What Makes For A Quality Solar Power Installation?
Your Questions Answered
Is it difficult to install solar panels?
We make going solar one of the easiest decisions you can make to help reduce your power bill and your carbon footprint.
We take care of all the paperwork, including your grid connect application, claiming your government incentive and arranging your installation. All you have to do is give us the go-ahead and we will do the rest.
How much roof space do I need for solar power?
Most solar panels are all approximately 1.7 meters high by 1 meter wide. If you have a flat roof and you are ordering a tilt frame, please allow a minimum of 2 meters per row to allow for additional shading from the panels after they are tilted.
The panels in a row sit flush and they are about a meter wide, so allowing one meter per panel works out to be quite accurate. Our Solar Experts have the ability to draw proposed panel diagrams on the computer. Because we use aerial maps that do not take into account the pitch of your roof, our estimates are not exact to the centimetre, but we can get pretty close! If it looks like a tight fit we will send an installer out before the installation day to confirm everything for you.
More information on the solar panels is available here: The Key Information About Solar Panels
Once I sign the paperwork, what happens next and what is the lead time for my installation?
Once you sign up for a Solaray installation, we immediately submit your grid application to the relevant energy distributor. For systems up to 5kWs, this is a formality, for larger systems it can take up to around two weeks.
Your installation will be managed by our installation manager and his team. Once you place an order with us, the installation team will welcome you to Solaray and book an installation date for you. Installations are generally booked Monday to Friday, weather permitting. We endeavour to have your system installed within 2-4 weeks unless you request us to hold for whatever reason.
Due to our strict safety policy, we do not install solar systems when it rains or when there are high winds. In the event of inclement weather, we will rebook your installation as soon as possible and this may have a knock-on effect for other installations. Because of this, we appreciate it if you nominate days that suit you best as well as days when you are not available.
We always work with your requests as we recommend that someone be home on the day of installation.
What happens on the day of a solar power installation?
You will receive a reminder and confirmation of the installation a day or two prior to the planned day. The installers will arrive on site and meet with you to discuss the installation to confirm that their plans are all in line with your expectations (eg. panel and inverter location, cable runs etc.), and answer any other questions that you may have.
They will install the panels on the roof, run cabling to the inverter, mount the inverter on the wall and connect it to your meter box. They will also install isolation switches on the roof, next to the inverter and in your meter box. Finally, they will test the system, demonstrate it to you and check everything is to your satisfaction. You will be asked to sign some paperwork to do with the system and the government incentive (rebate).
Why Choose a Solaray Installation?
Installing any product on your roof is a job that needs to be treated with care. At Solaray, we pride ourselves on the quality of installation and workmanship. The quality of the installation can potentially determine both the performance and the longevity of your system. We apply years of project and implementation experience to our installation process and we are proud to set the standard for the industry for quality installations. All Solaray installations include:
- Installers are trained and supervised by our Operations Team to rigorous standards
- Installers are Clean Energy Council Accredited
- Installers have a track record of quality installations
- We do not contract installations to unknown or ‘cheap’ contractors
- Installers are given enough time to complete every job properly
- All installations are planned using our industry-leading project management methodology
- Customers are kept up to date and informed at every step of the process
We pride ourselves on rarely if ever needing to go back to a job to fix problems.
Should you decide to go ahead, we will lodge an application with your electricity distributor for the connection of your new system to the electricity grid. We then plan an installation date with you for once the connection is approved. Our customer service team will keep you up to date as to the progress of your application and the installation day.
On the day of installation, our team will arrive and install the system. This usually takes around 5 to 8 hours depending on size and complexity. Once installed, we demonstrate the system to you and arrange for the connection to the electricity grid (and the installation of a new solar meter). Naturally, our teams always clean up after themselves and are available to answer any questions you may have. Finally, we take care of any paperwork required to benefit from any rebates and bonuses.
Do I need to tell the council about my solar installation?
In NSW, there is an exemption in place for solar PV systems less than 10kw as long as they do not alter the roofline and are not on a Heritage listed building or in a Heritage area. You should check with your local Council as we cannot be responsible for the local rules in your area, however, it is extremely rare for a residential system to need Council Approval.
Do I need to tell my neighbours?
No, you do not need permission from your neighbours. Nonetheless, it may be worth asking them if they plan to add an additional storey to their house anytime in the future if that would result in the shading of your system.
How does the mounting system work?
We have custom mounting kits depending on your roof. For tile roofs, we use brackets that fit between the rows of tiles and mount firmly onto the frame of your roof. We do not need to break or remove any tiles.
For Colourbond roofing we take out the existing screws and replace them with strong and stainless screws to ensure that the system is firmly mounted to the frame of your roof. Normally we only make one penetration through the roofing to run the D.C. cable and this is fully waterproof- guaranteed.
For Kliplok we generally do not penetrate the tin because doing so voids your warranty. Because of this, we use special clips that grip the ridge of the Kliplok to hold the panels firmly in place.
We then mount 2 rails per row of panels and then the panels are mounted to the rails. This results in the panels sitting slightly off your roof. For more information please contact our Solar Team on 1300 221 586 or visit our website for a number of installation photos.
What angle do you tilt panels to on a flat roof?
Our main concern when answering this question is your roof’s exposure to strong winds. Wind can create a vortex as it travels over tilted panels and it can literally pull the roof off your house, using the same force that allows QF1 to take off from Sydney Airport.
Because of this we generally tilt panels between 5 to 10 degrees, and we are happy to talk extensively about this issue because it is different for everyone and we are willing to listen to your point of view before making our recommendations.
More info is available here: Should you tilt your solar panels