Some Frequently Asked Questions answered by Solar Merchants
What is PV?
Photovoltaics (or PV) is a technology that utilizes a semiconductor to convert the light directly into electricity. It does so silently, without any moving parts and with no emissions or waste products given off during operation.
What is an Inverter?
An inverter converts direct current energy (DC) from the sun into alternate current (AC) for all your electrical appliances.
What happens when the sun goes down?
PV systems can be classified as either ‘Grid Connected' or ‘Stand Alone.' Grid connected systems are connected to the standard electricity grid which is used as a kind of pseudo battery. During the day, any power that the system produces in excess of what is needed is fed out through the meter into the grid, turning the meter backwards, or clocking up a credit. When more electricity is required than is provided by the PV system, such as during the night, electricity is drawn in from the grid as per usual. This happens automatically with no action required by the user.
Stand Alone systems are used in areas where there is no grid available and make use of batteries, or other energy storage devices, to store energy during the day for use at night.
What happens during a blackout?
Grid connected systems are required to shut down or disconnect from the grid in the case of a black out. This is to protect line workers who might get electrocuted while working on the ‘dead' line if a PV system nearby is sending power into the lines. In order to maintain power during a blackout, a battery backup system is required.
What size system is right for me?
This will vary depending on how much electricity your household or business requires. Grid connect systems are very flexible and allow for any portion of the house's power requirements to be covered by the solar with the rest covered by the grid. Stand-alone systems however need to be carefully planned to ensure that enough power is provided. Contact us to talk to our helpful staff about choosing the right system for you.
Will the modules be mounted on my roof?
It is most common for PV systems to be mounted on the roof, however it is possible for them to be mounted on the ground. This is usually only suggested if there is limited roof space or regular shading.
How much space does the system need?
This will depend on how many solar modules you wish to install. Each kW of PV panels requires approximately seven to eight square meters of space.
Do the modules need to face north?
It is ideal for solar modules to be north-facing, however it is also possible for them to face east or west with only a small loss in power output.
Will my solar modules be damaged in a hail storm?
All PV modules must pass a hail test to gain IEC certification.
Do I have to insure my PV system?
It is a good idea to insure your PV system, which generally comes under standard home and contents insurance.
What performance guarantee do I get on panels and inverters?
All the panels used by Solar Merchants are backed up with 25 years power output guarantee, ensuring that the panel will deliver a minimum of 90% output performance up till 10 years and a minimum of 80% output performance up to 25 years.
Does the price quoted include all necessary metering changes and paperwork for my local electricity supplier?
What is the lead time for the system installation?
The lead time for installation is generally between 2-3 weeks.
Who handles all the paperwork & RECs when I sign with Solar Merchants?
Yes – Solar Merchant’s team handles all the paperwork and RECs making things quicker and a pleasant buying experience for the Customer.