FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY
Customers regularly ask us how a solar energy system works. They’re also curious about the various components of solar systems. Below, we have listed some of the more commonly asked questions about solar energy and solar battery storage.
Each of the solar cells in a solar module is two wafers of silicone. One is laced with an element to cause it to have a slightly negative charge (this is the top wafer) the other is laced with an element that causes it to have a slightly positive charge. The difference in change , between positive and negative, creates an electromagnetic field.
When solar irradiation from the sun strikes the two silicon wafers, it dislodges and electron which flows into the conductor connected to the cell. These electrons then flow along the wires that join all the cells in a module until they reach the junction box part of the module. The junction box has two cables (positive and negative) coming off it. These cables are connected to other modules to form a string. The string(s) are connected to the inverter to form the solar energy system.
An optimiser is a device that connects directly to an individual solar module with the aim of increasing the yield of that module.
Optimisers are most commonly used in situations where partial string shading is an issue.
An optimiser is essentially a module level MPPT. It steps up or down the voltage of the module to match that of the neighbouring modules to maximise the efficiency.
MPPT Stands for Maximum Power Point Tracker. Modules have a point where they produce the maximum amount of power possible. This maximum varies with temperature and solar irradiation. A MPPT changes the voltage output of the module to ensure it is producing power at its maximum.
A battery is a device in which to store solar energy.
It is almost always technically possible to add a battery to your existing system. HOWEVER – there are many different shapes and sizes of systems out there so retrofitting is never a one-size- fits-all scenario.
Almost always it is technically possible. There are many decisions to be considered when weighing the merits of upgrading your solar energy system.
In most situations, you will lose your FIT if you retrofit. We recommend you talk to your network provider and energy retailer.
Definitely NOT! In the short to medium term power in Australia is going to get more expensive and not less expensive. If you can self-consume the power from your solar energy system while its being generated or by storing it (i.e. with a battery) and using it later, you WILL benefit financially.