solar panel for homes

Solar Panel for Homes (A Comprehensive Guide)

Planning to go solar? Not sure which one to choose? Things to consider? Let’s talk about it in this full guide on solar panel for homes.

In 2024, more than 30% of Australian households now have rooftop solar PV with a combined capacity exceeding 11 GW. Alongside it, large-scale solar farms too, with almost 7 GW of generation connected to Australia’s electricity grid. What does it imply? There’s a growing demand, people are going along with it, and you might want to know the reasons why. [Source]

Key Takeaways

  • There are different types of solar panels, the two most important ones you should know about being monocrystalline and polycrystaline solar panels.
  • Solar panels work by when the sunlight hits electrons in the panel and cause it to develop AC and DC current.
  • If you want to have solar panels installed in your home, you should look for an installer that has the right accreditations and certifications, proven expertise, customer reviews, and so on. Keep reading.

So, we’ve listed all the essentials you need to hear if you’re looking and planning to invest in solar technologies. Let us walk you through practical insights, pros and cons, outsourcing installers, and more. Let’s proceed, shall we? Read on.

What are Solar Panels?

To kick things off, a Solar panel aka solar module is a device made of photovoltaic cells. These cells then convert sunlight into usable electricity. The generated solar electricity is used to power either home electronics, fed back to the grid to minimize electricity bills, or sold to solar farms and interested buyers for profit.

Types of Solar Panels

For convenience, let’s focus on the readily available solar panels in the Australian market. Below are 2 common types of panels you can buy off the market right now.

1) Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Mainly top choice for its efficiency and conversion rate of 20% up to 24% (or greater). They’re made of single, pure silicon crystals that are uniformly black in appearance. While these panels are most known for their excellent performance and durability, they’re also known for being the most expensive solar panel type.

These specific panels are especially versatile and capable of maintaining their efficiency even in challenging conditions, like limited spaces, as they can draw out maximum energy even in areas with low sunlight reception or during bad weather.

2) Polycrystalline Solar Panels

They are made from multiple silicon crystals of a blueish hue appearance. Polycrystalline panels are relatively cheaper compared to monocrystalline panels with only a conversion rate of around 15% to 20% max (not bad) to make up for the lower price tag.

There is a third type of solar panel called thin-film (TF panels), but these panels aren’t common in the Australian market—and maybe for a good reason. Although considerably cheaper compared to crystalline silicon solar counterparts, TF solar panels are far behind in terms of efficiency and durability—on paper, making it a less desirable option.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

How do Solar Panels Work?

How they work is simple. The sunlight or radiation from the sun hits the cells, it charges electrons, causing them to break free, generating an electric current. They produce a direct current (DC) and immediately convert it into alternating current (AC) using the system inverter.

So far, there are two types of solar energy technologies—solar PV panels and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP). PV and CSP are both solar technologies, but they capture the sun’s energy differently.

PV (Photovoltaic)

Photovoltaic uses sunlight directly for electricity generation through solar panels (e.g. utility scale solar PV for solar parks, photovoltaic cell) where the solar cell converts sun’s rays into usable and renewable energy.

CSP (Concentrated Solar Power)

CSP uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight to create heat. The heat is then used to generate electricity (similar to a traditional power plant). As an additional feature, CSP can store generated heat for later use like district heating, desalination, and industrial procedures.

Benefits of Using Solar Panels

As you know, usage of solar panels has very enticing benefits making it super attractive to the general public. They’re as listed:

Environmental benefits of solar

Solar energy is clean and renewable and they do not produce greenhouse gases or other harmful pollutants that can harm the environment. Instead, PVs are potentially useful when it comes to combating climate change. Plus, they generate 0% noise pollution, unlike generators and other energy source types.


Using solar panels as a home add-on can be a long-term solution to save money on electricity bills. They are low maintenance as they’re generally cleaned by rain, requiring occasional inspection. Also, homes with solar energy systems sell for more money. Not to mention that many governments offer incentives for solar panel installation, such as tax credits or rebates.

Other benefits (Pros) of using solar panels

  • Allows users to take full control of their energy use while reducing their carbon footprint
  • Flexibility in designing your solar array as you can customize the solar panel type, battery capacity, power electronics, and accessories to fit your every need
  • Solar panels can help you to become more energyindependent from the grid, which is invaluable for remote locations where power is scarce or experiencing frequent power outages
  • They’re useful for an assortment of applications, including homes, businesses, and even remote solar generation

How to Find Reliable Solar Panels and Installers in Australia

How to Find Reliable Solar Panels and Installers in Australia

The increasing popularity of solar means an increase in solar installation companies. Sadly, not all companies offering their products and services are equal. To help you avoid the scammers and find reliable solar energy products and installation services, here are some of the things you should consider upon looking. Here are some to look for:

1) Check if they’re accredited and certified

Ask if they’re accredited and have certifications. Accredited and certified installers, for the record, should have proven their ability to get the job done effectively. Look for ones with:

2) Ask for experience and expertise

Look for companies that have a proven track record of successful installations and feedback-satisfied customers.

Experience is important when it comes to solar panel installation because it requires expertise and familiarity to make the installation a success despite any complexity.

3) Check if the customer reviews are up to the standards

Look for proof and really take your time researching their customer reviews and testimonials. Be vigilant when checking the reputation and reliability of the products and services, and make sure that everything is up to your standards.

