Grid-connected PV systems
solar power systems, solar panels , micro hydro systems from Planetary Power, Australia

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50% Australian Government rebate available on renewable energy systems

Grid-connected PV systems


Grid connect systems use a photovoltaic array to generate electricity, which is then fed to the mains grid via a grid interactive inverter. When the solar array generates more power than is being used in the building, the surplus is exported to the grid. When the solar array generates less power than is being used in the building, the difference is imported from the grid.

A Typical House
The average mains power consumption for dwellings in Far North Queensland is 20kWh/day to 25kWh/day. Most of this is used for cooking and heating, particularly water heating and if these are replaced by gas and/or solar hot water, typical consumptions range from 5kWh/day to 15kWh/day depending on size of the family, lifestyle and attention paid to choice of efficient appliances.

The government rebates available for grid connected solar systems are geared to provide maximum benefit for solar arrays sized between 450W and 1,000W for residential systems and between 450W and 2000W for community buildings. It is unlikely that a grid connect system will have an array much smaller than these values. However, it may be much bigger - in 2002 Planetary Power installed a 3.8kW array at a residence in Cairns.

The output of an array is influenced by many factors which are touched on later in these notes, however approximately, a solar array will on average deliver between 4kWh/day and 5kWh/day to the grid for every 1,000W of capacity.

Most grid connect systems generate less power than is consumed by the building, making the home or community a net consumer of power from the grid. However, this need not be the case and installations that are net exporters of power to the grid are permitted.

The cost of a grid connect solar installation depends on the size of the solar array, type of solar panels used and the inverter. A typical figure for the net installed cost of a system in Cairns is between $2,600 and $3,000 for every kWh/day on average delivered to the grid.

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Planetary Power - Renewable Energy Solutions
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