New to solar? A beginner's guide

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10:31 AM

When you’re looking to invest in a solar system for your home, you want to make sure you’re getting the right system for the right amount. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest solar companies selling inexpensive systems for extremely high prices and as a result, Australians all over the country have become sceptical of solar systems in general.

Here is what you should know about solar before signing up to invest in one.

1. The two main components of a solar power system:


A solar system is made up of either monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels.
Simply defined, the difference in the panels rests in the composition of silicon substrate used to make solar cells. Monocrystalline means ‘a single crystal’ & polycrystalline means ‘many crystals’. In the solar industry market, monocrystalline panels are considered as the superior technology.

Be careful of the ‘no-name’ panels which are generally re-badged castoffs, they usually do not last longer than 3-5 years on your roof. These modules are sold at premium prices, beware and avoid.

A good way to look at it is like this; if you think budget (think Hyundai), regular (think Toyota) or premium (think BMW). You wouldn’t know a good brand from a lemon, so it is safer to stick to the brands that are popular and familiar to you.


An inverter can is the second component of a solar power system, which can be a central inverter or a microinverter. A central inverter is installed on a wall and all the solar panels are connected to it while a microinverters are go on the back of each solar panel.

Microinverters are a good option because they optimize each individually resulting in more energy production. They are also considered to be a safer option as they use safe voltages (AC instead of DC).