4) Good warranty and after-sales support

Companies or contractors who signed the CEC’s retailer’s code of conduct must offer a warranty covering the parts and labor for a minimum of five years. You wouldn’t guess that solar panel warranties can cover your purchase for as long as 25 up to 45 years even, depending on which company you’re availing from.

The warranty should cover water damage, glass breakage, and other common defects. It can also indicate the removal and replacement of the PV panel—this policy does not apply to every company. That’s why it’s important to take time to read their warranty policy before finalizing the purchase.

5) No Accreditation means No Rebate

If all components, like the designer, and installer of your chosen solar power system are CEC-accredited, then you may be eligible for an STC rebate. Otherwise, you’re disqualified. By the way, these STCs can then be passed on to your solar installer in exchange for a discount.

To guarantee that you’re being offered only the most reliable products and legitimate professional solar panel installation service, carefully evaluate your options before making a decision. Get quoted by different contractors and consult different professionals before settling on one.

Just a tip: Keep in mind that the total cost of a system will include the solar panel’s price, which varies in price by brand and type, installation labor, system size, and additional equipment to be used. A solar installation company will charge a combination of labor costs and a price per watt for each solar panel.

Where to Get Solar Panels in Australia

There are two ways to acquire solar panels in Australia:

1. Purchasing from directly a solar retailer and installer

These are the more common options for homeowners. Here are some places to find them:

  • Check for local solar panel retailers
  • Search online or ask for word-of-mouth recommendations for reputable solar installers within your area

2. Purchasing solar panels directly from a wholesaler

This method is less common for homeowners and is typically suited for larger projects or those with some technical knowledge. Buying solar panels directly from a wholesaler typically isn’t recommended anyway for most homeowners unless they’re comfortable with some extra legwork; and here’s why:

  • Wholesalers often require bulk purchases, which might be far more panels than you actually need
  • Negotiating with wholesalers will require a good understanding of solar panel types (depending on use), compatibility, and system design to choose the right components
  • Wholesalers focus on selling the equipment, not providing installation services. So if you’re buying from wholesalers, you’ll still need to hire a separate installation service or perform a DIY which requires significant knowledge and permits (not advisable unless you’re a pro).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following are the recurring questions we’ve received about solar energy systems.

How many solar panels are needed to power my home?

It depends on the size of your home. A household may need 17 up to 21 solar panels to provide sufficient energy to power a home. Several important factors, like your roof-type compatibility, your home’s location, size, and the specifications of the solar panels, can determine the exact number of solar panels necessary for your project. [Source]

What are the disadvantages (Cons) of solar panels?

The disadvantages of solar energy are becoming fewer as the industry advances and grows, creating economies of scale. Technological advances are helping solar go mainstream. Here are how the disadvantages of solar energy and the pros and cons stack up.

  1. Installing solar panels is expensive
  2. Solar energy battery storage is even more expensive
  3. They aren’t compatible with all roof types and materials (as roofing materials like asphalt shingles, metal, and tiles make installing solar panels easier)
  4. Solar panels are dependent on sunlight (They don’t work on days with bad weather or during storms—making battery backups ideal)
    • Unfortunately, batteries are one of the more expensive components plus batteries wear out and need careful maintenance to lengthen their lives.
  5. Solar panel’s production process
    • Solar cells and other components need large amounts of energy and water during manufacturing, making them resource-intensive compared to other energy sources (wind energy collection).

Is solar power worth it in Australia?

Yes. Right now, more than 28% of Australian households have a solar power system installed in their home—and that’s for a reason: location and good weather.

While PV systems in Australia require an initial investment, the potential long-term benefits may outweigh the upfront cost. Homeowners can expect significant reductions in generated electricity bills alongside environmental advantages and lastly, the government incentives in Australia will further enhance the economic viability and accessibility of solar PV systems for everyone.

Is 10kW solar enough in Australia?

A 10kW solar system is a powerful option for generating electricity from clean and renewable sources. On average, it can produce around 40kWh of renewable energy per day, translating to roughly 14,600kWh annually. This is enough to cover the needs of 2-3 typical Australian households or even a single high-consumption household.

For illustration purposes, a 10kW system could potentially power:

  • Two ducted air conditioning systems on a hot or cold day
  • Four small pool pumps running for 10 hours daily
  • Forty 5-star energy-rated refrigerators (with top or bottom freezers, not side-by-side models)

Are solar farms and nuclear power plants the same?

No, solar farms and nuclear power plants are different in how they generate electricity.

Here’s a simple breakdown table for comparison:

solar panel for homes

Final Thoughts: Are Solar Panel for Homes a Good Idea?

Adding a solar feature to a home isn’t a cheap project, but if you’re strategic about it and take the right steps moving forward, positive returns are almost guaranteed. First, lay out your ideals and goals, perform thorough research, and do not rush. Right now, adding a solar power feature to a home is a no-brainer decision. As you may have seen, although the initial cost of installing a solar power system to a home requires hefty amounts, the returns are so much more than what can justified—and the Pros outweigh the Cons.

We hope you find this blog valuable and answer some of your questions. If you ever need our assistance for your first solar cell project, from quotation down to design and installation, we’ll gladly help you throughout the process—pinky swear. To book an appointment, please click here.


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