Solar energy is a great way to save money and positively impact climate change. Instead of needing fossil-fuel-generated electricity, you can power your home with free, clean energy from the sun. But first, you need to know how much your solar panels cost. Here’s everything you need to know about the components in your solar system.
What Components Does a Solar Installation Include?
When you stop to think about it, powering our homes with free solar energy seems futuristic, especially if you’ve grown up in an era where electricity is delivered to homes only through the national network. But despite some pretty incredible technology going into all of these components, there are only three parts you need to worry about.
A standard on-grid solar installation (where you still access power through an electricity retailer when required) includes solar panels and an inverter. An off-grid solar system also consists of a battery to store excess energy. Here’s what you need to know:
While no component is more important than the others, you can’t have a solar installation without solar panels. There are several types of solar panels out there because technology always improves. Ideally, you should only choose Tier 1 quality solar panels to ensure you get the best quality. Your solar retailer should be able to give you plenty of information about the options available to you.
Solar panels are installed on your roof, which catch the sunlight and turn it into Direct Current (DC) energy. For the best energy production, panels should be installed at the optimum angle and facing in the right direction. The tilt and direction vary depending on where you live.
We mentioned that solar panels produce DC energy. Unfortunately, this energy isn’t usable in your home. So, that’s where the solar inverter comes in. The inverter is a smaller box installed somewhere around the house. It can be inside or outside, as long as it’s in a shady area protected from the elements. Your solar inverter transforms DC energy into Alternating Current (AC) electricity, which is the type of electricity that runs our homes.
You need to choose a solar inverter with the appropriate capacity for your system. The energy goes to waste if your panels generate more than your inverter can handle. You may have overspent if your panels never generate anywhere near your inverter’s capacity.
Solar Battery Storage
While not included in every standard solar package, batteries are an optional add-on that many people choose. Typically, solar energy needs to be used as soon as your inverter converts it. That means if you don’t use much power during the day, a lot of solar is going to waste (although excess solar does get sold back to the main grid for a credit on your electricity account).
Conversely, a solar battery stores excess energy. That way, when night falls, or your system doesn’t generate enough power on a cloudy day, you’ve got backup power waiting. If your battery is full, your system still exports excess energy to the main grid. Not only does a solar battery cut your electricity bills even further, but it also provides great peace of mind during a power outage.
How Much Do All the Elements Cost?
The average household solar installation pays for itself over time. For example, let’s say you spend $20,000 in total for a solar setup. If the system saves you $2,000 a year in electricity costs, then it pays for itself in 10 years. However, it’s an upfront investment, so you need to know how much everything will cost.
The numbers below are a guide only because all retailers, all products and all homes are different. Prices will always vary depending on the needs of each home. However, it gives you an idea of what it might cost to switch to solar.
A few factors can influence how much your solar panels cost. Naturally, the brand and quality of your chosen solar panel make a difference. There are certainly budget options out there, however, they usually lack the efficiency of proven, reliable brands. The other factor is the number of panels you need. Smaller homes might only need a few solar panels to handle their needs, while larger houses may need considerably more.
Overall, your solar panels may cost between $2,400 and $19,000, but naturally, this higher figure represents a large number of panels. Canstar Blue suggests the average solar panel cost in Australia is $5,667.
Your solar inverter doesn’t cost as much as the panels, but it’s still an essential piece of equipment. Typically, a solar inverter should cost between $800 – $1200, depending on the capacity and quality of the product.
While they are an incredible piece of technology that can save you heaps of money long-term, the price of solar batteries is still prohibitive for many Australians. A solar battery’s price depends on its capacity to store energy. Generally, you pay per kWh you want to store, which is between $1,000 – $2,000 per kWh. For example, a 6kWh battery should cost between $6,000 – $12,000.
While not a physical component, solar system installation is another expense to be aware of. Your installer’s job is to mount the solar panels appropriately on your roof, connect the inverter, and ensure your system is connected to the main grid. Most retailers offer different installation prices, so checking with your preferred supplier is best. However, as a guide, most companies offer a complete package that includes installation without increasing the total cost too much.
Looking for the Best Solar Panels?
SolarPath is your leading supplier of high-quality solar panels, inverters and batteries. We take the time to understand your needs during a thorough first consultation. During this, we’ll be able to show you how much money you could save with solar energy and also recommend the perfect system for your home. When you want the best prices on great quality solar panels and components, contact the team at SolarPath today.