerns, combined with the cost-savings that switching to solar offers. The Victorian Government also provides rebates for solar power installation, through its VIC Solar Homes programme.


We have a very good climate for generating solar power, and our Clean Energy Council has become a world leader in advocating and enabling residential solar panels installation. Among other things, it oversees the design and installation of solar systems in Australia, and accredits solar installers. This is to ensure that you can rely on certified professionals for solar panels installation in Victoria and the rest of the country.


The benefits of solar power installation


While solar panel installation does require a relatively high initial investment, solar power offers several concrete benefits for homeowners and for our society at large. These far outweigh the short-term costs, and if you want solar installation in Melbourne, you’ll also get the VIC Solar Homes rebate.


Environmental benefits

Solar power is “clean energy”. It doesn’t create greenhouse gas emissions and doesn’t rely on the burning of unsustainable and environmentally damaging fossil fuels. It’s a completely renewable energy source. 


This is the most important benefit of solar panel installation, as we all try to do our bit in converting to more sustainable energy sources and reducing our carbon footprint.


Electricity bill savings


With a solar installation you won’t draw much power from the electricity grid during the day, if any. Your solar panels should provide it all – depending on how heavily you use electricity, of course. Your home appliances, like your fridge, microwave and dishwasher will all run on the solar power.


It’s also common practice to combine the panels with a battery. This will allow you to store any extra power they generate that you don’t use, to supplement your electricity needs at night.


As a result you can expect a noticeable reduction in your electricity bill. The amount you’ll save depends on how much power your solar panels generate and how much additional electricity you use.


Future-proofing against energy cost spikes


The supply and cost of fossil fuels are vulnerable to market conditions and wider geopolitical affairs. Fuel or coal shortages can cause sudden rises in energy prices, for example. Political developments can also have an impact on supply, such as when shipping routes are disrupted by regional conflicts. 


Having a comprehensive solar installation can cushion you against all of this to a certain extent. The sun’s energy obviously isn’t affected by such events at all. You won’t necessarily be immune to them, but dramatic energy price increases won’t affect you as much as they otherwise would.


Increase your appeal of your house


Given the rising demand for rooftop solar power, paying for solar panel installation is more than just an eco-friendly way of reducing your electricity bill. It’s also an investment. Going solar will increase the value of your property and your house will be more appealing if you want to sell later. It’s likely to make it quicker and easier to find a buyer.


Contribute to the electricity grid


You can feed any extra solar power that you don’t use into the electricity grid. This is known as “exporting to the grid”, where you sell your excess power to your electricity retailer. 


To do so you’ll need to be approved by and registered with Energy Networks Australia, the organisation that manages our national electricity distribution at state level.


The basics of solar installation


Full solar installations usually have five main components, although some of them are optional.

Solar panels


Solar panels are the most visible parts of a solar installation. These are the sheets of photo-voltaic (PV) cells covered in glass that you see on rooftops. They work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into direct current (DC) energy.  


You can get various kind of panels, depending on the arrangement of the PV cells: polycrystalline, regular monocrystalline, half-cut monocrystalline and shingled. Half-cut is the most common type and is a bit more efficient. However, it doesn’t really make much difference which type you choose.


Solar racks


Solar racks anchor the solar panels to your house. The racking process involves attaching a simple metal framework to your roof and fitting the solar panels into it. This framework is usually made of aluminium, and is bolted to the roof surface.


Solar inverter


An inverter is a key component of a solar panel installation. It converts the DC power coming from the solar panels to the 220-240 volt, 50 Hz alternating current (AC) that our home electrical systems use. Without an inverter you won’t be able to use the electricity that your solar panels generate.


Inverters are usually installed inside your home, connected to the solar panels by wiring inside the wall. They don’t take up much room – they’re about the same size as a standard briefcase.




A battery is one of the optional components of a solar installation. Your solar system will work perfectly well without one, but there will be a definite drawback. If you don’t have a battery you will still be dependent on the electricity grid at night when your solar panels aren’t generating power.


The right sized battery paired with enough solar panels can reduce the amount of electricity you draw from the grid by up to 95%. Not only will this save you a lot of money in electricity charges, it will also make you virtually immune to power blackouts. We highly recommend that get a good quality battery, even if it seems a bit expensive at first – it really will change your life. Plus, as a Victoria resident you can get solar battery subsidies.


Electricity consumption monitor


This is another optional solar installation component. Your inverter will show you exactly how much power your solar panels produce, but it won’t show you how much you use. An electricity consumption monitor will do this for you. 


It can be really useful to constantly know how much solar power you’re using, and when you’re using electricity from the grid. This will allow you to optimise your energy usage, so that you can save money by using as little grid electricity as possible.


Solar installation in Melbourne


If you’re looking for good solar panel installation companies in Melbourne, you’re in the right place right now. STL Electrical provides proper, reliable and safe solar panel installation across the city and surrounds. Contact us and get the benefit of our many years of experience and our top-class expertise in solar installation. We can also help you with other ways to reduce electrical consumption at home.

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